What Temperature Should Paint Be Stored At

Summer is the perfect time to start those home renovation projects that you have been meaning to do. The warm weather is ideal to do a paint job whether it is to change the aesthetic of your living room, prepare a room in your home for a nursery, or prepare your house to sell later in the summer or fall time. Depending on how large the paint project is you could find yourself with leftover paint and how you plan on storing that paint away could affect its longevity and usage later. It can also save you from being extremely frustrated if you were to open a can of paint in the future after storing it for so long to only find out it has been spoiled! In this blog post, we at XYZ Storage want to help you by providing helpful tips on how to store your paint including temperature, duration, and best practices so you can save money on using buckets of paint for future projects. 

The Temperature of Paint Storage

Paint should be stored at an ideal temperature between 15 – 27 degrees Celsius for it to be usable. With keeping that in mind, the best place to store your paint is a room-temperature environment such as a hallway or storage closet. Ideally, a space that is dry and cool and not prone to temperature fluctuations throughout the storage of the paint. 

What Happens To Paint In The Cold?

If stored at a temperature that is too cold it can impact the usage of the paint in the future due to the paint expanding. When paint expands it can become clumpy, thick, or to the point where you can longer use it. So try and avoid the basement or garage, especially during the winter months as those areas of the home can get cold fairly quickly. 

What Happens To Paint In The Heat?

You want to avoid storing paint in direct sunlight, near heating vents, or in areas prone to heat. For example, you want to avoid garages or attics that may get particularly hot during the humid summer months. This will severely damage the quality and usability of your paint cans including the texture, colour, and consistency. 

Paint can be extremely expensive and a hefty investment depending on how large the paint job is. Therefore it is important to remember that storing your paint at the proper temperature can avoid spoilage and save you time and money by investing in new cans of paint in the future. It is important to also review the paint manufacturer’s storage instructions to increase the longevity of your paint cans.

Can You Fix Paint If It Is Frozen?

Water-based paint can freeze relatively quickly in comparison to oil-based paints so it is important to be careful and avoid storing in an environment where it can be prone to freezing temperatures. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have frozen cans of paint after the long winter months or perhaps improper storage conditions do not worry it may be salvageable. Let it thaw at room temperature and then mix to check its consistency. To be safe, it is always best to check with a small area before painting an entire room or your whole house.

How Long Can Paint Be Stored?

Paint storage shelf life can depend on a variety of factors including:

  1. What type of paint is it?
  2. Where do you plan on storing your paint? Garage? Attic? Backyard shed?
  3. Has it been opened?

Most paints have a shelf life of 2 years once opened. If paints have been unopened then they can typically have a life span of 2-5 years. Be sure to check on the labels and each specific paint manufacturer to ensure proper storage and usage. It is also important to ensure that it is properly sealed before storing it away and that it is not kept in direct sunlight potentially damaging the paint. This also goes for if you plan on taking a break from painting and will re-visit the job in a few days or a week. Following the above can help maximize the shelf life of your paint and it will be ready to use when you are.

Has Your Paint Gone Bad?

The big question you may have especially if you have been storing your paint for an extended period is how to tell if your paint has gone bad. Here is a checklist of items to check to see if your paint is still usable or if you should discard it.

Smell: Once you re-open the can of paint and it has a foul or sour smell then there is a good chance that the paint is spoiled and not usable. There is also a likelihood that mildew or mold has grown over time causing the foul smell.

Colour Inconsistency: Paint colour can change while in storage for a long period and due to improper storage. Therefore, it is likely that it has been spoiled.

Clumps: If you find that your paint is lumpy that can also be a sign that your paint is unusable and should be discarded.

If you are still not sure before committing to paint a whole wall test patch the paint in a small area to see if it is spoiled. However, we advise you to purchase fresh paint to avoid colour discrepancies, damage to the surface, or uneven coverage.

How XYZ Storage Can Help?

Storing paint at a self-storage facility can be a convenient solution, especially for those that do not have stable conditions at home for storing paint. Look into self-storage facilities that are climate controlled to avoid fluctuating temperatures over time. When there is too much fluctuation in temperature it can severely damage the quality of the paint and lead to spoilage. At the end of the day, it can be worth it to ensure the quality of your paint in the long term. 

Here are some tips for storing paint away in a self-storage facility that you can follow:

  • Before storing it away make sure that it is sealed tight to prevent air and moisture from entering. It will make sure your paint stays fresh!
  • Label your paint with the colour, brand, when you opened it, and other useful information like where you used the paint. This will help you locate which paint much easier when it comes to taking your paint out of storage and using it again.
  • Store away from anything flammable or combustible for the safety of yourself and others.
  • It is important to check with the self-storage facility before storing paint in a storage unit concerning its policies around flammable or hazardous materials. 
  • Check on your self-storage unit during the duration of your rental period to ensure there is no spoilage to your paints or any leaking that could occur.

At XYZ Storage, our self-storage facilities are climate controlled making it the perfect conditions for storing belongings sensitive to temperature. We have a tonne of self-storage units of various sizes perfect for your storage needs whether you are looking for a compact storage unit, or a large-sized unit, or anything in between. If you have any questions or concerns with storing paint at one of our self-storage facilities feel free to contact us or stop by one of our conveniently located locations in Toronto and the GTA. We have state-of-the-art self-storage facilities in Toronto West, Toronto Downtown, Toronto Midtown, Etobicoke, and Scarborough staffed with experts in helping Torontonians find a second home for their beloved belongings for short or long-term storage. Our storage experts would be more than happy to help you with whatever storage problems you are facing. Happy Painting from all of us at XYZ Storage!


published: 28 July 2023