What is the Most Proper Way to Store Paint?

When repainting someone’s home, it is not uncommon for them to want to paint it the same color that it was painted previously.

Obviously, we do not expect Clients to rattle off the paint formula off the top of their head (a paint formula might I add that often looks like some type of ancient hieroglyphics, if one were to attempt to read it off the printed label stuck to the top of the paint can lid of pretty much any paint brand).

What is extremely helpful however, is if the Client happens to have a can of the paint from the last time the house was painted stashed away somewhere that we can draw a sample from.

The ideal scenario in this situation would be for us to be able to take a can of paint from the last time the home was painted, shake it up very thoroughly, drying a sample that would allow us to match it, and then (when we believe the color is where it needs to be from a matching standpoint) drying a sample of the freshly made paint on the house for the Client to approve.

Again, this is “ideal”.

This process is often stopped in its tracks though as more often that not the Client has stored the paint can of the old product on a shelf in the garage, the paint itself has frozen and thawed out 6-10 times, and the paint inside the can looks like some kind of unappetizing cottage cheese.

This is “not ideal”.

So then, to avoid the “non-ideal” circumstance, how should one best go about storing paint so that if it is needed in the future for touch-ups, color matching, etc. it is able to be utilized without an issue?

The first thing I recommend is to find a place in your home that is relatively climate-controlled.

It does not have to be a coddled, spa-like room that is used to grow plants for the budding botanist, it simply needs to be in a place where year-round, the temperature does not drop below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (my recommendation).

Most likely, this is a closet in either the basement or main area of the home.

The next thing to do is to make sure the lid of the paint is properly secured and then when turned upside down, no paint whatsoever will leak out.

Finally, the paint should be stored upside down.

What this does is it prevents the solids of the product from settling to the bottom of the can and sets things up so that when it is time to access the product inside the can and the can is flipped right side up, the solids already have a head start in the mixing process and become much easier to be returned to their useful state after a rigorous mixing.

Perhaps the most critical step is to avoid falling into the trap of not following through with the proper storage process immediately after the home is painted.

For this is where the law of ‘diminishing intent’ kicks in and you tell yourself you are just going to “keep the paint in the garage until you have a moment to bring it upstairs”.

Then you have an appointment, and you will “do it tomorrow”.

Then you have to meet Aunt Betsy for dinner, and you will “do it tomorrow”.

The challenge is “tomorrow” seldom comes and more often than not we find ourselves trying to match a fresh paint color to something that looks like some type of spoiled dairy product.

The next time you have your home painted, please remember to correctly store your leftover paint.

The person that needs to access the paint the next time will be grateful for it. Lopco Painting

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