DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've got a bunch of different paint from interior & exterior projects. They are usually 1 gallon cans with a quart or 1/2 gallon of paint. What's the best way to store them to keep the paint fresh so I can use it in months / years? later to touch up things?

I've been putting them into the clear plastic round containers we might get for take out soup, etc. Trying to minimze the amount of air that's in the container - using different size containers depending on how much paint there is.

For 1 smaller amount of paint, I put it in a ziplock freezer bag and squeezed out the air. Went to use it today and it was pretty hard.

do zip locks usually work? the clear soup containters with snap on lids?

Something else?

Oh, have you ever heard of this? 2 year old paint can - enough paint that I left it in the can. The can had 2 rust holes through it?! Went to mix / shake it and saw the paint / liquid coming out! Never had that issue before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
Well, I dont do this, but they make a produce called Bloxygen, that is a gas, you can spray in the can before putting the lid on. Some people have suggested holding your breath and exhaling into the can before capping it. Glass jas will probably work the best if its a very small amount of paint. Or, you can buy empty quart and gallon cans from a paint store. pour your paint in a new can carefully, and dont get any on the lid, and it should be good to go for years if stored correctly. Some people suggest storing the cans upside down as well...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ah! Glass jars! I've been using those for carpenter bee traps. But yeah, better than plastic soup containers!
 

·
Usually Confused
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
I'd vote for the smaller cans from a paint store. The less air in the can the better. The people we bought this place from left us heels of paint in plastic tubs - didn't last. The only can I've ever had rust through was a Zinsser's product but I can't remember which one.
 

·
JUSTA MEMBER
Joined
·
15,790 Posts
Years ago, I got access to many small glass jars, that originally held, toddler food.

Used many to hold less than a pint of old paint in them.

I do not know if Baby food still comes in glass jars, but I would guess that one could use clean pickle, jam, syrup, and the list goes on, jars / bottles.

That one that you had rust, must have gotten a lot of water dripping on it, over the last few years.

ED
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
Put the lid on tight, store the can upside down. If a thick film forms it will be on the bottom when you open the can.

The problem with putting the paint in another container ... you lose all the label information about brand, color, sheen etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,226 Posts
Smaller paint cans (available at big box stores) help. You can also put a layer of food wrap across the top before you seal up the can.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,093 Posts
As an admitted "hoarder of old paint" I simply keep them in the original containers. Keep them in a cool, dark place so sunlight and/or heat doesn't affect them. I have some cans of paint that are well over 20 years old. If I have a need to use paint that old, I simply pour it out through a strainer into another empty (clean) paint can, add a little Floetrol, mix well, and it's ready to go! It doesn't always work as some cans are more prone to rusty lids/lips and that can be problematic.

Also, if I do get a bunch of paint that I know I'll never use again, I pour the gallons into a five gallon bucket. Just be sure to mix similar sheens/colors so you don't end up with something funky. That mixed up leftover paint comes in handy if you're painting basement walls or some dingy shed or really any paint job where great paint is not needed to get the job done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Bloxygen being argon (I think) and gases such as CO2 from exhaling into a can only work with finishes which cure through oxidation which would include paints containing drying oils. They won’t work with WB acrylics, lacquers, and most waterborne finishes except for maybe hybrid emulsion paints.

I just use a couple of layers of stretch wrap stretched tightly around the lids where meeting the can to inhibit evaporation with waterborne paints which works great.


Edit:
Figured I’d add one benefit which Bloxygen & CO2 could provide when used in WB paint cans is displacing oxygen which would inhibit odor causing aerobes from growing in the cans or on top of the paint including mold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,455 Posts
Do NOT put the paint in a plastic container, as I once did. 😁 :rolleyes:

I put about a pint of oil-based paint in a large yogurt container. Sealed it nice and tight with duct tap too and set it on a shelf in the garage.

After about 6 months I went to use the paint and the container had warped and shriveled up. It was OK, but I think if I had waited another few months, the container would have exploded or melted, and made one heck of a mess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,226 Posts
OK, but you don't have to generalize that to "don't put any paint in any plastic container". :) Sherwin Williams was actually selling their (acrylic) paint in plastic containers for awhile. Obviously some plastics can handle oil based products just fine. I mean, paint solvents come in plastic containers, after all.
 

·
JUSTA MEMBER
Joined
·
15,790 Posts
And I use small plastic containers, Cottage cheese, sour cream, and similar, as temporary holders for small touch up jobs.

Then dispose of the container, and get another , next time.

ED
 

·
Usually Confused
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
The problem with putting the paint in another container ... you lose all the label information about brand, color, sheen etc.
I created an Excel table with info like colour name, code, base code, etc. Besides, my paint store keeps a record of everything they mix for their customers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,133 Posts
I make something called "drift cards". I take a sample material (piece of file folder etc.), prime it, paint it with plenty of coats (so it's nice and opaque and not influenced by primer color)... let it dry for a year somewhere dark, then into a Ziploc bag and into the file. Next time I need a match, take it it to the paint store.

I don't attempt to save old latex paint because too often it has gone moldy/mildewey. Thank Los Angeles; the SCAQMD has forced paint makers to remove virtually all VOCs (chemical paint thinners) so there's nothing left in the can that's toxic (to mold).

They could make a separate family of paints just for L.A. but most just bring their national-market paints into L.A. compliance.

Ask anyone who's accidentally painted with moldy paint, it is a horrible nightmare. You try to paint over it to "seal-coat it", that doesn't work. You try 10 different things, eventually you must just strip the paint off and start over. Days of work.



