Ok. We might be the only dummies on the planet who have been storing our paint cans in our garage, which is not heated. Does anyone else do this? If you do, I am here to tell you…DO NOT do this. We had a few paint cans FREEZE last weekend when we had a snowstorm. I went to get a small sample of paint I had in our garage and the paint was frozen! It looked like a wet snowball that wouldn’t thaw. It was nuts! It made me wonder if this has been happening all winter. I read that paint can freeze and unthaw, but if it happens too many times, it goes bad – hence the perma-snowball. I inspected everything and luckily only a few of our small samples went bad and some almost-gone cans. But in case anyone needs a friendly reminder of how to store your paint, and other things I’ve learned from this travesty… here ya go!
Tips & tricks for your paint cans:
- Store paint in a cool, dry location away from sunlight (duh, I know). Should be 60-80 degrees.
- Keep paint away from freezing temperatures (also DUH!) But in our defense, there were a few gallons of paint already stored in the garage from the previous owners, so when we moved, I think we just put them there without even thinking (face-palm).
- The shelf life of opened, sealed paint cans is TWO YEARS – did you know this? I did not.
- Paint cans that have never been open can last up to 10 years.
- I read that you should actually store your paint cans UPSIDE DOWN so that the paint creates it’s own seal. Does this terrify anyone else? I’m picturing paint leaking out all over the floor, so I’m not going to listen to this recommendation, but if you try it and nothing bad happens, let me know. 😉
- For maximum shelf life, you should cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap and then put the lid on securely. Now THIS I can get behind.
- This also seems obvious but be sure to label your cans well. You may think you’ll remember everything so clearly, but it’s crazy how fast you forget. In our case, we have some cans that are the same color, but we’ve used different sheens in various places, so labeling helps keep things straight. It’s also helpful to keep a note with the name of all paint colors you’ve used. I keep a note on my phone and it has actually come in handy a few times to reference.
I hope this is helpful. We did a little spring cleaning of all of our paint cans and have a pile to bring to a free paint recycling drop-off location. It feels so good to be able to clean out and get rid of paint we won’t be needing/using. If you live in Colorado, you can find a location through PaintCare here. Be sure to look up where you can donate or recycle paint near you! OR you can always pass along unused paint to a friend, neighbor, church, or school who may need it. OH!! But if you have paint cans that are empty or with completely dried paint in them, they can go in your regular garbage. Who knew?! I’m learning so much! Hope you are too! 🙂
Okay, so moral of the story…it’s time to look through all your paint and clean it out. I bet you have lots of cans that you won’t be using in the future, or are probably bad by now (sorry to say) OR you’ll feel inspired to repaint or touch something up! It will feel so good to free up some space if you get rid of some paint, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to paint something!
Happy painting and/or organizing! 🙂