What's the best way to store the left over paint from a 1 gallon can?

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Old 11-20-20, 10:37 AM
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What's the best way to store the left over paint from a 1 gallon can?

I've got a bunch of different paint from interior & exterior projects. They are usually 1 gallon cans with a quart or 1/2 gallon of paint. What's the best way to store them to keep the paint fresh so I can use it in months / years? later to touch up things?

I've been putting them into the clear plastic round containers we might get for take out soup, etc. Trying to minimze the amount of air that's in the container - using different size containers depending on how much paint there is.

For 1 smaller amount of paint, I put it in a ziplock freezer bag and squeezed out the air. Went to use it today and it was pretty hard.

do zip locks usually work? the clear soup containters with snap on lids?

Something else?

Oh, have you ever heard of this? 2 year old paint can - enough paint that I left it in the can. The can had 2 rust holes through it?! Went to mix / shake it and saw the paint / liquid coming out! Never had that issue before.

I know to keep the containers dry / clean / not wet environment / stored with all the other paints.
 
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Old 11-20-20, 10:43 AM
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I buy small empty paint cans from my local Ace Hardware.
 
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Old 11-20-20, 11:03 AM
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I buy small empty paint cans from my local Ace Hardware.
Yep get small cans and if you have a food saver vacuum type sealer make some bags to put the cans in and seal them. I done this with great results. I have also put a can of PVC glue in a bag and sealed it and the glue was still good to go after 6 years of storage. It's also said to store the cans upside down though I haven't tried that. The rust comes from the paint being latex (water based).
 
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Old 11-20-20, 11:34 AM
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I use the original 1 gallon can. I make sure the lid is securely in place. Then I turn the can over so the area where the lid meets the can is coated with paint. This helps insure an airtight seal for longer term storage. Then I store it upright on a shelf somewhere it cannot freeze.

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Plastics in general and normal food storage bags are OK for short term use but aren't great for long term storage. Many plastics are gas permeable. Gasses like oxygen, and the gas form of volatiles, solvents, smells and water vapor (not liquid) can pass through many plastics. It's similar to how a children's balloon will slowly go flat over time and car tires need air occasionally. And, it's why Tupperware can be stained by some foods and some plastics can pick up odors.

Many plastics used in packaging are actually a lamination of several types of plastics, each having it's own desirable property. You may have noticed that most food packaging plastic is very different than the plastic in Zip-Lock bags. For example many snack chip bags are laminated with a layer of aluminum. Box wine bags are usually two bags (one inside the other) or is a heavy lamination of several plastics.

For long term storage glass and metals are the gold standard but water based latex can eventually rust out a steel paint can. If you want something plastic you can order zip closure or heat seal bags with oxygen or gas blocking layers. They are sometimes listed as "smell proof" bags. Amazon has a zillion options.
 
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Old 11-20-20, 12:06 PM
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I use the food grade qt containers from the Chinese carry out, Ive had paint in those for years!

Just be sure to take a picture of the color label if it's custom mix!
 
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Old 11-25-20, 04:21 AM
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while a smaller appropriate sized container is best, covering the top of the paint with a thin layer of water/thinner works well at preventing the paint from skinning over
 
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Old 11-25-20, 07:05 AM
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I found saving paint is a waste of timed and space. I've got several partial gallons of paint saved for those times I need to "Touch-up". But you know what? I never do. And if I did, the existing paint on the wall has weathered enough that the new touch up always looks different.
So now I have several cans of paint (at least 5 to 10 years old) and in many cases no longer usable. Now the trick is to dispose of them in a proper and timely manner. Yes our local area has rules and methods to do that. But now I haver to spend money (cat litter in most cases) to solidify the paint in order put out on curb side for garbage pick up. It's like taking dollar bills and throwing them in the garbage.

Here's an idea. There should be used paint swap sheet. Here's all the used paint and colors I have. You need it, come and get it. Saves time, money and resources.
 
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Old 11-25-20, 09:27 AM
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IDK, I don't touch up walls but will repaint entire walls if something happens but with the kids grown that doesn't happen as often.

When I finished the basement several years ago I used up a lot of old paint. We stay in the same family of colors so I just did different walls different colors and unless you really look hard you don't even notice.

I did go through all my old paint last year, had some that was probably 20 years old, some still good, some completely dried out. As for disposal, I just pour it into the fire pit and burn!
 
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Old 11-25-20, 10:30 AM
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So now I find myself eating my words. Just moved some furniture and found a big mark across the wall. One of the cans marked to be tossed was the touch up. So Now I'm in a quandary. Do I toss it or keep it?
 
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Old 11-25-20, 11:47 AM
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You know the answer, throw it out, and you will need it, keep it and you will never use it!
 
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Old 11-25-20, 12:23 PM
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I store used paint in the original can.
I dab a brush into the can just before putting the lid back on, tap the lid on, then swirl the wet paint around the top to seal it, and dab some paint on the bottom of the can. Hang from the handle till dry.
Store upside down in the basement

If you're using plastic bags, be aware that "refrigerator" grade plastic bags will allow water vapor in & out, and also allow oxygen in & out. The "freezer" grade plastic bags will block water vapor.
 
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