Anyway with alkyds ("oil"), I just move them to smaller cans, being careful to label. With alkyds if the can isn't nearly full, the air trapped in the can will make the paint get a skin. I buy smaller cans in 24 quantity.

With 2-part paints (LPU and epoxy) I just leave them in the original cans: first for safety/MSDS labeling reasons (they are toxic and first responders need that label), and second because they don't have a problem skinning over. They react with each other, not air.


OK, but you don't have to generalize that to "don't put any paint in any plastic container". :)
You sure can't. The manufacturer has engineered it to work with a particular paint in a particular breed of plastic. As Joe Consumer I couldn't know what to buy. Heck if it wasn't for recycling marks, I wouldn't even know which breed of plastic a thing is, and that only works for 5 of them (#1 and #2 are effectively the same plastic for these purposes).

Sherwin Williams was actually selling their (acrylic) paint in plastic containers for awhile. Obviously some plastics can handle oil based products just fine. I mean, paint solvents come in plastic containers, after all.
I've never seen an alkyd paint in a plastic container. Never. I have seen "waterborne alkyds" which claim to be oil-based but water-borne; I'll grant you that is a thing, but I thoght you needed very special gear to assure agitation.

I created an Excel table with info like colour name, code, base code, etc. Besides, my paint store keeps a record of everything they mix for their customers.
That's useful for a few years. But if you try going back 15 years later, they won't be able to find "Mellow Peacock" or "K1411" in their book (typical whimsical color name). The sticker on your old paint can is readable, but 2 of those pigments were discontinued. (read: the new pigment liquid has less pigment potency than the obsoleted one, which had too much VOC, thanks L.A.)

If you call around enough, you'll find a shop that kept their old chip cards/books, and they'll just stick their chip on the Xrite machine and create a new formula using modern pigments.

All pigments from prior to the 1980s were lost because they relied on mineral pigments (lead chromate, fun stuff).

"Why do we bother" ...
 

·
Usually Confused
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
I make something called "drift cards". I take a sample material (piece of file folder etc.), prime it, paint it with plenty of coats (so it's nice and opaque and not influenced by primer color)... let it dry for a year somewhere dark, then into a Ziploc bag and into the file. Next time I need a match, take it it to the paint store.

I don't attempt to save old latex paint because too often it has gone moldy/mildewey. Thank Los Angeles; the SCAQMD has forced paint makers to remove virtually all VOCs (chemical paint thinners) so there's nothing left in the can that's toxic (to mold).

They could make a separate family of paints just for L.A. but most just bring their national-market paints into L.A. compliance.





You sure can't. The manufacturer has engineered it to work with a particular paint in a particular breed of plastic. As Joe Consumer I couldn't know what to buy. Heck if it wasn't for recycling marks, I wouldn't even know which breed of plastic a thing is, and that only works for 5 of them (#1 and #2 are effectively the same plastic for these purposes).



I've never seen an alkyd paint in a plastic container. Never. I have seen "waterborne alkyds" which claim to be oil-based but water-borne; I'll grant you that is a thing, but I thoght you needed very special gear to assure agitation.



That's useful for a few years. But if you try going back 15 years later, they won't be able to find "Mellow Peacock" or "K1411" in their book (typical whimsical color name). The sticker on your old paint can is readable, but 2 of those pigments were discontinued. (read: the new pigment liquid has less pigment potency than the obsoleted one, which had too much VOC, thanks L.A.)

If you call around enough, you'll find a shop that kept their old chip cards/books, and they'll just stick their chip on the Xrite machine and create a new formula using modern pigments.

All pigments from prior to the 1980s were lost because they relied on mineral pigments (lead chromate, fun stuff).

"Why do we bother" ...
Fair points. I guess I've never lived in house long enough to deal with colours that old! Our paint store has chips/cards/codes from seemingly every paint that ever existed.

I think I've only done the machine scan once, and it was on a white and was less than exact but that was years ago and maybe the technology is better now. Our daughter just had a scan match on a repair to her office (seems governments don't keep records) and it was visually exact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
Instead of excel sheets, these days you can snap a pic of the label and send it right into a dropbox folder and store it in the cloud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
I make something called "drift cards". I take a sample material (piece of file folder etc.), prime it, paint it with plenty of coats (so it's nice and opaque and not influenced by primer color)... let it dry for a year somewhere dark, then into a Ziploc bag and into the file. Next time I need a match, take it it to the paint store.

I don't attempt to save old latex paint because too often it has gone moldy/mildewey. Thank Los Angeles; the SCAQMD has forced paint makers to remove virtually all VOCs (chemical paint thinners) so there's nothing left in the can that's toxic (to mold).
Thats a good idea with the cards, if you have the patience, but I think its a mistake to not save old paints. Aside from cheap builders flat, I rarely see old paint actually get moldy. I did an insurance job, where the client had about 30 different colors in her garage. It was Kelly Moore "green." which has been discontinued. Anyway, almost of the paint was good, and everything that was, touched up perfectly 15 years later. Most of the cans, however, I destroyed, just getting them open, so they all needed new cans (Kelly Moore has cans that rust really bad, I've noticed. The can itself is plastic, but the lid and lip are what go.) There was only one paint that smelled sour, and it was only cuz there was a roller cover left in it.

Anyway, I save a TON of money and time by being able to use the paint that was there. I sure as hell wish I had those cards you speak of for a few colors that werent there though... Like a light blue 20' ceiling, for example....

Granted, if those were Sherwin Paints, I doubt any of them would have touched up at all.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top