Not directly related to woodworking, but I am hoping to paint some
stuff on the outside of the house with a couple of gallon of Benjamin
Moore Exterior Latex of a particular colour which I have in inventory.
However, those two gallons were mixed 5 years ago, but upon opening
the cans, all seemed well, just a tad of separation on top, no lumps,
smelled okay, tasted fine.
My regular paint guru is on vacation, and I know there's well-honed
knowledge base in this group.
It will be going on treated wood and steel, the same I did 5 years ago
(The building of a deck interrupted the painting ofd the back of the
house.... and then I got busy with other stuff.)
What I painted 5 years ago, still looks spiffy, even after a few
powerwashes at 3000PSIG.
So, what do you figure, gentleman, ladies, should that paint be okay?
Or do I shed that genetic Dutch Fault and throw it all out and drop a
hundred bucks and buy new?
all thoughts appreciated, and shall Google some more...
Is one to assume that it was stored inside and not subject to
If so, I would take a chance on it, but on an area that doesn't too much
matter. Let it sit overnite, and see how it looks.
Nope, no freezies. (Although I have been told that if thawed out
slowly, it can still be fine)
The more I read, the more I feel okay about giving it a whirl.
Besides, it is the back of the house. The only people who ever go back
there are the same ones who drink my beer and scotch and dare to eat
my burnt offerings from the Q. Best they keep their critiques to
It should be OK. I have old paint, buy paint on sale and keep it until I am
ready to use it. I opened up some that was in excess of 5 years old and
separation was so bad that I took it back to Sears and let them shake it up
for me. I was fine.
Yea.. I bought a few 5 gallon pails of industrial white latex which
was fine after 5+ years... dunno what I'm fretting about. (Read: a lot
of hand-cuttin-in and trim and ladders and scaffolds and crap I don't
want to have to do again...)
IME, I judge it like this.
If the paint smells bad when it is opened, or even not like latex
(which should have a very slight to heavy ammonia smell) it goes out.
If there are any kind of lumps, skin, or dried rings inside the can.
It goes out. If there was any paint used out of the can, any at all,
it goes out.
I would open the can, inspect thoroughly, and have it professionally
remixed. The zinc solids will migrate to form a paste on the bottom
of the can. This paste can take <forever> to stir back in with a 1/2"
drill and the proper sized stirrer.
Test it on a board and see if it lays out. If it does, success!
Yuppers. There is a cake at the bottom...and at 30,000 RPM, 4HP, and a
mortar stirrer, there is no paint left in the can... but the room
looks nice. So does my shirt. AND my face.
I'll give it a try. It's not like that job a local painter did. He bid
WAY low on a contract to paint a church. He added a LOT of water to
the latex... to the point that a mild rain washed most of the paint
off the church. The minister was some peeved. He yelled at the
painter: "REPAINT!! AND THIN NO MORE!!!"
I know... that was bad...
Ouch.... I am not sure bad covers it!
BUT, you made up for it with that picture. Hilarious!
When we were kiddos, my Dad <hated> to paint or finish anything. So
one fine Sunday, my father and me finished up about 25 feet of wood
fence we replaced. We reset posts, built gates, all the stuff.
Well, the Cowboys were playing at 3 o'clock, and these were the golden
days of the Pokes, around 1970. Not wanting to be accused of being a
bad father in the state of Texas by keeping his son from see the
Cowboys play he decided on a plan that would get both (mainly him) out
of painting the fence.
He reasoned that since we had been the ones to work on the fence the
previous day (all day) and we had hung the gates and put up the fence
boards that morning, it was time to get my two sisters involved. So
he drug them outside kicking and screaming and gave them paint buckets
and brushes, and left them outside in tears while we went inside and
watched the game.
I was happy, and he was happy.
Along about halftime, he went outside figuring that they were waiting
for him to come out and inspect the job and clean the brushes.
They were COVERED with the barn red paint that was intended for the
fence. There was little on the fence, but plenty on them as they had
gotten into a "slap fight" with the brushes loaded with paint. I was
on their clothes, their faces, in their hair and on their arms and
legs. And there wasn't even enough paint left to paint the fence. I
was astonished. My Dad was overwhelmed.
It seems that they had decided that if they did a bad enough, sloppy
enough job that they figured they either wouldn't have to finish, or
at the least they wouldn't be asked to paint again. But when they
really got sloppy, they accidentally flicked paint on each other
during the process. It had escalated from a small slappy little
conflict of intentionally flipping paint on each to get even, into an
all out war.
Here's how you help your children learn.
Remembering this was almost 40 years ago, one needs to remember this
was oil based paint. A new "quick dry" paint, it was supposed to be
dry in just two short hours. My sisters had it on them about that
long. To help them learn the error of their ways, he gave them rags
and some turpentine to clean themselves up.
The more they scrubbed, the worse they looked and the more it burned
their skin. But if they didn't scrub, the red paint would stay on
them, and they absolutely had no doubt they would be going to school
the next day. They scrubbed, turned red as beets, and still didn't
get it all off. The probably scrubbed and burned and cried about how
unfair all of life was for at least a couple of hours.
They indeed went to school the next day, and I don't know how they
explained away their distinctly hued red complexions or frizzy hair.
The next Saturday, they were up at bat with fresh paint. Dad sat out
near the fence in a lawn chair for a while and watched them, and then
we he was satisfied they wouldn't do it again, he let them finish.
Needless to say, the job went a lot smoother the second time.
Thanks for the memory. It is part of the family lore now, and it
makes me snicker to this day. And here we are 40 years later, and they
both still blame the other for "starting it".
Thanks Robert, that was a great story, and one that seems to be too much
trouble for todays fathers, those that are still around, to be bothered
with. I bet you guys feel blessed to have a father that cared enough to
I've used latex paint that was 5+ years old with no problems. I did,
however, have a couple of gallons of SW go bad after sitting in the
back of my pickup for a couple of weeks when the daytime highs were
hitting 100+ degree's F. Turned lumpy on me, couldn't get it to
Either Moore-Glo or MooreGuard in a sealed can that looks and smells
right will be just fine. To be safe, just try a little on a sample
piece of material and make sure it dries properly. Generally not a
problem with 100% acrylic latex like it is with Alkyds.
We have used old paint on several occasions. I save all my old off white
paint left from jobs and mix it all together when I have enough to paint a
whole house. I work for several investors that don't care what color off
white we use on their investment property. We have also used customers paint
that has been stored for several years with no problems. I say go for it.
Ditto ... I just repainted some of the trim on my exterior doors and touch
upped the interior from the paint used six years ago when I built the house.
When I sell a house, we usually store the unused paint in the garage with
the cans color coded to the room of the house. Although there is a shelf
life, it is nice to be able to use the original paint/colors for those
inevitable touch-ups that generally happen within that time frame.
Funny you asked this today, I had just been thinking how silly I was to
use some old paint I had left over.
I had some SW latex trim and shutter paint that was at least that old.
It was really good outdoor paint that I'd had great success with. I
used it on outside windows two years ago and it was fine. Last year I
used it on an outside door, and it worked just fine, until summer came.
Now although it FEELS dry to the touch, the damned door sticks as if
the paint was still tacky.
I think the paint would be fine if I was painting siding or trim, just
not on moving parts. The thing is, painting is such a chore, and gets
really ugly if something goes wrong and you have to remove or sand the
stuff and redo it, it seems not worth taking the chance. My problem is
I have a hard time wasting anything, and more than once I've been penny
wise and pound foolish, something my mother had warned me about many
times in the distant past:-) I don't think I can change though, so my
recommendation is give it a shot, see what happens:-)
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