Using leftover Paint for touch-up

A Quick Look at Painting and Paint Storage

With the advancement of springtime in northern climes, many people are now beginning to consider freshening up their homes with a coat of paint.
At Timplex, we have been painting interiors this whole winter, as well as putting in estimates for exterior paint jobs this spring.
I often hear from customers something like, “I have paint left from the last paint job”
Now, I’m all in for using supplies that are on hand, and this can even work sometimes, yet there are times that it cannot and it is better not to try.

Storing paint for future use can normally be a good thing. The paint mixing formula is printed right onto a label placed on the lid of the paint can. This helps you tell what brand and color it is, along with the sheen of the paint. So if the paint is actually in useable condition, it may just need to be stirred and you are good to go. Other times, the paint was not stored correctly, which allows it dry out, or freeze, or the can may get rusty, or the labels may have become useless. Sometimes it will take a professional painter to know whether it is worthwhile to use the old paint or not.

Here are some professional tips for paint storage:

Wipe all paint residue from the groove and off the lid to get a better airtight seal.

Use a rubber mallet or block of wood on the lid when hammering it shut –  hammering improperly will bend the lid, preventing a good seal.

Don’t store paint in a hot attic or garage, or next to something such as a water heater or furnace.

Don’t store in areas susceptible to freezing, especially if it is latex or water-based paint.

When paint is stored properly, there are many factors that determine your being able to use the stored paint for “touch-ups”. This includes the cleanliness of the surface to be painted, deterioration of the existing paint, and any other breakdown that may have occurred to existing paint surfaces due to washing or cleaning fluids. Frequently, many factors will make it impossible to just give “Touch-ups”, and best results are achieved by painting the entire surface, whether it is a ceiling, wall, or trim, etc.

If you are even considering using paint of an unknown age and quality, just know that it is unlikely that the paint manufacturer will warranty the paint. There are too many variables to consider before anyone would lay their reputation on the line. Some contractors may feel comfortable using paint stored in your home if they know where, how, and what kind of environment it has been stored in, as well as the age of the paint (especially if they did the original job), but it is most often necessary to purchase more paint anyhow, due to the size of the surface to be repainted, and how many coats are needed.

We are always striving to gain new knowledge and techniques as the industry progresses, and we want to keep our customers informed also. If you are in Milwaukee or one of the surrounding counties, it is my hope that you keep Timplex in mind for your home painting and other maintenance needs.

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