Painting is a home improvement activity almost every homeowner has tried. When there are leftovers, you will surely find yourself asking how to store paints for future use.
If you find yourself asking this question, there is a chance you have never stored paint properly. Leftover paint is not uncommon. People who have done painting projects the D-I-Y way usually end up with plenty of leftover paint. Paints are costly so you need to know how to put leftovers away properly so you can use them in the future if the need arises.
Why You Should Know How to Store Paints
No matter how careful you are, deterioration will start appearing on your walls and other painted surfaces over the years with small chips and dings. If you are fortunate enough to have the leftover paint from past projects, you will simply be able to cover the affected areas without having to repaint entirely, but your luck may have run out if the paint has been incorrectly stored. Preserve the integrity and prolong the lifespan of your materials, with tips from the trusted experts here at Gold Standard Painting for the best way to store paint.

How to Store Paint: Four Easy Steps
1. Make it easy to identify.
There’s little point in storing the remaining paint if you don’t know in which paint container it’s in. Properly marking the can will pay off in the future. You can label it by:
  • The object or room the paint was used for.
  • The name of the paint.
  • The number of the paint.
You can also swipe some paint on the lid, the body of the can or on both. Or you can also write down information on the can: both on the body of the can and the lid.
2. Pick your container wisely.
The paint will last longer with less air in a large tub and that’s a good point to start with if you are looking for tips on how to store paints. If after your job, you have less than a quarter of a gallon of paint leftover, dump it into a smaller container for easy storage and to maintain the product’s integrity. Glass canning jars or small plastic containers with a good seal work well, allowing you to see the contents as well.
3. Seal the deal.
It is important to seal it well to prevent it from spoiling or drying out, whether your paint is stored in the original container or decanted into another. For best results, use these steps:
  • Clean the rim of the paint can, removing as much paint residue as possible.
  • Place on the top of the paint can a layer of plastic wrap and another sheet of plastic across the can’s rim.
  • Replace the cover and use a rubber mallet to tap your way around the edges until it has been sealed completely. Do not use a hammer, as that can damage the lid and mess with the airlock. Don’t have a rubber mallet? Put a piece of wood across the top of the lid and hammer the block to seal.
4. Mind the temperature.
When you search the web for how to store paints, many sites will tell you to take note of the temperature. Place your paint boxes, bottles, or containers in a cool, dry area where freezing is impossible.

Place off the ground or on a shelf or other surface to prevent corrosion, and avoid sunlight, fire, or moisture sources such as a boiler, water heater, or radiator. If there is no suitable storage solution, consider adding a shelving unit to your home.
Dealing with Leftovers: How to Store Paints for Future Use
When it’s time to retouch the walls or furniture, find the right container and refrain from shaking. While you may be tempted to start mixing it, the paint may be tainted with any rust, dust, or debris on the inside of the container.

Carefully open the container and remove the plastic wrap layer and any “skin” that may have formed on the paint surface. To obtain a clean product, strain the paint into another container if it is too thin to remove or you see other debris. Once this phase of the process has been completed, stir the paint to be mixed and applied as required.