How to Store Paint so you can use it again

Well, you finally have done it: you rolled up your sleeves, laid down some plastic, and finished that interior painting project you’ve been thinking about for weeks. Or maybe you took advantage of the first warm weeks of Spring to do some exterior painting touch-ups around the garage. Or you hired The Urban Painter to take care of everything for you. Either way, everything is getting back together, and is being cleaned up. Next, is to figure out how to store your leftover paint. Luckily, we have some painting tips to make sure your paint storage and paint disposal is done properly, ensuring that perfect colour match that you spent hours getting juuuuuust right lasts for a long time.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have all the paint back in the proper container. Pour any that remains in roller trays or cut cans back into the original can or pail (there are different paint can sizes, anywhere from a small quart to a five-gallon pail). If you estimated the perfect amount and you’ve got no unopened cans, great job! If, however, you have a lot of extra, it’s best to store them without opening them first.

After pouring any amount into or out of a can, you’ll want to clean the well (the small indentation around the top where the lid sits inside). If paint builds up here, it’s difficult to get a good airtight seal, and – as any professional painters will tell you – that seal is the key to proper storage. If you’re wondering to yourself, “How long is paint good for?”, it all depends on how tightly you can get the paint resealed back into the can or bucket.

Another good trick is to label the lid with the date, area where it was used, and what the paint was used for (example: “April 2019/ Living Room, baseboards + window trim”). Also make sure that the original label from the paint store is visible – this has information like the exact formula, product type, contact details, and more. By doing this, you and any potential future owners of the house have a good reference, even if all the cans end up piled underneath the stairs later on.

This perfectly leads in to the next point: where should you store paint? Well, it should go without saying, in a climate like we have in Calgary, anywhere outside is a no-no – one sub-zero day will turn all those half-full paint cans into expensive bricks. Avoid porches, garages, cold rooms, and unheated cellars, for the same reason. Paint stored at room temperature, such as in utility rooms or storage areas, is our recommendation, and previously opened cans that are properly sealed in a warm, dry environment last for several years, with unopened cans lasting a decade or more. How’s that for value?

Now, if you don’t know how to paint a house – or if you do know, but you’d rather hire a painting company to do it while you relax on the couch – then luckily for you, you’re visiting one of the most recognized paint service businesses in Calgary, The Urban Painter. Whether you need to hire a painter for just a couple hours to get that tough spot over the bay window, or you’ve got a multi-storey condo building that needs a full interior makeover, our painters have done it all. Call the paint company that can get it done – at The Urban Painter, we’re always creating colourful communities, inside and out!

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