How well does latex interior paint hold up to being stored in a hot garage over time? I did some painting several months ago, and without thinking too much about it kept the leftover paint in the garage. Outside temperatures sometimes reach 90+. Should I worry about the color changing, etc.?

Update: The paint color was indistinguishable from the original. In fact, I have used the same paint again more than a year later.

3 Answers 3


The final color of the paint depends on the ratios of the different pigments in the paint, and those ratios won't change once the paint is mixed. The storage instructions on all the interior paints that I have say nothing about high temperatures, just to protect from freezing which I believe would cause the paint to de-emulsify.

That said, a paint can's lid doesn't form a perfect seal, and higher temperatures are going to cause volatile chemicals (including water) in the paint to evaporate faster than normal. (I've noticed that paint that has been left open for a while and thinned with water behaves differently than a can of fresh paint -- I can't define exactly how, but it just doesn't paint as well). However, given that it can take weeks for a coat of paint to cure fully under normal household conditions, if the can is sealed well, my SWAG is that it would take years before you'd notice a change in the paint.

  • +1 to add to the above answer, the more the paint sits the more of a chance the mixture will separate. Aug 10, 2011 at 22:10

I just went to touch up some patch work that I had done on my walls and encountered the most horrid stench when I opened the can (imagine a mixture of rotten eggs and wet paint smell). I decided not to use the paint for fear that it would make my house smell the same way. The color looked fine, and the paint mixed up well, although it was thicker than regular paint.

For the record, it was Behr interior eggshell paint that had been stored in my garage for 13 months. I had sealed the can by thoroughly hammering all the way around the edge.

  • I got the "rotten egg" smell in my new paint from Behr; most noticeable in the flat paint. I painted anyway, and once dry the paint had no odor at all. Jun 25, 2017 at 20:31

My dark red paint that I used on our front door has turned into a runny majenta mess on top of a solid wad or clump of hard paint paint below. I don't think any amount of stirring will save it. :( This from storing about 1 year in a sometimes hot, sometimes cold garage.

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