How Long Does Stored Paint Last?

how ong does paint last

You might have leftover paint or unused cans of paint in your utility cabinet. And you are probably wondering if you can still use it.

How long is paint good for? How long does stored paint last?

Those stored paint must not be put to waste, so learn to understand its shelf life, when you can consider it useful, and when it should be disposed of.

Here are a few things that you need to know about your stored paints:

Factors Affecting Paint Longevity

paint roller on a paint can

It is essential to know if the paint is still usable to maximize its entire content. Also, keeping leftover paints for later use can be a wise-saving decision. 

When storing, you have to ensure that the paint containers are tightly sealed, keeping away from freezing areas or places with extreme temperatures. These are some of the things to consider in order to preserve the life of the paints.


One of the major contributors that affect the life of the paint is the temperature.

Whether it is an unopened paint can or leftover paint, it must be stored in a proper area with a stable temperature.

Each type of paint has a different temperature requirement to retain its life and quality. So make sure to read the label properly. But generally, to keep the paint in its optimal condition, you may place it in an area with 15-20 degrees celsius.

Paint Cans and Containers

In storing leftover paints, it must be closed tightly to ensure that air could not get in. When it is exposed to air for a long time, the upper layer can be thickened. 

When storing, it would be better to use the container that comes with the paint when you bought it if possible. Otherwise, you can use a thick airtight can or a thick plastic container.

Canning jars are also recommended as suitable containers for leftover paints. It is important to remember that leftover paint can be stored for 2 to 3 years with the right container.

For unopened paint, they will last up to 10 years.

Storage Area

In choosing an area to store paints, the temperature is not the only thing that should be considered.

Check with your local municipal policy regarding expired paint disposal. The place must be dry.

Your garage or basement can be an excellent place to store essential things, but it may not be suitable for paints as this kind of a place is vulnerable to temperature changes. Extreme temperatures can cause paints to become unusable.

Also, do not leave paint cans on the floor, for they will rust. Paint cans made of tin corrode in time when in contact with concrete or wet floor. Eventually, the rust will mix with the paint and will damage the paint’s integrity. Damaged paint is no longer useful for painting any wall.

Paint Quality

How long can you keep the house painted? Remember that paints have expirations with the length of around 5 to years depending on their type. The paint’s quality can also be a contributing factor.

High-quality paints tend to last longer than the standard ones. This is because they contain solids and titanium dioxide that elevates their quality and thus last longer.

An example of top-quality paint is latex paint that contains 35-50% solids. And the top-quality white latex paint contains 20-25% of titanium dioxide.

Buying top-quality paint will save you money.

Paint Shelf Life

blue, yellow, pink and red paint

The shelf life of paints varies depending on their specific type. Here are some of the most essential and basic information you need to know about paint types and their shelf lives.

  • Latex paint. A water-based paint made from resin. Its shelf life is between 2 and 10 years, depending on the storage and weather.
  • Acrylic paint. It is a chemical-based paint made from acrylic polymer solution and resin. It can last more than 10 years if the lid or tube is adequately sealed.
  • Alkyd oil paint. An oil-based paint synthetically manufactured. It can last up to 15 years if properly stored.
  • Linseed oil paint. It is an oil-based paint made from natural oils and is solvent-free. It can last up to 20 years.

Signs of Expired Paint

There are different signs to see if the paint is still unusable even if you stirred it well. If you found any of the following an occurrence, you should dispose the paint right away:

  • Solids have hardened on the bottom of the can;
  • Strong foul odor;
  • Lumpy or grainy-like texture.
  • Check the label and look for the paint’s shelf life.

Paint Disposal

Unused or expired paints should be disposed of properly.

  1. Get your paint container.
  2. Mix.
  3. Let it dry.
  4. Dispose of as solid waste.

Hire a Professional Painting Contractor

Orange Paint

Getting a professional painting contractor will save you money and time. It will also save you to do the actual painting job.

On top of that, you don’t have to worry about how long stored paint can last. Thinking about petty things like a place of storage or correct containers will no longer be your problem.

The professional painting contractors are experts for the job, even in residential painting. They will not only provide you with quality output, but you can also rely on them when it comes to handling the whole process up to the after-job cleaning.

More importantly, they use high-quality paints and painting materials that make the paint on the surfaces long-lasting. 

El Gato Painting is one of the painting contractors whose aim is to aid you in all your painting needs. From their unique 21-step preparation process until the job is done.

You can expect excellent output and exemplary workmanship. 

El Gato Painting Service is a cost-effective and value-focused professional painting contractor. They specialize in local residential and commercial work located in the Bay Area.

Check out El Gato Painting now and get your free quote.

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