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Make your paint last longer

An unopened can of paint tin last for decades if it is stored in a dry, cool, dark place. It’s best not to leave any paint tins in sunlight, outdoors, or in a damp location. Once a project is finished, you may have opened and unfinished tins with some leftover paint that you might want to use for touch ups or another project. Follow these tips to keep your paint in better condition so you or someone else can use it or recycle it.

How to open and close your paint tins

  • When opening your paint tin, use a paint can opener rather than a screwdriver or other implements – too much force/using the wrong tools can cause the lid to bend or dent and will no longer be able to close properly. Paint can openers are available at a low price at most DIY stores.
  • When working, try to keep the rim of the paint tin free of excess paint build-up. Dried paint will create a barrier, causing trouble getting the lid back on tight if resealing the tin.  To prevent this, you can wipe the rim regularly while you are working and just before putting on the lid.
  • When closing your paint tin, use a softer rubber mallet rather than a hammer to prevent any damage to the seal of the lid. If only a hammer is available, place a hard object such as a piece of wood between the hammer and the lid and tap down carefully.
  • A tip for creating a tighter seal on the tin: place a piece of cling film over the opening before replacing the lid.

Where to store paint tins

  • As most water-based paints will advise on the packaging, keep paint tins out of freezing temperatures. Once paint is frozen then thawed, it may cause the paint to become lumpy in consistency and spoiled.
  • Keep out of rain or damp locations, as this will cause metal tins to rust and deem the paint unusable. Even plastic tins can have metal lids, which lead to the same effect.