how to store paint

How to Store Paint Like a Professional: Tips for Long-Lasting Quality

Painting a space in your home can be an exciting and transformative experience, but let’s face it, it can be hard to know what to do with leftover paint. You don’t want to just throw it away, but you may be unsure of how to store paint properly so it remains in good condition if you ever need it again for touch-ups or other projects. Read on to learn the importance of proper paint storage and what the best temperature for storing paint is. We’re also sharing tips on what materials and supplies you need to store paint, how to keep paint organized, how to check for quality, and how to reuse paint. 


Why Proper Paint Storage Matters

Proper paint storage is vital for ensuring it retains its quality for years to come. This prevents waste, as paint is not an eco-friendly material that should just be tossed in the garbage. Plus, by storing paint properly, you can save money in the long run. Paint that is stored properly can be used in the future for touch-ups or smaller projects, so you don’t have to purchase a whole new container at the paint store. 

How To Store Paint Like a Pro

If you’re ready to store paint like a pro, read on for the step-by-step guide to storing paint properly and maintaining its quality. 

#1: Gather Your Supplies

The first step in storing paint is to gather the necessary supplies for storing. Our Oak City Coatings team recommends keeping these materials on hand for paint storage: 

  • Paint cans or containers that are in clean, good condition. 
  • Brushes and stirrers for mixing and applying paint. 
  • Labels and markers for clearly labeling paint containers. 
  • Plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal paint cans tightly. 
  • A clean, dry storage area suitable for paint storage. 

#2: Prepare Paint For Storage

Next, you need to prepare your paint for storage. A key step is to clean the lid and rim of paint cans to prevent rust. If rust is present, it can fall into your paint, causing specks or streaks. 

Then, seal the paint can with a durable plastic wrap or aluminum foil to create an airtight seal. Make sure no air can enter the can or escape. Excess air can dry out your paint or cause it to have a “skimmed” surface. 


#3: Label and Organize Paint

After your paint is properly sealed, it’s important to clearly label the paint containers. It can be so frustrating when you need to find a certain paint color for a touch-up, but you have no idea which paint it is. To prevent this from happening, write the paint color, brand, date opened, and the room or project it was used for on the paint container. 

This will help you easily find the right paint and prevent you from using the wrong color on a touch-up job. Plus, if you need to buy more down the road, you’ll have the exact color and brand to look for. We recommend organizing your paint containers by room or project to make it easier to find what you need. 

#4: Choose The Right Storage Location

One of the most common questions many DIY painters have is, what temperature should you store paint and where should you store it? It’s a valid question, because choosing the right storage location for paint is one of the most important parts of this process. 

It is best to store paint in a relatively climate-controlled environment that is cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. A dry space in the garage, under the house, or in an interior closet works best. This prevents excess moisture from getting in the paint, which can cause the paint can to rust. 

Extreme temperatures can also impact the quality of the paint. Heat effects paint much less than cold. When paint freezes at 32 degrees F, it likely will never go back to its original state or quality. The ideal paint storage location is a dry area with a temperature above freezing. If you can store paint in these conditions, paint can last 10+ years and still be high quality. As always, store paint away from children and pets as well. 


#5: Storing Brushes and Rollers

Paint storage isn’t just about the paint itself. You also need to be diligent about your brushes and rollers. Make sure you properly clean and store your brushes and rollers to extend their life and keep them in good shape for future uses. Depending on the type of paint used, the process for cleaning looks slightly different. You can learn more about how to clean a paint brush with various types of paint in this blog post. 


#6: Maintaining Temperature and Humidity

As we mentioned above, temperature, humidity, and moisture can greatly impact the quality and usability of paint. If paint gets below the 32 degree F freezing mark or above the 95-degree F mark, its quality is significantly impacted and it can be completely ruined. 

Most paints are applied between 45 – 85 degrees F and the ideal storage temperature is 50-75 degrees F. You may want to consider using temperature control methods like heating or cooling if needed to maintain the ideal temperature for storing paint. 

#7: Checking Paint Over Time

It is always a good idea to check your paint quality over time. You don’t want to get 10 years down the road and desperately need to use the paint for a chip on the wall, only to find that it’s not usable. Inspect paint periodically for signs of deterioration, like paint separation or a foul odor. 

If you open a paint can and it smells like rotten eggs or is chunky like cottage cheese or fully hardened when you stir it, it’s time to safely discard it. If it stirs up just like regular paint, you’re good to reuse it!


#8: Tips For Reusing Stored Paint

If you follow these paint storage steps, your paint should be able to be reused for other projects. When you’re ready to reuse your stored paint, follow these tips to ensure you get the best application, coverage, and results!


Open the can and stir it up with a stirrer to fully mix it before use. This prevents streaks or uneven application when you apply it to your brush or roller. 

  • Make sure you wear gloves and ensure you are in a well-ventilated area before stirring and applying. 


We hope these tips for how to store paint like a pro are helpful and give you more confidence as a DIYer! By properly storing paint with the right supplies and temperature, you can save money, reduce waste, and be prepared with high-quality paint for a touch-up or new project when creativity strikes! 


If you have a home paint project in the Raleigh area that you’d like help bringing to life, we’d love to partner with you! Visit our contact page to book a free consultation call with our team. While you’re there, feel free to browse our blog, as we share a ton of DIY tips and painting knowledge!how

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