We try out best to do proper paint estimation so we don’t frustratingly discover that we lack paint or have too much of it while working on a project. Having said so, sometimes it can’t be helped that we’re left with more paint than we need. There’s no need to waste money and throw it away. Store leftover paint so you can use it again when the need arises. Here are some tips on how to:

Close the Lid Properly

Paint cans and buckets are designed to have a tight seal. Manufacturers want to ensure that paint packaging is spill-proof to avoid messes and wastage. Some paints are flammable as well so leaks can be dangerous.

So, your already opened paint can or bucket when closed properly will still seal well. When you’re ready to close your paint, wipe the rims of the can and lid to remove excess paint and ensure a good seal. Doing so will also avoid getting loose dried paint into the remaining product when you open the can for when you next need it. Give the lid a few taps to make sure it’s properly secured.


Avoid Contamination

Whether you’re planning on storing paint for use later on or not, it’s always best practice to avoid contaminating your paint. When thinning water-based paint, for example, don’t use dirty water. Use a clean tool if you need to mix your paint. Wash paint brushes well if you’ve used them for a different paint product beforehand.

If you want to mix different paints, you can also choose to do so in a separate container. This way, unmixed paint can be stored in the original container.

Have a Good Spot for Storage

As mentioned before, some types of paint are flammable. Here’s a tip: to check, you should be able to find a flammable warning in the form of a fire hazard symbol on the packaging label of a paint can. This is also the reason why it’s never a good idea to smoke while painting and to keep paint cans away from sources of flame—like the stove when painting in the kitchen, for example.

For safety reasons, when storing paint, heed the same safety precautions. Keep it in a location away from sources of fire. Store your paint in a cool and dry spot as well, away from direct sunlight and moisture.

How to Properly Store Leftover Paint | MyBoysen

Check Before Using Again

After storing leftover paint, check that it’s still in good quality before using it again. If the consistency and odor seem different from when you bought it, it’s best not to use it anymore. Doing so will likely result in suboptimal results or even paint problems and you’re better off with a new can of paint.

Bonus Info: Pot Life

Pot life is the timeframe where a paint product can still be used and applied to a surface. Pot life is primarily for paint products that come in two parts (a.k.a. two-component paints) that have to be mixed together prior to application. After the pot life, the product may thicken or harden and be difficult to use.

For example, 5 hours is the pot life for Boysen Epoxy Primer and Boysen Epoxy Enamel. On the other hand, 8 hours is the pot life for Boysen Acqua Epoxy. Because of this, these paints once mixed cannot be stored and then used again past its pot life.

When using such products, it’s wiser to mix only what you need for the time being. Then, return the lid of the remaining unmixed products. Do so even if you’re still using them later on for the same project. Two-component paints have a higher likelihood of reacting to water and moisture in the air. Having them out in the open can affect their quality.

Good luck and we hope you learned a bit of valuable info! If you have any questions or inquiries about Boysen products, our technical team will be happy to assist you. Send an email to ask@myboysen.com or call (02) 8363-9738 local 413 to 418 during office hours for a one-on-one consultation.


Jill is a writer on a continuous journey to learn about paint and share them with you, the reader. She has an interest in the technical side of things but also thoroughly enjoys playing with colors. She likes calm greens, quiet blues, and mellow yellows best.

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