How to Properly Store Leftover Paint

While it is technically assumed that a gallon of paint covers 400 square feet , this is not always the case. Also, you can paint a space and not know exactly how large it is. Either way, it can be easy to misjudge how much paint you need for a project and end up with leftovers when you’re done.

And while it might be tempting to just open the lid of the paint can to store it, there are better ways to do it. Here are some tips for doing this.

Choose a suitable container

To keep the paint fresh, you need to keep air out of it. This makes cans ideal for work thanks to their airtight seal. Also, since they are transparent, you can easily see the color of the paint. When you have the jars, stir the remaining paint in the jar and use the funnel to transfer it to the canning jar.

If you don’t have cans on hand and need to store the paint right away, it’s best to place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening of the can (or other container), close the lid and close again. it’s tight. If you are using the original paint can, tap the lid with a rubber mallet to form an airtight seal.

Label the container

Then label the can so you know exactly what paint you have and when it was opened. Consider including on your label information such as:

  • Paint brand
  • Color
  • A type
  • Gloss / finish
  • Room / Furniture

Store in the right place

It is best to store the paint in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. While this is a good idea when working with any paint, it is especially important when the paint is stored in clear glass jars. Also, you need to make sure that this is a place where the temperature stays above freezing – ideally between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit . Finally, remember to place the paint on a high shelf away from food, drinks, and children.


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