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How to Determine Whether Old Paint Is Still Usable

We’ve all got a few of paint cans somewhere in our homes. Maybe it’s that bright red can you planned to use but then changed your mind. Perhaps it’s a half-can of white you keep on hand for touch-ups that are rarely used. Because there are so many tasks that can be done with leftover paint, you may be wondering if your old paint is still useful. Follow these procedures to see whether your old paint is still useful if you’re wondering how to detect if your paint is off.

Unopened Paint

The good news is that if you have an unopened can of paint that has been properly stored, it is nearly always safe to use. Unopened latex and water-based acrylic paints have a shelf life of up to ten years, whereas alkyd and oil-based paints have a shelf life of up to fifteen years. Unopened paint retains its liquid-to-semi-solid ratio, making it safe to use after a lengthy period of time. This ratio begins to alter after the container is opened and exposed to air.

It is critical that you test a tiny area before using that 5-year-old paint in your home. Because the paint has been sitting for so long, it is very possible that it has split. For at least five minutes, thoroughly mix the components using a paint stirrer. After mixing the paint, test it on a piece of cardboard. If the paint seems normal and applies smoothly, you’re ready to begin painting! If you see lumps or gritty fragments that you cannot stir out, the chemical nature of the paint has altered and it cannot be utilised.

Opened Paint

If the can of paint you wish to use is already open, there is still hope. When paint is exposed to air for an extended length of time, the chemical composition changes, which is why old paint cannot always be utilised. You’ll need to open the can and mix the contents to see if yours is ok. Before you begin, make sure to remove the top layer of thicker skin. When this is gone, mix the paint and test it on a piece of cardboard. If the paint applies normally, it is okay to use! If not, a return trip to the paint store is required.

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Paint Exposed to Weather

If you’ve been keeping a can of paint on your back porch or in your garage for several years, it’s likely the paint is not in the best condition. This is because paint cannot handle being exposed to extreme heat and cold. Even fully sealed contents may not survive our Canadian weather. It’s worth doing the paint test described above just to check. Remember that smooth paint is fine to use, but if it’s lumpy and grainy you’ll want to purchase a new can.

If you’ve had a can of paint on your back porch or in your garage for several years, it’s probable that it’s in poor condition. This is due to the paint’s inability to withstand high heat and cold. Even completely enclosed items may not withstand our Canadian weather. To be sure, perform the paint test outlined above. Remember that smooth paint is good to use, but lumpy and gritty paint should be replaced.

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