After giving your house a painting makeover, clean-up is a must and storing the excess paint is an important step. Unopened paint can last up to fifteen years, but once opened, it can get sensitive and spoiled easily if not stored properly. As Sydney dwellers, if you ask your house painter, you will understand that the high-quality paint used for the projects is relatively expensive. Hence, throwing off the leftover paint is not economical. So, the wise step here is storing the paint correctly so it stays good and is easily available to use.

What can I do with leftover paint?

Well, it might just seem like half-empty tins of paint collection wasting valuable space in your house, but the remaining paint can have many uses. Such as-

  • For touch-ups
  • Covering a minor spot
  • Adding creative touch to boring walls (e.g. accent colour or different coloured backdrop)
  • Upcycling old furniture like chairs, shelves or drawers
  • Future paint project

Why does paint get spoiled once opened?

When paint starts forming a rough finish, has a strong foul odour, or shows signs of mould growth, understand that it is no longer usable. Three factors – air, impurities, and temperature- basically determine the longevity of paint. If one or the other is not appropriate where you store your opened paint can, it can easily get ruined.

What are the best ways to store leftover paint?

Tip no 1. Find the Right Space

The remaining paint should be kept in a dry place and away from direct sunlight. To make sure the storage space will protect the paint from light, put it in an insulated, cool area of your house. Paint should be kept out of children’s reach and away from food and liquids.

Tip no 2. Be Careful About the Temperature

Paint should be stored at a temperature of between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When keeping paint in the garage, consider the temperature where you live and make sure it doesn’t get exposed to extreme heat or freezing.

Tip no 3. Learn to Reseal the Paint Can Lid

During a painting project, you might need a break for a while, and for that short-term period, resealing can be the best option for storing. While resealing, the lid needs to be put on right away every time. Make sure you clean the rim or edge of the can as well as the lid. Put a piece of plastic wrap between the paint can’s opening and lid, then tightly shut the can by tapping its lid’s edges with a rubber mallet to create an airtight seal.

Tip no 4. Choose the Correct Container

Most leftover latex paint should be kept in a plastic container or lined metal can to prevent rust. Paint can also be stored for years in sealed mason jars or airtight glass jars. Because you can clean and repurpose glass containers when you run out of paint, they are eco-friendly. Your storage container shouldn’t be significantly larger than the remaining paint to minimise air exposure. Get an airtight container that’s easy to open and won’t affect the paint at all.

Tip no 5. Label the Containers

If you want to avoid the time-consuming task of opening each paint container to verify its contents, label paint cans with a permanent marker for quick identification. Put a name and date on each container, and for simple colour identification, dab some paint on the metal lids.

How long can leftover paint be stored?

If you follow our tips and store the paint correctly, it can have a shelf life of two years or more. Store leftover paint in a dry, cool area in an appropriate container with an airtight lid. With proper storage techniques, some paints are still usable for several years after being opened.

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