This is the first winter I've had cans of paint in my garage. Many paint labels advise that paint shouldn't be allowed to freeze. There are three five-gallon buckets on the floor and around ten one-gallon cans on the bottom shelf of a wire rack. Plus wood glue and caulk and other non-freezable miscellany. I'd be inclined to discard it all if it wouldn't cost so much to replace it. But insulating and heating the garage is a huge project.

What's the best way to keep this paint from freezing?


Make an insulated, heated enclosure for the paint. Since the paint is already on a wire rack, just insulate the floor and enclose the bottom shelf of the rack. Use a lizard heater and a thermo-cube.

Cut and notch OSB, rigid foam insulation and some scrap pegboard to fit on the floor below the shelf. Use scrap vinyl to make a serpentine channel on the pegboard, then lay the heater in the channel, so:

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When you put another piece of pegboard on top of this, you'll have a heated, insulated floor that's safe to drag heavy buckets around on.

Position a shelf above the bottom shelf, cut and notch OSB to fit above that shelf and insulation to fit below it. Secure the insulation from the OSB side with coarse-thread drywall screws.

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Cut a back panel from OSB and put two rectangles of insulation on it to fit between the shelves. Secure it to the legs of the wire rack with cable ties.

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Do the same for side panels. Put some paint in there to see how good it looks.

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Add another side panel and a front door that matches the back panel. Secure everything with cable ties, except on the front door, where a pair of hook latches lets you open the door.

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Hook the iguana heater up to the thermo cube and you're done.

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I hang a 60W drop light on the lowest shelf and wrap the shelving with a plastic tarp. Be sure the light isn't touching the plastic tarp or anything flamable.

  • I would use a light cheap and easy works great in my pump house.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 3 '18 at 10:01

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