How Long Does Paint Last?

What Is The Lifespan of Paint?

Using paint from your previous project can save you money and a trip to the paint shop. But is your old paint good enough to be used now? Before you kick start your project, it's always a good idea to check if the paint is all good for your new project or if you need to buy a new can. A carefully packed and stored paint can definitely last longer than one stored improperly. Read on to learn how long a paint can last and how to tell if it has gone bad.

Can Paint Become Unusable?

No matter what type of paint we talk about, all types can go bad with only one difference between all of them: the timespan each stays usable before going off. Here is a brief review of how long does each type of paint lasts:

  • Latex Paint 2-10 years
  • Oil-Based Paint 2-15 years
  • Chalk Paint 1-5 years
  • Milk Paint, premixed in can 1-2 years
  • Milk Paint, mixed from powder form 1-7 days

What Are the Different Types of Paint?

You may be happy to store those paint cans in your garage, thinking all of them are the same. But the truth is each one is different with specific shelf life.

Latex Paint This is a water-based paint that works well for interior and exterior projects. With a high percentage of water, latex paint is less toxic than oil-based paint, but it's more prone to freezing. With proper storage, latex paint is good to be used for 2-10 years.

Oil-Based Acrylic Paint This type of paint can agree to any surface with an excellent finish. The longer you store oil-based paint higher the chances of content separation. An opened and then properly resealed container of oil-based paint can easily last for ten years, while unopened paint can have a lifespan of up to 15 years.

Chalk Paint Chalk paint is very thick and smooth and works well for small jobs like doors or furniture. With proper storage, expect the chalk paint to last for 1-5 years. But if it's left open, it will dry up really quickly.

Milk Paint This paint has no harmful content and is completely safe to be used by kids. It has milk proteins that reduce the shelf life to only a few days once mixed. Pre-mixed types can last for a year if properly sealed.

How to Tell if Paint Has Gone Bad

Smells Off If the paint gives off a foul smell, it's time to buy a new can. Any smell other than that of chemicals means it's time for a change.

Lumps If lumps accompany the top layer of the paint, discard it.

Hardened Paint If the paint has turned from a liquid to semi-solid, it has gone bad, and it's time to buy a new one from Benjamin Moore retail store in Cypress, TX.

Preserving your Paint

  • Store paint in a cool, dry place
  • Avoid extremely high and low temperatures
  • Try to keep contaminants out of the paint
  • Place plastic wrap under the lid before sealing the gallon

Do you have more questions about your paint? Ask the professionals at Kwikze Paint.