Finishing a full repaint and I have extra paint I'll store in case I need touch ups later on.

What is the best way to store it for a few years? I don't mind buying new containers for it if that's appropriate.


Your best bet is to transfer it to containers you can 100% fill and seal absolutely.

It needs to be stored near room temperature, don't leave it out in the garage to freeze.

The #1 threat on modern latex paint is mold and fungus growing in the paint. That will result in very stinky paint that is very hard to deal with (it often defies sealcoating, and will ultimately need to be removed along with all the sealcoats that didn't work). The stink is obvious after the fact, but when you're starting to paint, it can be hard to tell from the stink you expect from paint. That is why I get new latex paint for every job.

Mold and fungus now thrive in paint; they didn't before, because the allowable VOC content was high enough to make sure nothing would live in the paint can. VOCs have been pushed down to near zero to improve air quality in cities, particularly Los Angeles.

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  • Plastic yogurt containers, with a single sheet of plastic wrap added to the lid seal have worked nicely, and were usable years later - those were the handiest non-rusting free container that would allow getting rid of most of the airspace. Washed first, of course. – Ecnerwal Mar 30 at 1:44
  • @Ecnerwal I prefer either previously used plastic latex quart cans (they wash out easily) or a virgin steel paint can. I have certainly had my problems with steel cans rusting, but only in conditions that would be the quick death of modern latex. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 30 at 2:53
  • Is there an additive to prevent the microbes? I'm not trying to penny-pinch. I just want matching colors in case of touch up. – Matthew Mar 30 at 14:30

When storing latex paint there are two things you might want to be careful about since it's water based..

  • Don't store it where it might freeze.
  • The rim of the can will have a tendency to rust especially in more humid climates. You can buy air tight plastic lids to help with that or, better yet, purchase an air-tight plastic pail to store it in.
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