If you walk into any garage, chances are you are going to see a few cans of paint sitting on the shelf. However, have you ever wondered if it’s okay to store paint in a garage?
After moving into our new home, this was a question that my wife and I had to find the answer to, since the previous owner left us with dozens of old cans of paint.
Here’s what we found out….
While it’s perfectly okay to store paint in your garage for a few days, if you plan on using it again, it’s probably not a good idea to store it in there for long periods of time! That’s because paint, regardless if it’s oil, water, or acrylic based, will go bad when stored in temperatures that dip below freezing or exceed 90 deg F.
For most folks, you will likely deal with one or the other (or both) at some point during the year.
Where is the Best Place to Store Paint
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The best place to store paint is in a climate controlled room!
This could include a utility room, a laundry room, a climate controlled garage, or storage shed.
You could also store your paint in a closet in one of your home’s rooms, assuming you have the space to do so.
Another option if you are not planning on reusing the paint in the near future would be to properly dispose of the paint.
With water based/latex paint, you can simply pour it into a box of kitty litter and allow it to dry. Once dried and hard, simply throw it out with the rest of the trash.
Oil based and Acrylic paints are very different in that they are chemical based and harmful to the environment.
Therefore, they must be taken to a proper drop-off/disposal location. You’ll need to check with your local officials to find out where and how to dispose of this paint.
What’s the Ideal Temperature for Storing Paint
We asked the good folks at our local Sherwin Williams and they told us that the optimal temperature for storing paint (especially if you plan on using it again) is anywhere between 60 deg and 80 deg.
While you can store it at temperatures lower or higher than this for short periods of time, storing it in this temperature range will ensure that your paint lasts for months to come.
Storing Paint in Freezing Temperatures
If your paint is water based, then you want to avoid storing it in freezing temperatures at all cost!
Water is much more susceptible to freezing over than acrylic and oil based paints.
With that being said, there is a way that I’ve found to get around this.
If you have a large cooler, you could store a few paint cans in it. The cooler’s insulation will help keep the paint above freezing temperatures.
Storing Paint When it’s Extremely Hot
As mentioned above, storing paint in the garage when the temperatures get above 90 deg, can really wreak havoc on paint.
If you have no other storage options, you can try storing it in a large cooler, just like you would if the temperatures were freezing.
The cooler’s insulation should be enough to at least keep the temperatures of the paint at or close to room temperature.
What Type of Container Should You Store Paint in
The best type of container to store paint in is its original container!
This is why it’s extremely important to take care of your paint cans before and after you open them.
This includes using a proper paint can opening tool when opening and not a flathead screwdriver like most of us do.
Paint cans are airtight, but you can damage the rim, thereby damaging the cans’ airtight seal if you improperly open the can.
Also, make sure not to let paint drip in the recessed groove around the rim. By allowing paint to seep in and dry, you will prevent the lid from sealing correctly.
You should also use a rubber mallet instead of a hammer when tapping the lid back on.
Lastly, some people like to place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening just before placing the lid back on the can.
Can You Store Spray Paint in The Garage Too
The ideal temperature for storing canned spray paints in the garage is between 50 and 80 deg f.
While extremely cold temperatures can ruin the paint itself, extremely hot temperatures can potentially cause the cans to explode due to the aerosol in them.
My advice would be to never store canned spray paint in the garage!
I keep all of my aerosol paints in our laundry/wet room.
Even though there’s nothing wrong with storing your paint in the garage, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea!
The paint will eventually go bad!
If you don’t plan on using the paint for awhile, and don’t have a climate controlled room to store the paint in, then my advice would be to either give it away, or dispose of it properly.