Leftover Paint Storage

Leftover Paint Storage


If you are a homeowner and tackle DIY and home improvement projects, then I am pretty sure you have a few cans of paint hanging around in your basement or garage that are leftover from previous projects.

I probably have more than most people since I write about paint for a living and save all the leftovers to use for touch-ups. Plus, when I need only a small amount for a project having a stash on hand saves time. I have even been known to make my own paint colors by mixing leftovers together, creating a truly custom color.

As you can see, it was time for a major cleanout of the old paint to see how many of the cans still had usable paint in them and to implement a system to label and organize what is left. I took every paint can to the basement work bench and got to work.

leftover paint  

What I needed:

canning jars  

Wide mouth canning jarsare perfect to hold leftover paint since the lids seal tight. Another reason I like using them is you can see the paint color at a glance. When storing paint in glass, it is best to keep it in a dark area, as light can alter the color. A dark basement or closet is perfect.

I lined up the jars on the worktable and opened one can of paint at a time. I used a paint stick to stir the very paint well. Make sure you stir until the paint is mixed thoroughly and then pour it into the canning jar and seal the lid tight.

I cleaned the paint stick with a wet rag and then repeated the process for each can of paint I had.

labeling leftover paint in canning jars  

To label the paint, I wrote the details on a round sticker, including:

  • Brand of paint
  • Color
  • Type
  • Sheen/Finish
  • Room/Furniture

In the end I had quite a few cans of paint that were not worth keeping - they were too old and not even useable to giveaway. To safely dispose of them, I placed cat litter in the cans and let them dry out before bagging them up to throw away.

labeled leftover paint in canning jars  
labeled leftover paint in canning jars  

How to Dispose of Latex Paint

Add equal parts cat litter to latex paint in the can (one part paint to one part cat litter) Stir the cat litter into the paint until it has an oatmeal-like consistency that will not spill out. Allow the paint and cat litter mixture to sit for one hour.

How to Dispose of Oil-Based Paint

Open the can and let it dry out. To speed up the process, add clay based cat litter or paper scraps.

Now when I need some paint, I can go down to my basement and easily see what colors I have at a glance!

shelf of leftover paint  

I kept the good gallon sized paint cans and placed them along the bottom of the shelving unit. I had a few extra canning jars and placed them on the shelves so that when I have leftover paint in the future, I will put it right into the jar to keep my paint storage area organized and under control.

unorganized leftover paint  
organized leftover paint  

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

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