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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Leftover Paint Storage

    You want to keep paint from decorating to touch up dings, etc. When you get out the bucket after long term storage it's such a pain to get all the settled pigment off the bottom of the can. If you don't the color may not match and the mixing can seemingly take forever.
    THE SOLUTION? STORE THE CAN UPSIDE DOWN.
    All the pigment is now on "top" when you open the can, mixing is a two minute job, and ALL the pigment is re-dispersed.
    If you have a custom color that usually has the color label on the can lid, brush a sample of the color on the side of the can or label the room it is to be used in.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    Good idea.
    Let me add: if you worry about paint spilling out, store the paint container inside a larger bucket.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    Paint can be stored in an un- heated or air conditioned place for about 6 months before the quality starts to degrade a bit.

    Instead of painting the color on the outside of the lid, paint some on the label, but also paint some on a piece of paper with the name of the color, color code and brand name along with the room or surface you painted it.

    Place that paper in a file out of direct light. You'll preserve the color better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    I disagree with storing the can upside down. Unless the lid and top of the can have been perfectly cleaned, it will likely leak. Secondly, now you've got all the solids stuck to the lid, which will create even more mess and problems.

    When painting, ALWAYS clean the rim of the can and lid each time the can is opened and used. Any paint here and the lid will be virtually impossible to seal or remove later. And the key to storing paint is to keep it in a cool, dry place away from temperature extremes or wild fluctuations. Heating and cooling cause condensation, which causes the lid to rust and weld itself to the can rim.

    Lastly, if this is an often used brand and color, write down the paint brand, base type, and the paint code on a 3x5 index card, then apply a good, even coat of paint on the end. Store this in a safe place. This will be all you'll need on your next trip to the paint store for the technician to mix up another batch AND test it against the original color. Otherwise, preserving the can label and paint code with a good sized paint chip on the lid will suffice.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    Here' an even more important "mantra" for paint storage...

    THE LESS AIR-SPACE...THE BETTER.

    Reason:
    The "enemy" of paint is AIR.
    If paint has enough airspace above it, it's gonna dry out. Doesn't matter if the can is upside-down or not!
    Take a 2-liter pop bottle and drink half of it. It'll still go flat no matter which direction is "up", because there's a lot of air volume for the carbonation to escape into now.

    I alway stress to my customers:
    Ideally, use a canning-jar! NO air can get in past the rubber-ring. That's why they're food safe!

    MORE importantly tho....
    Choose the right SIZE jar for the amt. of paint leftover. There's all kinds of canning-jar sizes out there.
    If you've got a QT. of paint leftover...choose a QT. canning jar!!
    Put in a couple CLEAN old golf-balls to take up space if ya need to!!

    >>> Follow the "Food-storage" guidelines I've outlined here, and your paint will last a LONG time...if not frozen that is!!

    Faron

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Faron View Post
    I alway stress to my customers:
    Ideally, use a canning-jar! NO air can get in past the rubber-ring. That's why they're food safe!

    MORE importantly tho....
    Choose the right SIZE jar for the amt. of paint leftover. There's all kinds of canning-jar sizes out there.
    If you've got a QT. of paint leftover...choose a QT. canning jar!!
    Put in a couple CLEAN old golf-balls to take up space if ya need to!!

    >>> Follow the "Food-storage" guidelines I've outlined here, and your paint will last a LONG time...if not frozen that is!!

    Faron
    An excellent tip! One addition I'd add, however, is to absolutely mark the container well with what the contents is, e.g., Kelly Moore, exterior latex, dark base, paint codes, paint smudge on lid for matching later.

    Another thing about the golf balls, the balls will act as agitators like in an aerosol can when it's time to use the paint again. Just gently shake the jar so as not to shatter it with the balls banging around inside. Or, you could hand it to dj1 and let him shake it up for you.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    208

    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    People should know...

    1. ONLY oil based paints form a skin on top. In latex paints, the pigments and binder settle to the bottom of the can, leaving a layer of water on top.

    2. The skin on an oil based paint takes a long time to form. If you need to use that same paint before the skin is thick enough and strong enough to support the weight of the paint, then you're just going to create a mess for yourself by turning the can over and breaking that skin.

    What people should do is:

    A) Minimize the exposure of oil based paint to air. It's the oxygen in the air that causes oil based paints to transform into a solid. In fact, oil based paints will absorb oxygen from the air as long as the paint is exposed to air. So, when using an oil based paint, pour off as much as you think you'll need, and then re-seal the can. Leaving the paint can open and exposed to air will cause it to absorb more oxygen which will cause it to form a thicker skin while in storage.

    B) Keep oil based paints in smaller containers (like quart size cans) to reduce the paint's exposure to oxygen.

    C) Buy a butane lighter refill canister:



    and fill the empty space in the can of oil based paint with butane before sealing it. By storing the oil based paint with butane in the can instead of air, you prevent the paint from absorbing oxygen and forming a thicker film during storage.

    Latex paints require no special sealing precautions before being put into storage.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-18-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  8. #8
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    A.Spruce - This point of my suggestion was to ease mixing. I've stored all kinds of paint like this for many years and had NO leaks. The solids that stick to the lid (mostly oil based paints) come off easier than they do from the bottom of the can if stored upright. One particular can of oil paint that was stored for a l-o-n-g time did have the solids adhered to the lid. This was a break actually. I pushed them off into a plastic bowl, scooped what didn't stick to the lid out of the can, added a small amount of paint to the bowl, mashed the solid chunks, and stirred the mixture to a creamy paste before returning it all to the can. All in a lot less time than it would have taken to pry them off the bottom of the can with a paint paddle and get a thorough mix.

    Nestor - Actually air is only 16% oxygen. The remainder is made up of the noble gasses; neon argon, zenon, helium, hydrogen, and krypton.
    Last edited by Gil_Forbes; 06-18-2011 at 07:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    I like the idea of using old golf balls, for easy mixing.

    However, I use mostly 5 gal paint containers. So, if I have left over paint, I clean the rim and the lid, lay a piece of 6mm plastic, place the lid and hammer it around. When I want to use it again (in 6 months or less), I take it to the paint store and they shake it for me.

    But Spruce, if you want me to shake your leftovers...it could be arranged.

  10. #10
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    Fargo, ND
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    Default Re: Leftover Paint Storage

    Thanks Nestor!!

    Yeah...I only meant it in the most general sense of..."Air is what dries-out paint". So, in a sense, Air is a paints' "Storage enemy"...

    So...if there's no "Air", paint doesn't dry out!

    Yep...Oils cure out by reacting with Oxygen.

    ....I may have started a run on canning-jars & golf-balls now?!?!?


    Faron

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