Important Tips for Proper Paint Storage
Extend the lifespan of your leftover paint with these storage and safety guidelines.
Although paint costs might seem minor in the context of a full home makeover, sticking to your budget is always a good plan. Keeping extra paint for future touch-ups is a wise decision, as it not only helps you avoid additional expenses but also eliminates a trip back to the store. Additionally, if the shade you chose gets phased out, having extra can prevent you from having to redo an entire room.
Mastering the proper methods for securely storing paint can set you up for long-term success. Here are some straightforward suggestions for keeping your paint in good condition, ensuring you’re prepared for any touch-up work on your walls.
Clean and Secure the Lid
When you’ve finished a painting project and have a good amount of leftover paint, it’s crucial to properly seal the can before storing it. Start by cleaning off any residual paint from the lid. Use a rubber mallet to softly tap the lid securely into position. For added security, consider placing a sheet of plastic wrap between the can and the lid. Always use a specialized tool for opening a new can, rather than something like a flathead screwdriver, to prevent deforming the lid. This ensures a better seal when it’s time to store the paint again.
Keep in a Cool, Dark Space
Store all paint in a climate-controlled environment, ideally with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and away from direct sunlight. Although garages are common storage locations, paint can freeze, so think twice if you live in an area with severe winters. Opt for a designated space in the basement or a secure cabinet or closet within the home. Just make sure it’s inaccessible to young children and pets.
Organize Paints By Type
After deciding on a secure location for storing your remaining paint, spend some time categorizing the different types, such as stains, primers, sealers, and aerosol paint cans. You could even go the extra mile by arranging them according to the room they were used in or their finish type. Doing this will give you a clearer idea of the storage space required and whether you need any containers to keep them organized.
Keep Paint and Supplies Together
Storing your paint and related equipment in a single location ensures that you’re prepared for any upcoming projects. If the chosen storage area lacks shelving, think about setting up a sturdy metal shelf unit. To make things more convenient, you can attach caster wheels and add shelf-liners to keep items level. Standard-sized paint cans can be neatly arranged on the shelves, while smaller cans and accessories like brushes, rollers, and drop cloths can be grouped in open-top or open-front bins. Opt for budget-friendly plastic or acrylic containers in case of spills. Designate a specific function for each shelf, such as paint type or supplies, and label them or the containers to make identification easier.
Condense Leftover Paint Into Smaller Containers
If you’ve completed a painting task and find that you have just a quarter of the paint can remaining, instead of storing the near-empty can, consider transferring the leftover paint into a more compact container. Mason jars work well for this, but any sealed glass container is suitable. Another option is to utilize plastic touch-up containers that come with integrated mixing balls, allowing you to shake the container and then proceed with your touch-up work.
Label the Paints
Even though most of the suggested containers are transparent, it’s a good idea to attach a label to each one, especially since you’re discarding the original packaging. Note essential details like the paint brand, color, finish, where it was used, and the date it was first opened. These last two pieces of information should also be added to paint remaining in its original can. If you haven’t been labeling your existing paint supplies, make it a practice to do so for any new purchases.
Make a Paint Binder
Another smart approach is to maintain a record of the paint used throughout your home. You can compile this information in either a physical binder or a digital file, listing each room along with the specifics of the paint used. This resource will be useful for future reference or even as a handover to new homeowners, should they appreciate your color choices.
Properly Dispose of Old Paints
Much like various other items around the house, paint has a shelf life. Each brand or formulation is unique, so it’s crucial to consult the manufacturer to find out the longevity of your specific paint.
Local regulations for disposing of paint can differ based on your location. It’s necessary to consult your local municipal guidelines to understand the proper methods for discarding your paint. You might consider visiting websites like paintcare.org to find drop-off locations, learn about potential pick-up services, and get tips for minimizing paint waste.