Metal Paint Cans; Experience With ?

Hi,
Just curious about what you all have experienced with the typical 1 gal metal paint and stain cans.
I realize it depends on brands, who manufactured the cans, etc., but have you found that, in general, they stay liquid tight indefinitely, or... ?
Always leary about these things, being kept (in my case) in the basement.
Any differences betweeen them for paint or stain in them ?
How about if they are stored in a very cold garage, as contrasted to a warm basement ?
Thanks, Bob
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The cans are fine, but the products inside may be ruined by extreme cold or freezing.
Commodore Joe Redcloud
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When I buy paint from a real hardware store, they offer to give me a little tool made for prying open the paint cans without damaging the edge. It sort of hooks under the rolled rim, but doesn't touch the actual part that seals. This goes a long way toward keeping paint fresh. And, wipe paint out of the channel immediately before it begins to harden, otherwise it can affect how well the lid seals. Cut a piece of 2x4 a little larger than the diameter of the can. Rest it on top, over the rim, and tap shut with a hammer. Don't use any metallic tool directly on the can, or you'll dent it.
Doing things this way, I've had cans that have lasted at least 10 years, with no apparent loss of paint quality. Obviously, if you have a very damp basement, the cans may rust. Store them somewhere else.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I do it a little differently. I use a 10d common to punch holes in the valley of the can where the lid seals. It doesn't actually seal on the bottom, it's the sides of the valley and lid that compress to give the seal. The punched holes, every inch or so, let the paint drain back into the can. I've never had a problem with the lid getting stuck when I do it that way.
R
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Hmm, paint in the valley?
Years ago I bought a plastic ring that fits over the top of an opened can. I don't get any paint in the valley even if I pour out of the can. Mines more than 30 years old and still going strong. I guess they still make them...Yep, here's one:
http://www.ronhazelton.com/tips/Paint_Pouring_Lids.htm
I've stored paint cans for a lot longer than 10 years, never saw one leak.
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Hi,
I did a poor job in framing my question, I realize after re-reading it.
What I was asking was regarding do these cans tend to LEAK (from the botttom or from a seam) after a while ?
Sorry for the confusion.
Bob
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Never had that happen and I've been a homeowner (with the odd cans of paint that go with it) for 40 years. I just cleaned a few out of hte basement that have been there over five years.
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I've only seen it happen with very rusty, beat up cans, and that's easy to prevent.
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: > Hi, : > : > I did a poor job in framing my question, I realize after re-reading it. : > : > What I was asking was regarding do these cans tend to LEAK (from the : > botttom or from a seam) after a while ? : > : > Sorry for the confusion. : > : > Bob : : I've only seen it happen with very rusty, beat up cans, and that's easy to : prevent. : : I had it happen to a can of latex paint but the paint hardened before it leaked. I discovered the "leak" when I was trying to clean the can to use it to pour small amounts of paint into for small jobs. Found it on the bench, luckly - I was headed for the living room windows <G>.
Never heard of it happening to anyhone else though, as long as the cans weren't stroed sitting on cement, whatever, and rusted from the outside. I've never seen a seam leak either. Or even the lids, as long as they'd fit back on correctly.
2 cents
Pop
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Robert11 wrote:

Strange as this may sound, but I have had a problem with latex paints rusting through the bottom of the can from the inside. This is with paint cans that are as little as one year old. I get the can out to touch up a small spot somewhere, take the lid off, stir up the sludge on the bottom, and all of a sudden the paint starts leaking out of a pinhole in the bottom of the can. This isn't at a seam or anything, just right in the middle of the bottom. The exterior of the can looks just fine, but when I stir the paint I start to see reddish rust-colored swirls in the paint that I'm mixing up, and if I scape the paint aside off the bottom, I see the rust spots.
And before you start to say I should switch brands, this has all been with Ben Moore paint, that just about all I use.
After the intial use of the paint, I am exceedingly anal about cleaning the rim well so that I'll get a good seal to help the paint last as long as possible for future use in touch-ups. And I'm always very careful to not bend the lip of the lid.
When this problem happens, I have resorted to buying a brand new can and dumping the remaining paint into there. (Out local Ace HW store sells shiny new cans for a couple bucks.)
Ken
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Ken wrote:

I had my first "old" can of latex paint do that (rust through the bottom from the inside) a few month's ago and I bet it was at least 15 years old. It didn't leak until I opened it and stirred it well, Then a little while later when I moved the can I found a puddle of wet paint under it.
A couple of years ago I started storing ALL of my paint cans upside down after I close them and I haven't encountered a "dried out" can since then. I swung over to that concept when I bought a new can of Plastic Wood and noticed that the pry out lid was on the bottom relative to the printing on the can.
I figger that liquid product up against the can lid must "clog" any slight leakage paths past the seal so that gas pressure changes caused by varying storage temperatures can't push and pull the gases in the can out and in so the contents "dry out".
That rusted through can I mentioned above had probably sat right side up for over ten years before I started using the upside down storage method, so the bottom was probably in tough shape already.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 13:19:32 -0500, Jeff Wisnia
<Snipped>

See my post under the original thread.
Makes me wonder if the liner on the bottom of the can got scratched somewhere along the way.
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wrote:

I have a dry basement, and I have cans 20 years old that haven't leaked yet. In fact, they look good as new.
AIUI, they have a plan to make the successor to the Space Shuttle out of paint cans.

I'm still giving my original answer: When I replace a lid on a perfectly clean can, or remove the lid on a slightly or very dirty one, I scratch a mark into the lid that matches the seam in the can or the seam in the label of the can, so I can replace the lid exactly where it was. This works very well for me and keeps a tight seal at the lid.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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wrote:

To add to what others have said-
There are lined cans- usually for water based products. (I don't know what the liner is made of)
Unlined cans- for oils.
Don't put water based products in an unlined can- it will rust.
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Robert11 wrote:

long yet). But they certainly last for 30 years. Latex paint in cans will cause them to rust, faster with reduced amounts of paint, but still have never actually spilled the contents. Probably because the paint becomes hard before they every rust through. Oil paint cans never seem to runs internally, but could rust through from the outside.
Don't store paint where it is very cold. It is not good for oil paint and latex is ruined if if freezes. 35 to 40 degrees is ok.
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Latex paints can cause a metal can to rust from the inside. A latex paint is a water based emulsion and usually has a relatively high pH. Both of these conditions will accelerate it's attack on a steel can. The metal cans used for latex paints are lined cans. Usually the lining is an epoxy and it's there to prevent the paint from attacking the steel can. If that lining is damaged or if it wasn't a perfect lining in the first place, the paint will eventually rust out the can. When you stir latex paint in a metal can you have to be sure not to damage the lining. Using a metal power stirrer or grabbing a screwdriver to stir can easily damage the lining.
Oil based paints and stains may or may not be sold in lined cans. Either way, they seldom leak providing the seams are good and the can hasn't been damaged. When you store paint, it's a good idea to inspect it occasionally.
Cold storage generally won't harm an oil based paint but cold temperatures can affect latex paints. Most latex paints can stand a few degrees below freezing because of the chemicals that are dissolved in the water phase. Since latex based paints are an emulsion, storing them in a location that has a varying temperature, even if it doesn't actually freeze, is worse than storing them in a location that has a constant temperature. Latex paints can be formulated to withstand repeated temperatures well below freezing but you shouldn't rely on that fact.

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