How to Determine the Shelf-Life of Paint How to Determine the Shelf-Life of Paint

What You'll Need
Paint Stirrer

The shelf life paint possesses is determined by whether it's oil-based or latex and whether or not it's been opened. You can determine how long your paint will last then by its make-up, when you purchased it and where you've placed it for storage.

Step 1 - Type

Determine whether the product is oil-based or latex-based paint. If the product is oil-based, then the paint, if it's been sealed well. can last an exceptonally long time. Unopened cans can last for as long as a decade and a half. If the paint is latex, then you will have to determine whether it's been subjected to below freezing temperatures, which usually will make the paint ineffective.

Step 2 - Stirring

Open up the can carefully. Skim off any residue from the top. Stir the paint by lifting the paint up from the bottom of the can while stirring. If the paint does a good job of mixing, then it should last a fairly long time.

Step 3 - Shelf Life

Estimate the paint's current shelf life. If it's been sitting on your shelf for several years and it's oil-based, it should be good for another 10 years if the cover is placed on it tightly. If it's latex, it should last at least another 5 years.

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