You thought you were all set. You went to the trouble to label and store the leftover paint so that you wouldsave itfor touch-ups. Now you open the can only to find a congealed lump. Here are some tips on how to clean up and store paint.
How to save paint
- First of all, mark the lid of the can with the name and number of the colour, along with the date of purchase. It may be helpful to brush a small swatch of the paint on the lid as well. Lots of paint gets tossed because people forget what colour is inside and can no longer buy more matching paint when repainting.
- When you pour from a paint can, hold the can so that any drips will fall away from the instructions portion of the label. This will allow you to read important information about coverage, application temperatures, thinning, and such the next time you need this colour. Wipe drippings from the outside of the can before they dry.
- Upon completing your job, use a roller squeegee, available at most paint stores, to squeeze excess paint from roller-cover fibres. You’ll be surprised at how much paint can be recovered from a roller cover. Use an old kitchen spatula to scrape paint from the roller tray back into the can.
- Use a brush or rag to wipe paint that collects inside the groove of the paint can. Otherwise dry paint will build up and prevent you from being able to reseal the can properly. Wipe paint from the rim of the lid as well.
- Add to the shelf life of any paint by resealing the can properly. First position the lid on top of the can. Cover the lid with an old rag to catch any splatters. Then tap lightly with a hammer around the rim until the lid is securely seated. Another trick is to cover the open can with a piece of plastic wrap prior to reseating the lid. This controls splatters and gives a tight seal.
- If a can of paint is fouled by dirt or paint crud, don’t toss it. Use a paint filter to strain it into a clean container.