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astrodave 01-26-2013 06:50 PM

Storage of Old Paint
 
Please Help! :(
Our garage is home to an abundance of old paint. We kept some paint from each of our many projects, but over the 20+ years in this house we have accumulated quite an abundance and variety - with the purpose being to give us a supply for touch-up whenever needed. We have marked each of the cans by year and by room, but many of the gallon cans don't have much paint in them and end up being too dried out to use when a touch-up need is identified. And frankly, we haven't needed to do touch-up all that often.

My wife is of the opinion that we should buy some empty half-pint paint cans, and fill each with leftover paint when we finish a job. That way, there is little air in the can (which I would hope would reduce the drying out and solidifying), and the collectively the cans will take up a much less storage space.
We both wonder if even this is necessary. Maybe we should just keep the information printed on the can (the formula for the particular tint, the type of paint, the place purchased, and the date - usually on a sticker) in a computer file. Maybe this could be accompanied by a swatch of the paint cut from the end of the paint stick (and kept in a file drawer, rather than a computer file).

Could I get DIYers reaction to these ideas, along with other, hopefully successful ideas you have tried?

Thanks,

Astrodave - now painting my umpteenth project.

Brushjockey 01-26-2013 07:25 PM

Because of changes in regulations, many paints don't last as long as they used to.
And formulations also change- making touch up very difficult with a new paint.
I would keep a record of the paints
Also you could lay some saran wrap or similar on the top of the paint- basically lowering the lid.

dougp23 01-26-2013 07:35 PM

I like Brushjockey's idea with the saran wrap.

Don't think that five years from now you can go and get that same paint at the big box store and have it fit in perfectly!! Paint formulas change, they even switch brands. I'd be more comfortable keeping the old paint around and trying to keep it from solidifying.

astrodave 01-27-2013 12:48 AM

Thanks, Brushjockey and dougp23 -

I like the saran wrap idea also, and I am less dubious about it working than some might be. We ran a Mom&Pop apartment rental business for most of three decades, and had to paint each unit about every other year. Keeping roller skins wet with paint overnight inside of plastic grocery bags worked extremely well, and even worked for longer periods when we couldn't immediately get back to finish the paint job.
During most of our DIY jobs at home, we've remained loyal to Sherwin Williams, and thus many of our paint formulae are kept in their computerized records. Long ago, we had an episode in which a paint mix recipe was lost from those records, but that hasn't happened in the last 20 years - in any case, it's a better situation than if we always dealt with the big box stores.
Still, we'd like to keep some touch-up paint when possible, and a small can should usually be sufficient. Perhaps we can combine my wife's idea of keeping only tiny containers with your suggestion of saran wrap on the paint surface. Reducing the can size from gallons to 1/2 pints will also reduce years of clutter.:thumbsup:

jsheridan 01-27-2013 05:58 AM

I would keep quart cans rather than half pints, which isn't a sufficient quantity of touch up. You can get clean quart cans at the paint store.

jeffnc 01-27-2013 06:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by astrodave (Post 1102676)
My wife is of the opinion that we should buy some empty half-pint paint cans, and fill each with leftover paint when we finish a job. That way, there is little air in the can (which I would hope would reduce the drying out and solidifying), and the collectively the cans will take up a much less storage space.

You are right on track. Just write the formula right on the can, or use a labeler if you want to get fancy.

oh'mike 01-27-2013 07:53 AM

My mother used to write the paint information on the back of a light switch cover in each room--

I wish I was that organized-----



As to saving partial cans of old paint-----forget it---leave the cans open to dry out and toss them---

Touching up paint that is more than a year old is almost impossible to get a satisfactory result.
I seldom get proper results touching up paint I did yesterday---and almost always roll the entire wall----

jsheridan 01-27-2013 08:15 AM

Forget the formula, even if it is on a label, not all do. Formulas change, tint systems change, the possibility of transposing numbers or abbreviations, etc. If a tint system changes the old colors, if not scrapped completely, are reformulated with the new tints and the old formula becomes worthless. Also, the formula for a color in Regal Flat might vary from that of Regal Matte. The only time I would deal with a formula is if a color is a custom match without an assigned name, and even then I prefer to take the lid to the store. If all you have is a formula, either keep the lid or find a way to reproduce the exact label and affix to the can, don't write it out. Plus, one paint company formula is Chinese to another, where the name and color number might already be on their file for a match. Color name and number are the gospel.
Label your can with;
Manufacturer name; Ben Moore
Product line name and number; Regal Flat #235-2
Brand of color, name, and number; BM Weeping Willow 2150-20
Place of purchase
Date of purchase or general time of usage, usually one in the same

And write it with a sharpie, pen and pencil fade faster. I usually write it right on the can itself or on a masking tape label.

ToolSeeker 01-27-2013 05:03 PM

I guess I'm lucky when it comes to matching paint I have to give credit my local box store is excellent. If I can take in a piece about the size of a quarter they can match it. I just did it for a patch on a wall. The paint was 17 years old and they matched it perfect. I have even done it for ceilings whice are almost impossible to match. The sad part is my local BM dealer can't hardly match his socks and the SW dealer is not much better.

Nailbags 01-30-2013 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by astrodave (Post 1102676)
Please Help! :(
Our garage is home to an abundance of old paint. We kept some paint from each of our many projects, but over the 20+ years in this house we have accumulated quite an abundance and variety - with the purpose being to give us a supply for touch-up whenever needed. We have marked each of the cans by year and by room, but many of the gallon cans don't have much paint in them and end up being too dried out to use when a touch-up need is identified. And frankly, we haven't needed to do touch-up all that often.

My wife is of the opinion that we should buy some empty half-pint paint cans, and fill each with leftover paint when we finish a job. That way, there is little air in the can (which I would hope would reduce the drying out and solidifying), and the collectively the cans will take up a much less storage space.
We both wonder if even this is necessary. Maybe we should just keep the information printed on the can (the formula for the particular tint, the type of paint, the place purchased, and the date - usually on a sticker) in a computer file. Maybe this could be accompanied by a swatch of the paint cut from the end of the paint stick (and kept in a file drawer, rather than a computer file).

Could I get DIYers reaction to these ideas, along with other, hopefully successful ideas you have tried?

Thanks,

Astrodave - now painting my umpteenth project.

well I for one would do something that is green for the environment and will help out people as well. I take my old latex paint to the habitat for humanity and donate it to them they in turn can use it and save money.


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