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How to Properly Store Paint

Properly Storing Paint Cans - CT House PaintersMost people who have owned a home for any length of time have a few paint cans lying around in the garage or shed from past interior or exterior paint projects. Some of these people have a lot of paint cans. Some have as many paint cans as a paint store does. What does all this mean? It means wasted paint and wasted money, in a lot of cases.

Properly storing paint is a little more involved than simply using some paint out of a can and then stacking the partially empty can somewhere in the garage. There are two primary reasons to get into good paint-storage habits:

  1. Old or improperly sealed paint is no good.
  2. You need to know where on or in the house a given paint was used.


When sealed well and stored away from temperature extremes, most house paints will last several years. (Always check with the paint retailer to determine an accurate expected age of paint.) But years pass quickly, and before you know it you might have 15 or 20 half-used cans of paint, and you don’t know how old any of them is. Solve this problem by affixing a label to every can of paint that clearly shows the date it was opened.

Labels also work to keep you clear on what section(s) of the house you used a given paint on. For example, on the robin’s-egg blue can that was used in the bathroom, write “bathroom” on the label, along with the date. If burnt orange was used in one bedroom and a similar shade – but a different one – was used in another bedroom, mark the cans accordingly. This way when it’s time for a touch-up or a new coat of paint, you’ll know exactly which among all your leftover cans is the right one to use.

Sealing the cans

Common sense tells you that paint will last longer and hold up better in cans that are properly sealed. But “properly sealed” isn’t just slapping a lid back on the can. Proper sealing begins when you open the can for the first time. Ideally you should use a tool that won’t bend or otherwise damage the lid. That way, when you go to close it back up, the seal is secure and almost completely air-tight.

The best way to seal a can of paint is to first clean all paint out of the grooves on the can’s lip and off the perimeter of the lid itself. Place the lid on the can and use a rubber hammer to gently tap the edges of the lid into place.

As we mentioned, paint does not do well in extreme temperatures. It’s not a bad idea for you to determine the max temperature at both extremes of the area where you plan to store your paint. The paint can label and/or the retailer can tell you ideal storage temperatures for your paint. If your storage area is too hot or cold, consider finding a different storage area.

Proper Storage for Paint These are some points to ponder when it comes to storing paint. If you’d like to bypass all of this, maybe it’s time to think about hiring an experienced team of professional painters to take the hassle out of using and storing paints and produce a fantastic job for you. Franklin Painting of Connecticut is happy to give you an estimate for any paint job. Call us at (877) 646-7774 for more information or to arrange a meeting.

Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
160 Brickyard Road, Farmington, CT 06032

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