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
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.
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.
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:
I've stored paint cans for a lot longer than 10 years,
never saw one leak.
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.
: > Hi,
: > I did a poor job in framing my question, I realize after
: > What I was asking was regarding do these cans tend to LEAK
: > 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
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.
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.)
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.
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
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
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.
Don't know about indefinitely (haven't lived that
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.
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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