Where do you store paint?

mommabirdOctober 30, 2012

I am painting my house inside and out. I finished the exterior Sunday after 7 months of working around work and running my kids to their activities. I'm done with 3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, 1 bathroom & kitchen indoors. I have the first coat on the breezeway. After that I have 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom to paint.

All of this paintings leaves me with many, many 1/2 full cans if paint. I have a detached garage, so I don't think I can store them in the garage because they would freeze (most are water based latex paint, the primers are oil based).

I could store them in the furnace room in the basement, the "catch all" room in the basement, or the closet in the little-used 2nd floor bathroom. What do you think? Where do you store your left over paint?

I want to keep these paint cans for later touch ups, or other projects in the future.

Thanks for your ideas!

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Ours are in the attached, unheated garage.
I would NOT keep paint in a furnace room.

Lowe's sells empty quart cans... transferring your leftovers to smaller cans will save space.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Right now mine is in the unused guest bathtub-- only because I intend to do a little more painting before storing in a more out of the way location. I am impressed with how much you have painted, I burn out so quickly when it comes to painting...

Anyway, we have a corner sink in the kitchen and it is a deep, hard to use cabinet, so in the past I've stored the smaller portions of paint in the back of that cabinet. Sometimes the various containers have been inside cat litter buckets (in the same cabinet) which allows for more containers in the same space. One thing I discovered by accident a few years ago was that smaller amounts of latex paint store very well in canning jars. My experience has been that the plastic-y coating on the underside of the canning lids adheres to the glass and forms a pretty nice seal that is easy to remove and easy to replace. A case of quart jars is not very expensive, though it would depend on how much leftover paint you end up with. If it's more than half a can, I'd probably just keep it in the original can, if it's in good shape.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Great ideas! I have tons of qt jars. I used to be an avid Gardner and canner. I didn't have a garden this year due to the drought. I have at least a dozen cases if jars, lids and rings. I will transfer the cans that have less than a qt to those.

I also love the idea to store the jars in cat litter buckets. I was just joking with a friend yesterday that I have so many square cat litter buckets in the garage, used as storage containers, you'd think my garage is a warehouse for a cat litter disteibutor if you just glanced.

And this solves the mystery of what to do with that deep inaccessible bottom cabinet in the kitchen corner beside my dishwasher! I just poster about that last week.

What synchronisity that you two were able to point out things I already have on hand but hadn't thought of using. Muchas gracias!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Also, make sure that you save an extra copy of the "formula" sticker of each paint stuck to the color card that shows the paint. Write directly on the color swatch which rooms or what part of the room is that color. Date them too. Then, punch a hole in these and put them through a shower curtain ring or an opening key ring. Store all of them together.

I've decided that old paint isn't worth keeping beyond a quart or even less. At some level, paint cans multiply and it becomes overwhelming. I'm in the process of throwing mine away and storing only a small amount. We almost never retouch paint, just repaint. Garages so easily become cluttered, and dirty/buggy too.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 3:58PM
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I don't have a suggestion just an observation--you are amazing to have tackled those painting projects--and other projects! You are doing very well in your new unattached life.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 6:56PM
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Our painter mixed several leftovers he had and painted our (former) front door the most perfect deep cranberry/maroon-ish door. Sure wish I could replicate it. It was perfect! Then, I found the perfect berry wreath at Christmas Tree Shop. It still hangs on that door.

He also told us that paint will keep for several years, as long as it is sealed well and doesn't freeze.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:53AM
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The newer no-VOC paints dry up in the can faster than old paint.

It helps to write on the can which room you used that paint in. You think you are going to remember, but the first time you use two different greens in your house and then have to touch one up, you will be glad you marked the cans.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:44AM
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"It helps to write on the can which room you used that paint in."

I date mine too.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I have also learned, believe it or not, that you store it upside down. It prevents any air from coming in thru what should be a sealed top.

If you browse the hardware/paint stores, you'll even find some are printing their labels upside down, because that's how they recommend storing it!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I keep unused paint in the original can in a closet away from heat and light. I read of a woman who stored paint on a shelf over her gas clothes dryer. One day a can tipped over on her and ignited.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:32AM
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I had no idea that paint could freeze, and I store mine in the garage. We don't have frost where I live, however, and the garage stays somewhat warmer than the outside in the winter. I was always warned that paint was very flammable, however, although that doesn't make sense if the paint it water based.

I agree that it is necessary to write room names on the paint - it saves a lot of time.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:49AM
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I agree with CEFreeman - wherever you store it, store it upside down!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:28PM
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I store it in one or more heavy zip-lock baggies so I can get all the air out, labelled with the room or rooms it's used in, and then in a lidded plastic bucket (detergent bucket) in the garage (doesn't freeze here).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:07AM
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