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Shelf life for latex?

Posted by wingo_43 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 6, 06 at 2:24

Here's a question for all you 'paint veterans':

How long will paint last in a sealed can? I'm in the process of repainting the exterior of my home. Had purchased a 5-gallon bucket of Duron Weathershield acrylic for this. I had used this same exact paint (and color) on my utility shed when it was built about 7 years ago. Going through my garage today, I found 2 gallons of it that had never been opened or used. So the last time this paint saw the light of day was when they finished mixing it at Home Depot 7 years ago!

I opened a can and it looked like gray jello with water on top ( I think the color is called 'Comet Gray'), but a few minutes with a cordless drill and a Hurricane mixer brought it back to life. A few test areas on my lap siding shows no problems. And the old paint color matches the new exactly. Just wondering if I would be inviting disaster mixing the old with the new.

What I've found on the internet says latex paint will last anywhere from 3 to 4 years to over 20 in a sealed can. Mine was kept on a shelf close to the water heater...but not so close to be a fire it was never exposed to freezing temps, which from what I understand is certain death for latex paint.

Your thoughts?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Shelf life for latex?

Thanks to everyone for all those enthusiastic responses!

: (

RE: Shelf life for latex?

I'm sorry you didn't get any answers, but maybe no one knows? If I were you, I'd stop at the paint desk at Home Depot and ask. I'd probably also double check their answer by calling a paint store....but that's just me. ;)

RE: Shelf life for latex?

Did you try Google?

"Does paint have a shelf life?

Yes, each paint has some type of shelf life, it can get old! There are various reasons paint can get old. Paint in a spray can is quite thin, causing settling much quicker than gallons or quarts. The shelf life on spray cans is about 1-2 years. Paint in fives, gallons and quarts, or most other containers, can expect a shelf life of 2-5 years. The older the paint, the more likely you will encounter problems."


"Q. Does interior latex paints have a shelf life?

A. All paints have a shelf life; some shorter and some longer. Waterborne paints such as household (or house) latex paints have a shelf life of six months to one year, depending on ambient temperature conditions. Once you have opened the can of paint, the shelf life may be shorter. Even though the published shelf life of the paint you intend to use may have expired, that does not automatically mean that you should discard it. If the paint appears to mix properly and does not show signs of livering, separation or anything else unusual, you should still be able to use it."


"Will aging or freezing affect latex paint?

Most latex paints can be stored for at least two years without the risk of deterioration, however, exposure to extremes of heat or cold may shorten the paints' "shelf-life" dramatically. Severe, prolonged or repeated exposure to freezing temperatures may cause the paint to separate in the can; however, after a thorough stirring, the paint may be applied with confidence."

RE: Shelf life for latex?

thanks for posting this clg.

We just had a minor fiasco here. One that sent me off the deep end after 15 months of remodeling. I lost it. The electrician had to cut a hole the size of Texas (okay, so it's ony 3" X 6") to get at a stud, to drill a hole, to run a wire that was on the wrong side of the stud, to get the sconces in our master bathroom installed.

No big deal right? EXCEPT, that the room was primed and painted. beautifully. With Donald Kauffman no less. And I used the entire gallon to paint the walls and the clawfoot tub, so none left to touch up. Did I mention that DKC eggshell is only sold in gallons, not quarts? So yeah, a whole new gallon of paint, which probably won't match at touch up time. Which means I'll have to repaint the whole wall (just the one wall if I'm lucky). Okay, I feel better.

The point is I've decided to use what will be an enormous amount of excess, incredibly expensive, DKC paint to paint the guest room. But I won't be doing that for several months. Now I know how long I can wait.

Thanks again,

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