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6 Tips for Storing Your Leftover Paint

Storing your paint the right way will help keep it in good condition for later.

When you’re done with a painting project, there’s always a little paint leftover that you’ll probably want for touchups or to use another day. It’s important to make sure you store it right so when you open it back up or decide to recycle it, it is still useable. When it comes to storing your paint, try to find a dry, cool, dark place. Here are some other tips that can help make sure your paint is stored right.

  1. Use a Paint Key

When opening your paint can, don’t use a screwdriver (we’ve all done that). Instead, use a paint key. It’s the right tool for the job. Paint keys make it easier to open the can without bending or damaging the lid. This will make it easier for you to put the lid back on tight when you close it up at the end of your project.

  1. Keep the Rim Clean

Avoid wiping the edge of your brush on the rim of the paint can. Instead, try strapping a rubber band around the top of the paint can and using that to wipe off your brush. This will help prevent your can’s rim from accumulating paint, also making it easier to seal the can when you’re done.

  1. Closing it Up

When closing up your paint can, cover the opening of the can with a piece of plastic wrap before you put on the lid. The plastic wrap will act as a gasket, creating a tighter seal to keep out air and keep your paint fresher longer.

  1. Keep From Freezing


Paint can freeze at about the same temperature as water, so always remember to store it in a cool — but not too cold location. One freeze may not make a difference, but the more paint freezes and thaws, the more likely it will be spoiled. If you are able to stir the paint into a smooth consistency, it should still be good. If it stays lumpy, it’s spoiled.

  1. Avoid Rusty Cans


Rust falling into your paint is a sure way to make it unusable. When paint containers get wet, they will rust and the labels fall off easily. Rusty cans and lids can make a mess and fall apart when you handle them, so it is important to keep your cans out of the rain or damp locations – keep your paint containers dry.

  1. Make a Color Note

Keep notes on the can to make it easier to find what you need. Put a dot of the paint on the lid and on the side of the can before you store it away and use a marker to note where you bought the paint, the date, and where it was used.

Even if you think you will get rid of your leftovers, following these tips will help keep your paint in good condition so someone else can use it or recycle it. If you decide you want to cut down on clutter, try taking your leftover paint to the nearest PaintCare location. We’ll make sure it gets recycled or reused!

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