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How to store paint properly, Container full of paint, House painters

How do you store paints and finishes over the winter?

It is extremely rare that you will buy the perfect amount of paint for a painting job that you’ll be doing. Most times it’s common to have to put your paint away for the next time, especially if you want to have some for touch ups down the road. Sounds simple, right? Well, it can get a little more complicated, especially during the cold winter months. We’re here to let you in on how to store paint properly all year long!

Here are some guidelines that you should follow for how to store your paint properly.

Guideline #1: Paint Storage Temperature

A huge thing that not a lot of people take into consideration when they want to store paints is what the temperature of the room will be where they plan to provide paint storage.

  • If the paint is water-based, do not store the paint in a cellar or garage. If you do this, you run the risk of the paint freezing over.
  • Try to store paints and finishes at room temperature in a closet, specific paint storage locker or something similar.
  • If your paint is oil-based or lacquer, you don’t need to worry as much about the temperature of the room, as it takes a lot more to freeze this kind of paint. We still recommend that you store paints at room temperature though.
Guideline first to store paint properly is Paint storage temperature
Guideline second to store paint properly is Paint containers

Guideline #2: Paint Containers

This may seem obvious, but the container for how to store paints properly is extremely important.

  • If the paint can that you have is damaged, go to your local hardware or paint store in Toronto to pick up a new one.
  • If you can’t find an empty paint can, find a vacuum-sealed jar to store your paint in.
  • When applying the lid to the container, make sure there is no paint on the edges of the container. When it dries, the paint will glue the can shut.
  • Make sure the lid is sealed 100%. If it is not, air can get into the paint container and you run the risk of the paint drying while in the can.

 Guideline #3: Label the Lid when you want to store paints

  • If you just finished an interior painting job, it’s important to make sure you label each paint can with the corresponding room or areas that were painted. This will keep you from having to open each can to check the paint colors when you are doing interior touch ups.
  • It’s equally important to keep the paint colour code and the number displayed. This is important so if you need more paint, then the paint store knows which paint to provide. Also, if there were any alterations to the paint formula, it’s important to note that on the can as well.
  • If it’s for interior painting or exterior painting, you can label that information as well.
Guideline third to store paint properly is Label the Lid when you want to store paints
Guideline four to store paint properly is Stay Organized

Guideline #4: Stay Organized

  • When thinking about ways to store paint properly, keep it all in one area and somewhere you will remember. The most common areas to store paints are basement storage areas or closets.
  • Do not store it in the garage, especially in the winter months. The paint will freeze since most garages are not heated over the winter.
  • Never store the paint in a damp area (cold storage or a porch area). The paint can will rust and potentially ruin.

how do you know if paint has gone bad? 

So, maybe you’ve left things a little too long and you’re unsure about whether or not your paint is still good. There are a few tried and true ways to tell.

  1. Do a sniff test. That nose of ours can tell us so many things without barely even trying! If you’re no stranger to interior painting, open your can and give it a smell. Your nose will tell you if it’s not smelling so fresh anymore.
  2. Get out your stir stick. We’re all familiar with using interior house paints and the stir sticks that always come along with them. If you’re opening an old can of paint and need to test things out, give it a stir. If it doesn’t want to mix up or even fully separates, it’s gone bad.
  3. Test the interior paint on a surface. Of course, you can’t go wrong actually testing out the paint on a surface. If it’s rough and bumpy and just doesn’t look smooth and silky anymore, the paint is no longer good for use.
benjamin moore regal select eggshell finish latex paint paint finish
Before and after kitchen cabinet painting (3)

Now that you’re organized, did you know there are actually some advantages to painting your house in the winter? 

Now that we’ve helped to clue you into paint storage and all that entails, did you know there are actually many advantages to doing interior painting in the winter months? That’s right. You might not think so, but it’s true. For one, paint actually dries faster in the winter months. There’s no humidity and way less moisture in the air than during the summer time.

You’re also likely to come across inexpensive and lower rates for interior home painting during the winter as well. Sometimes you can save as much as 30% off house painting services from professional painters if you hit them up at just the right time. Check out this blog or our video below for the other great reasons to paint your house during the winter.

Advantages of Painting Your Home during Winter Time

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If you want your painting projects to be done as quickly as possible, it’s best to let professional house painters handle it. With over 30 years of experience in home painting services and home renovations, call us NOW at 416.494.9095 or email us at [email protected] to get a free interior home painting estimate. And don’t forget to follow us on all of our social media channels as well.

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.