by BTN Member Aaron Burk with Burk’s Custom Painting

The short answer … House Painters Recommend that you do NOT store paint cans in your garage.

Assorted cans of paint.

The purpose of a garage is to store motor vehicles in them, but lets be real here… Most people use them to store things they are too afraid to throw away in case they may “need” them later such as books, furniture, decorations, food, toys and of course… PAINT CANS. Yes, those cans your house painters used to paint your house 10 years ago! But did you know the garage is the worst place to store paint? It is not news to anyone that it is difficult to control the climate in garages. Extreme temperatures can ruin paint cans – both opened and unopened. Especially latex paints, which contain 80% water. Once frozen, they are ruined.

House Painters’ Recommendations

We recommend that you store paint cans in a cool place – not too hot, not too cold. Specifically, it is to be stored at temperatures between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If stored properly, a can of paint could last 3 – 5 years.

We recommend that you do NOT place paint cans on concrete floors as they tend to rust more quickly. It is a good idea to place opened cans upside down, this way a tight seal is created around the lid. Make sure the lip of the can is completely clean as any build-up will prevent a perfect seal. It is a good idea to place plastic wrap before replacing the lid. This will make it easier to pry off and prevent any rust from seeping into the paint.

Now, before you run off to the garage to throw away that paint sitting there for the last 10 years, don’t forget to make a note of the color names, color numbers and color brand. They might come in handy in the future when you call your house painter to repaint your house. This simple step could save you some money on the “color match” fee. Ok, now you can go toss those old paint cans.

Paint is hazardous waste and should be disposed of in approved waste centers. Check for one in your city.