How to Store Paint

How to Store Paint


Photo Credit: Better Homes and Gardens

Most homeowners have an average of three gallons of paint sitting somewhere in their house, says the Ohio EPA. Chances are, if you’re like the rest of us, you’re not really sure what to do with it—it ends up in the garage where the paint cans rust past being functional and eventually you just throw everything out.

There’s a better way! Learn how to store paint for future jobs and touch ups—it’ll save you money by keeping quality paint fresh and saves you time and hassle by keeping that perfectly matched shade of cobalt from going to waste.

Prep for storage

How to Store Paint

Photo credit: Real Simple

You’re done painting—woo hoo! Now what?

First things first, you need to clean your paint lids and tops of the can. Wipe off all paint residue from the inside lid and clear the groove/rims. You can do this with paint rags bought at any home improvement store or with your standard paper towels.

Next, label the top of the paint lid with the paint color name or ID code and the room/surface it was used on.  Stickers that retailers place on the cans fade over time. Add a dot of the paint color on the top of the can for easy identification.

Cover the opening of your paint can with plastic wrap. This step, recommended by the National Paint and Coatings Association, will make a tight air seal and keep the metal from corroding.

Put your now dazzlingly clean lid on top of the plastic wrap. Don’t hammer the metal lid right on the top of the can, it could warp the metal and ruin your new air seal. Seal the lid to the top of the can by either using a rubber mallet or, if you don’t have one handy, place a block of wood on top of your lid and hammer onto that.

Paint placement

How to Store Paint


Photo credit: iHeart Organizing

Paint is fussy about two things—temperature and light. Store paint in a cool, (but not cold or freezing) dark place. To prevent the cans from rusting, store it off the ground. To keep paint from separating, keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, don’t forget to keep paint out of reach from children and pets. Just in case.

Some experts, like the National Paint and Coatings Association, suggest storing paint upside down so it will create its own seal (in addition to the excellent one you already created with plastic wrap).

Pro tip: when you’re ready to paint again, scoop the paint “skin” or layer that can form on the top off. Remove it with a stick or spoon before mixing or you’ll end up with it in your paint.

When there’s not a lot left

How to Store Paint

Photo credit: Goodbye House Hello Home

When there’s not a ton of paint left in the bottom of the can, still save it! It’ll be really useful for fixing every day wear and tear. Use canning jars, like Mason jars, to store and label your paint for small touch up jobs. Print cute labels, like Goodbye House Hello Home, and attach to each jar. Pour the paint into jars using a funnel, clean off the rims and lids, attach the labels and you’re all set. No more digging and searching for the paint you used on the bathroom trim!

Don’t miss our fall promotion to get you started — paint three rooms, get one room free! Call us today to schedule your free estimate.


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