Does Paint Expire?

a lot of colorful paint cans, open to display the painting on the inside
Andreas Kraus / Shutterstock

Yes, the paint expires, but its expiration depends on the type of paint. You can not find a real expiry date on the package, so how can you know if your painting is still good?

Basics of paint types

There are some main types of paint that you are most likely to use regularly at home. If you are an artist, you can also use acrylic paints or oil. In your home, oil and latex are commonly used.

  • Oil-based paints – With proper care and storage, oil-based paints will last up to fifteen years. Oil-based paints use synthetic or natural oils, which makes it take longer to store and use. It's a more durable paint option, however, which is worth it for the long drying time.
  • Latex paints – The latex paint will only last ten years. This type of paint dries faster, but is less durable than oil. It is also less stable.
  • Acrylic paints – Acrylic paints, most commonly used in the art, can last more than a decade, depending on the packaging and storage.

Adequate storage for painting

Properly storing your paint, whatever its type, will extend its life and ensure a maximum duration. Correct storage begins by tightly sealing the paint bucket or tube, but a proper temperature is also important. Keeping your paint tightly closed helps prevent it from drying out and preventing all of these valuable compounds from flying off and healing the paint in the box.

Extreme temperatures, too cold or too hot, will ruin your painting immediately. The paint should be stored above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and below 72 degrees. This means that storing your paint in the garage or in a shed is not a good idea if you want it to last. Keep it in the house where you have more control over the temperature. Latex paint, in particular, is likely to freeze and a simple freezing is usually enough to transform it into a strange and spongy mass of color, ruining it at the same time.

How to tell if your painting is already bad

This means that your painting is bad:

  • If it is dried out.
  • There is a smell of fish or a strange smell that she did not have before.
  • It's stocky.
  • When you stir it, it does not have a smooth texture and separates again quickly.

So, if it smells bad, you know; Oddest smell that the VOC-laden paint is already – and will not fade again, it's time to get rid of it.

How to follow the age of your painting

Keep track of the age of your painting diligently. Put the date of purchase on the container with a permanent marker. You should also keep a notebook of your painting purchases, especially if you are painting your home. If you want to paint with scratches on the wall, you will need the exact mix of paint and you may be exhausted at some point (or having to throw away your paint if it gets worse). To write:

  • The mark of painting
  • The date of purchase
  • The name of the paint color
  • What kind of paint and what kind of finish
  • The formula numbers of the can

It may seem excessive, but believe us. In ten years, when you decide to repaint and really like the color, the above information will make it an absolute breeze to get a fresh can in the exact shade of your choice.

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