So I have a bunch of partially used latex paint in 1 gallon and 5 gallon buckets. How could one store and keep the paint viable for years to come? Could I just vigorously shake the buckets once a year or so?

For now I store the paint in my basement.

  • 1
    Actually, your best bet is the opposite -- fill the empty part of the can with inert gas, seal the can tightly, possibly turn it upside down (to improve the seal), and leave it untouched. Oxygen is your enemy. However, there is no guarantee; so before you do that I'd paint something which could be stored with the can to act as a color reference if it does go bad and you need to re-order matching paint. – keshlam Sep 13 '15 at 17:30
  • 3
    Repackage into well sealed smaller plastic paint buckets (properly labelled for contents) to minimize air volume. Three killers of paint, oxygen available for polymerization/oxidation, evaporation of solvent (water/mineral) and rust (if they're in tinned iron buckets). – Fiasco Labs Sep 13 '15 at 18:05
  • 3
    Sell it or give it away, and buy new paint in 10 years. Storing latex paint for 10 years is hoarding behavior... – Ecnerwal Sep 14 '15 at 2:38
  • +1 to @ecnerwal . Also, paint fades over time, so your 10 year old paint is guaranteed to not match. – User95050 Sep 14 '15 at 19:54
  • I have thrown most of my old paint out, but I have one very large room that I like to repaint a wall on now and again. I will try the inert gas storage technique. – Off The Gold Sep 14 '15 at 21:37

I put paint I glass jars and stored it for 10 years it mixed right up.

  • Welcome to Home Improvement! This is interesting, but doesn't answer the original question. Please take our tour so you'll know how better to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Dec 14 '18 at 3:59
  • 1
    @DanielGriscom I'd disagree. The OP wanted to know a way of being able to store paint for a long time. Why keep it in the original container and not just move it? – Micah Montoya Jan 14 '19 at 14:57

The problem with trying to keep latex paint fresh isn't with the paint itself, but with the paint container. From wait I've noticed is the metal containers because of the water mixed in with the paint, will eventually oxidize the metal. Usually the rusting continues until the can is compromised and the paint solidifies. The best way to preserve a gallon of paint would be to add a plastic or rubber membrane so as to increase the seal between the can and lid. A garbage bag would do. Remove all paint (dried or not) from the lid well (groove). Place the new seal on the can followed by the lid. Gently tap the lid until completely seated. Invert the can to help increase the seal.

  • See answer to this question: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/18263/… – Daniel Griscom Sep 14 '15 at 2:15
  • Thanks for the link, in short freezing paint tends to leave lumps that won't come out unless they are filtered out. One guy tried mixing for an hour with no luck on those lumps. – Off The Gold Sep 14 '15 at 21:31
  • 2
    After reading the answers posted from the link, I counted an even number of replies in which paint could and could not be used after freezing and one inconclusive. So the answer is subjective at best. – ojait Sep 17 '15 at 15:04

I use plastic containers and the smallest size to store the amount of paint I have, cutting down on the air stored with the paint. I like the protein powder and kids vitamin containers. Those are 1/2 gallon and 1 pint sizes. I have found that if you think the paint with any tap water, don't even bother; stuff will grow in it.


I use the Arizona plastic bottles, they are strong & have a twist off cap on top. Simply use a large funnel to transfer the paint into it.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Do these bottles store latex for ten or more years without drying out? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 9 '19 at 0:37
  • I think these are long neck bottles, and seem like they would trap a lot of air on top of the paint. That would be fine for short term storage, but not sure about long term storage. – Off The Gold Jul 11 '19 at 14:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.