Can You Store Paint In The Garage? Here’s What You Need To Know

A garage is a go-to place for storing most of our tools, products, and leftover decorative items. It saves a lot of space inside our house and is pretty safe enough to store anything. But, can you store paint in the garage?

If your garage cannot keep the internal temperature and humidity consistent, it wouldn’t be safe to store paint in the garage. Too high or too cold temperatures can ruin the quality of the paint. However, there are a lot of safe ways to store paint in your garage.

So, without further ado, let’s learn about effective ways of storing paint in the garage.

Is It Okay To Store Paint In The Garage?

First things first, the question should not be associated with the place, but rather the environment. But, unfortunately, the environment inside our garage is not the same as the rest of the house.

Paints are a complex mixture of binders, pigments, and solvents. They require an optimum environment to stay together.

If the temperature is too cold, it will freeze the paint, condensing and coagulating the heavy particles at the bottom of the can. Similarly, too much heat will taint the paint. Also, the moisture inside the garage can make the cans rusty.

Since most garages cannot keep up with the fluctuation of the outside temperature, it is more likely that the paint you’ve stored in your garage will not sustain its quality.

But, by taking some simple yet effective measures, you’ll be able to store your half-empty paint cans in your garage.

How To Store Paint In A Garage Properly?

Well, we said you shouldn’t store paint in your garage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t! If you want to, or have no other choice other than to keep them in the garage, these are the things that you should follow.

1) Optimum Temperature

If you want to store paint in your garage, the temperature should be between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius or 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously, you wouldn’t insulate your garage just for this purpose. But hey, insulating your garage will come with other good results.

You can only use fans or heaters to keep the temperature within the range. But if you don’t want to insulate the whole garage, the next tip is for you.

2) Choosing A Suitable Place

The perfect place for storing your paint cans should be dry and cool. You can choose any rack or shelf for this purpose. It’d be better if it had doors. You can use OSB sheets to insulate the area or at least the doors.

Do not keep the cans in a place where the sunlight hits directly or in a persistently wet place.

OSB sheet
OSB sheet

3) Close the Lid Well Or Get An Airtight Container

After you’re done painting, make sure to close the lid of the can tightly. It will not allow air to make its way into it. Air and moisture can damage the quality of the paint, causing it to form blisters.

If the lid cannot be closed properly, you should consider buying an airtight container. You can find them at your local hardware store. This will increase the longevity of your paint by a good margin.

4) Don’t Open The Lid Unnecessarily

For the same reason mentioned above, you shouldn’t open the lid of the can frequently. It will allow an exchange of air. Once you’ve sealed the can lid properly, you should only open it the next time you need it.

To avoid opening the lid frequently, follow the next tip.

5) Put A Label On The Can

In most cases, we do not label cans with the color of the paint they contain. In particular, in the case of big gallons, we store the leftover paint in new containers.

This lack of labeling leads to recurrent opening of the lid. That’s why you should write the name of the color or put a dot on that container using that color.

How Long Should You Store Paint In The Garage?

The good news is, paint will last over a decade if stored properly. The type of your paint will determine its lifespan.

Oil-based paints expire in about 15 years, and latex paints will last 10 years. It is easier for latex paints to get ruined by extreme temperatures than oil-based paints. Having said that, don’t forget the fact that it depends on so many factors. [source]

So, the expiration period shouldn’t be a concern for you. Rather, focus on providing a suitable environment for your painting.

1) Signs Of Ruined Paint

Paints have a distinctive scent. When exposed to air and moisture, microorganisms like bacteria and fungus can grow in the car and mess up the scent. So, a ruined can of paint has a bad smell.

Another thing to notice is the formation of an insoluble membrane on top of the can. This layer protects the rest of the paint from drying off. You cannot mix this layer with other liquids.

If the quality of the paint is bad, it won’t become smooth even after stirring.

2) Best Paint Storage Locations

As we said, garages are not the perfect home for your paint. You should look for a place that can keep the temperature at its optimum, less humid, and completely dry. The place that matches these criteria is your basement.

You can also store paint in the cupboard, or attic. Both cannot cope with extreme temperatures.


Which Paint Will Last Long?

Oil-based paints last longer than latex or acrylic paints. The natural composition and the solvent used in the oil-based paints help them last over 15 years. But, it should be done in the right way.

Can You Store Paint In The Garage In Winter?

If you’re using a heater and your garage has the proper insulation to keep the temperature within 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then it is possible to store paint in a garage during colder days. Too much cold will freeze the paint and cause cracks and blisters.

Can You Store Spray Paint in the Garage?

Yes, you can store spray paint in the garage. But, spray paint comes in the form of aerosol cans. During the summer, the temperature in the garage may rise too much and cause the cans to explode. That’s why you should choose a place that’s dry and cool, like a cabinet or something.


You can never buy the exact amount of paint that you require. There will always be some half-empty paint cans, which, by any means, shouldn’t be thrown away.

However, keep the temperature within range, properly seal the cans, avoid reopening them, keep the cans in a dry place, label the can and you’re good to go.


Mistakes when storing leftover paint

I am Ramiro Garcia, founder and author of Garage Ever with a love of all things space. I have created this blog to share resources everything related to auto care and garage. I have a garage and parter with my friend and we started this as a hobby and now it’s our full-time job. I love what I do and enjoy sharing that with you.

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