How to Store Your Leftover Paint

How to store your leftover paint 

Don’t throw out that leftover paint! Saving that extra half gallon of unused paint from your painting project is imperative for touch ups and color matching down the road. If you use a professional painting contractor, make sure they leave any spare paint, or you could ask to make sure there is extra left with you. When painting yourself, it is always better to slightly overestimate the amount needed than underestimate, so you do not have to run back to the paint store and so there is extra to keep around. To ensure the paint stays usable in the future, follow Ville Painters’ suggested steps for storage. 

  1. How to seal your paint  

Before sealing the paint can, it is a good idea to swatch the color on the lid so you know the contents for next time. Keeping air out of paint is imperative to keep it from drying out. Save your paint lids and make sure they sit flush to into the can top and tight. When the lids are slightly ajar, gently tap a hammer on the lid to secure it.  

  1. Make sure to label your paint  

Use some masking tape and a sharpie to label your paint. Make sure to identify the room and wall for which it was used. It is also a good idea to keep the same format for each can, for example, “ Room, trim/siding/door/wall, date bought”.  

  1. Where to store your paint 

It is best to keep paint indoors because the temperature changes will be less drastic. A basement closet or empty cabinet is great. Garages are fine but they do have more of a chance for swings in temperature, which will make the paint go bad. One thing to keep in mind if you store it in the basement or garage is that concrete floors can rust the can from moisture transmission, which will make the paint inside go bad. Keep the paint up off the ground on shelves, old books or even upside-down milk cartons.  

  1. What to do if you no longer need your paint or it has gone bad  

If you no longer need your paint, some donation centers accept paint that is still usable. But if your paint is still usable and you no longer have a need for it, paint recycling centers can be found online. Sometimes local home improvement and paint stores offer recycling services as well. If you are in Lancaster County and the paint cans are not empty, arrange a drop off at LCSWM HHW who accepts it as hazardous waste.  

When a paint color is on your walls, do not dispose of the extra and keep a can of it stored away. Having the spare paint will make it much easier later to match the color and finish of the existing walls. Even if you call professionals in, without a can to reference, it becomes almost impossible to correctly match paint for touch ups. This is why proper storage of any extra is so important! 

Ville Painters follows these steps when storing, recycling, and disposing of our unused and expired paint. As a knowledge leader in the painting industry, we share the best practices for all your painting projects. If you have questions or want to set up a free on-site consultation, please call us at 717-396-1176 or fill out our contact form.