Storing extra latex paint

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 12-12-2011 05:30 PM 2937 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 3499 days

12-12-2011 05:30 PM

Not sure that this is the proper place to ask this question, but I found surprisingly little info when Googling the topic. This past weekend, I bought some paint to touch up some spots on my house. Since I had to have the paint custom mixed to match my color, the smallest qty the store would sell is a gallon but the whole job ended up using only about half a quart.

Since the gallon of paint cost $46, I’d like to save it to use in subsequent years when I do my annual touch ups, but I couldn’t really find much info on how to store paint properly. Any suggestions?

11 replies so far

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3132 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 06:17 PM

Upside down, in a cool place where it can’t freeze, and where it won’t hurt anything if a can leaks a little. Full cans keep better. Heat accelerates deterioration, so try not to store it in direct sunlight, in a hot attic/garage, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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434 posts in 3499 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 09:55 PM

Upside down as in with the lid of the can on the bottom? Sorry, but I’ve just gotta ask what that does for you! Is it ok to store it in the metal cans it comes in or do you need a more airtight container?

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3183 days

#3 posted 12-13-2011 12:05 AM

store it upside down and it makes a seal on the lid. Air could travel in and out and the can would “breath”. The paint would seal the lid. Oxygen causes the paint to cure or deteriorate in the can. remove the oxygen to store it. There are products out that you spray into the top of the can and it pushes the oxygen upward and out of the can. it is heavier than the oxygen. I have read that you can mix vinegar and baking soda, stir it and it produces a gas. the gas is heavy enough to stay in a pitcher but you can carefully pour the heavy gas out of the pitcher and into the paint can. care is needed to not pour the liquid into the can. I am not a chemist so I can only tell you I saw this in a magazine years ago but have not tried this. The other product was Bloxigen. It was in an aerosol can. Spray the gas into the top of the paint can and it removed the oxygen and prevented ruining the paint. Need someone with more knowledge and education in this area. Put the paint into a container that it would completely fill and it would do the same thing. fill it and seal it.

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1381 posts in 4635 days

#4 posted 12-13-2011 01:11 AM

I store excess latex paint in recycled glass jars. Be sure the paint is well mixed before you dispense it and fill the jars to the top to eliminate any significant air space. Use several size jars, small ones for touch-ups and larger ones for major reapplications. Label and date the jars accurately, and store the paint in a cool environment out of contact with sunlight. I have successfully stored pint like this for up to five years. If you need a lot of jars, put the word out to family and friends for recycled containers.

Note: For a craft class that I taught, we bought paint by the gallon and dispensed it in to recycled baby food jars.

Caution: Dried paint will fad and mellow with time, so don’t expect a touch-up to always perfectly match. Sometimes you will need to prep the old finish and refresh the entire top coat.

Bro. Tenzin

-- 温故知新

View BobAtl's profile


49 posts in 3201 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 02:08 AM

I’ve had success with stretching a sheet of plastic wrap from the kitchen over the can before placing the lid on it. It provides a gasket of sorts to prevent air exchange, which occurs if you just replace the lid on the can.

-- Bob, Atlanta

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 12-13-2011 02:19 AM

Store it in a closet inside the house for good temperature control.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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17960 posts in 3514 days

#7 posted 12-13-2011 02:20 AM

well i learned somethin today … i guess its safe to say that there are no stupid questions Vrtigo ;)

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 3547 days

#8 posted 12-13-2011 03:52 AM

If you have a Mig welder you can fill the empty space in the can yith your welding gas and store it upside down.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3499 days

#9 posted 12-13-2011 04:16 AM

grandpa, I guess that does make sense about creating a seal, but i’d be worried if there’s enough of a gap to let air in then it could also let paint out!

hobomonk, that’s a good idea and reminded me that I have a whole slew of glass jars that I’ve been saving from the kitchen to store screws and stuff in. I think i’ll use some of those jars to store the paint.

oluf, i started reading your comment and expected it to end with “you can weld the can shut and make sure it is airtight”!

I did read some stuff online about getting the oxygen out of the can. One site suggested holding a deep breath and then exhaling into the can, not sure if that would work but I guess they were on the right track. Thanks for all the suggestions.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3576 days

#10 posted 12-13-2011 04:40 AM

The most important thing is to have clean grooves where the lid fits onto the can. Hopefully, you used some kind of pour spout or one of those snap on lips to pour your paint. When you’re finished, clean the grooves and tap the lid tightly into place.

This summer, I had to touch up some of the trim on my house 10 years after it was painted. My paint is stored on a shelf in the garage and sees temperature ranges from the mid-40’s to over 90. When I opened the can, the paint had separated, but a couple of minutes with a drill mounted mixer had it as good as new.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3183 days

#11 posted 12-13-2011 05:45 AM

Vrtigo I didn’t say I store my paint that way, you asked why it was suggested. LOL Actually air is much thinner than paint. It paint gets that thing it becomes difficult to keep it on the brush don’t you think? Air will or can transfer through the lid to can seal. Paint probably won’t. I always worry about something going wrong and the paint getting too warm and expanding then it could push the lid off the can (stored upside down). I know it could ruin your paint in that case but it would be a mess to clean up.

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