How to Store and Use Up Leftover Paint

Whether it’s a DIY job or you’ve hired a contractor, chances are anyone that has ever undertaken a painting project will have some spare tins of paint lying around. If these tins have been lying around for a while they’ve probably become a bit of nuisance, or, if you’ve just finished the job you might be wondering how you can make the most out of your investment.

What people don’t realise is that paint can’t simply be thrown into the corner of a garage or stacked on the shelf in your shed. Paint is made up of a special mixture of chemicals, and changes in temperature can disturb the delicate mix of these chemicals, rendering your paint useless.

Good paint isn’t cheap and everyone knows that a paintjob is always in need of a touch up. So, why not keep your leftover paint in prime condition so you can reuse it?

How to Store Your Leftover Paint

The first thing you need to do when storing your paint is ensure you protect it form extreme temperature changes. If it gets too hot or too cold, your paint can even become hazardous. If it gets too cold, the paint will curdle and you won’t be able to blend it again. If it gets too hot, the paint will dry and you’ll be left with a big block of rubbery goop.

Find the Perfect Spot

Paint needs to be stored somewhere that stays cool and dry the entire time. The back corner of an enclosed garage is perfect for this. Even when the door is open, the temperature won’t change to drastically and it will be protected from any rain and moisture at the same time. You should also keep your paint tins off the floor, without putting them too high. A milk crate is the perfect way to keep your paint tins cool, high and dry while in storage.

If you don’t have a garage or a shed you can always store your paint in a cupboard. Just like in a garage, you need to find a section of your cupboard that is cool and won’t ever get damp. It’s best to avoid putting your paint in higher parts of your cupboard, moisture tends to gather in higher places and your paint tin lid will quickly get rusty.

Keep the Air Out

Preventing rust from building up on your paint tin lid is important because it helps in preventing air from affecting your paint. Just like with a jar of preserves, keeping the air out makes the good stuff inside last longer.

The best way to keep your paint tin airtight is to look after your lid. That means cleaning any excess paint off the lid and tin before you seal it and using a rubber object to seal it rather than bashing it with your steel hammer.

Put it To Good Use

Paint that has been in storage is a little bit delicate. You need to know how to treat it in order to get the best out of it.

Firstly, never shake the tin. You need to check the condition of the paint before you try to mix it. If there’s a skin on top of the paint you need to remove this before you do anything. If it’s full of little hard bits you’ll need to put it through a strainer before you can use it. If you shake before you look, you’ll just make everything more difficult for yourself.

Once you’ve mixed the paint to perfection you can use it for whatever you like. Do a bit of a touch-up, make a dollhouse for your daughter, paint a basketball backboard for the kids or make something special for yourself.

If you look after your paint, the possibilities are endless.