Does Paint Go Bad When It Freezes?

How to Store and How to Keep Paint Right?

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on does paint go bad

So you have some remains of paint from different rooms like bedrooms, hall, kitchen, etc. 

It means a few repairs or brush-ups passed by and different kinds of paints left in your garage or somewhere else. 

What to do to keep them in working conditions? Should you worry about that leftovers and does paint go bad in general?

First of all the paint can really go bad rather fast. On the other side, it can be kept for years with relevant conditions.

Let’s look through the main features and conditions.

Related: Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

how long can you store paint before it goes bad

How long does paint last?

The expiration dates for various paints differ very much plus it is highly important how do you store them.  The conditions in which it is stored can shorten the term up to months. But when stored properly oil-based paints can save their properties 15 years, when latex paints 10 years. 

The extreme temperatures are ruining factors for storage and paint characteristics. Store the cans with temperature not below 50°F and not above room temperature (72°F). It means that a better place for them in climate-controlled areas but not outside or in open buildings.

Related: Can You Paint When It Rains? Useful Tips and Advice

does paint expire if opened

The garages without warmth in winter are not suitable as well. Escape the minus temperatures and freezing.

How does paint go bad?

The most important point in proper storage is tight can lid. It will prevent the process of drying up and save your oil-based or latex paint. Cans with paint can also be attacked by bacteria. Bacteria start their living process and spoil the paint. Your task is to prevent their entrance into the can, and don’t allow to affect.

Other crucial moments are

  • chunky view
  • textured view
  • odd smells like food wastes or fish

To check the state of can content take a stick and stir it. It should be mixed well and keep uniformly blended state 10 -15 minutes after stirring. But it is not all.

Now you should try it in work on some paper, cardboard, etc. 

Related: How Long Does It Take Between the Paint Coats to Dry?

how long does paint last

Here is important to check if it gives uniform color. Pay attention to the conditions of applying.

The paint should be applied easily on the surface and look smooth without particles.

After a long period of storage, there can form a thin skin on the top of the paint. It is not still a problem – just throw it away before the works and mix the other content. The parts of the mixture liquid and not should blend together smoothly.

What else can you check in your paint?

The lower layer. For this purpose, you need an empty container for paint. Moove the paint from the can and check the bottom for the rubbery layer. If it can be mixed with the left paint it’s ok otherwise, the paint is bad.  

Some useful tips 

If you keep leftovers of the repair we advise you to form a list of the paint formulas. Mention there the type of paint, place of application, for a new paint color keep important data as brand name, color name, type of finish (flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss). 

how long does paint last in a can

All these data are important and formula as well. It looks like a series of letters with numbers after them.

Write it carefully for the future purchases of the same type of color and paint. Later it can be lost under the drips during the process of exploitation. 

Keep the list carefully and update it. This way you will save much energy, your mood, and do the house rooms brushing up faster.

Don’t allow extreme temperatures affect your storage stock. Prevent the paint cans form water separation in case of settling and drying out. If the storage got under froze it’s better to throw it out. The freeze/thaw cycle destroys the paint. 

Why paint go bad?

Another reason why the paint goes bad is mold. It is strongly not recommended to work with the paint produced before 1977. The threat here is a possible component – lead. If you need a latex paint check the date. 

how long is paint good for

If the date is before August 1990 and the labels are containing mercury use it for the exterior surfaces only.

Use these easy steps to keep the paint till the next repair safe and working. You will easily find the containers for certain rooms and spaces, calculate the amount of the resource before the new works.

So what will you do with the rest of the latex paint?

Save it in a tight container or can. Any paint cans should be stored at comfortable room temperature without freezing. 

Your actions with any new paint for storage should be:

  • add a description to the keeping list with important data and its formula. 
  • check the lids to be tight to prevent appearance of bacteria and water.
does house paint go bad

Actions after some years of storage:

  • inspect the paints in storage for expiration.
  • stir them to check the components.
  • try the paint before the usage on some paper for the uniform color and proper application. 
  • If the paint went bad the best way is to put it to the garbage.

Read next: How to Make Paint Dry Fast?

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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Can I use old latex paint to paint my house?Can I use old latex paint to paint my house?