Should You Store Canned And Spray Paint In The Garage? (FOUR TIPS)

Garages are considered the ideal place to store valuable items and to clutter literally everything in the home.

However, you must take a few precautions while storing chemicals, paints, sprays, aerosols, foodstuff, and linen.

When you purchase more paint for your DIY activities, you will have to make a plan on where to store the extra paint.

So Should You Store Canned And Spray Paint In The Garage?

Whether to store paint in the garage or not depends on the temperatures within the garage. Normally, paint should be stored at room temperature for it to remain in a good state over a long time. The garage may not have the expected storage conditions for canned or spray paint throughout the year. Therefore, it is better to consider storing paint in the basement or a cabinet in the living room.

Paint is affected by extreme temperatures and can only remain in a good state if stored within a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures will cause the paint can to expand and burst out, while the higher temperatures will dismantle or disintegrate the components of the paint. 

Why Is Storing Paint In The Garage Discouraged?

The garage is more sensitive to temperature changes, and its conditions greatly differ from the living space.

If keen, you will realize that in summer, the air inside the garage is just as hot and stuffy as the outside air.

Even though you can try to regulate the temperatures with fans in the warmer months, you may not strain the consistent temperatures required for proper paint storage.

Unlike the garage, maintaining house temperatures is more manageable and possible.

Even if you properly insulate your garage in the colder months, it will still suffer when the temperatures are extremely low.

Even if you choose to heat your garage in winter, the difference in temperatures may not be that significant, or you may not be able to constantly attain a stable temperature range.

Unstable temperature in the garage is the main reason why you should not store canned or spray paint inside the garage.

Paint is a sensitive mixture of chemicals designed to be used and stored in a specific environment.

Continuous temperature shifts every year can alter the paint’s chemical composition, even if you seal the can tightly.

Temperature variations also affect the cans and metallic spray bottles holding paint.

The cans can become extremely hot or cold.

If the garage is too damp, the cans can easily rust. In the long run, even the paint sealed inside the cans will get damaged.

Paint will likely change consistently if exposed to extreme temperatures.

When you pick a tin of paint from the garage, don’t be surprised to realize it is already damaged.

You will experience difficulty when attempting to use such paint since it may not be fluid enough to apply well on the walls.

In some cases, such paint can become dangerous to life. If you have stored some cans of paint, it is advisable that if you find them damaged, you dispose of them in an environmentally safe way.

Four Paint Storage Tips

When you are done with your painting project but still have some canned or spray paint left over, it is important to consider how you can best store it for future use.

Whether a paint is durable or not, the way you store it will determine whether it can be reused.

1. Store In A Cool, Dry Place

While sheds and garages are the preferred storage places for many pieces of equipment and material, these storage spaces are not ideal for storing paint.

Temperature variations greatly affect paint, and if kept in a place with no temperature regulation mechanism, it will eventually go bad.

A cool, dry place in your home can do better for storing paint.

However, this place should also have regulated temperatures.

Ideally, if you can control the wetness in your basement, you can keep there canned and spray paint for some time.

A cabinet or drawer in your living space is the best place to keep paint since it will benefit from regulated living space temperatures.

A dark, cool, and dry place will work best to keep your paint fresh and ready for use whenever needed.

2. Transfer Paint To Small Containers

If you had bought paint in large containers and used more of it, you can transfer the remaining paint to small containers.

Small containers are easy to organize and will occupy less space in the cabinet.

You can use mason jars since they are easy to find and occupy very little space.

3. Close Cans Tightly

Tighten the lid on your paint can to prevent air entry.

Sealing the container ensures air does not become the cause of problems for your stored paint.

Allowing a lot of air in the paint container will not take long before it gets damaged.

If you are unsure how to airtight your containers, you can try creating a seal between the lead and container using plastic wrap.

You can also store the painting upside down; no air particles will get in the paint. Using small cans can also help you in ensuring the lids hold on tightly.

4. Label Them

It is essential to label the containers (with color or brand name), whether they are clear jars or colored mason jars.

Otherwise, if you don’t label, you will find it hard to choose the right color you need when need arises.

You should also organize the paints in an orderly way so that you can find them easily and quickly whenever you want to use it.

When you finish the paint in the cans, or realize that you may not need to use the paint anymore, it is better to get rid of the cans. For environmental safety, you can recycle the containers.

How Can Tell If Your Paint Has Gone Bad?

1. Do A Sniff Test

If you are conversant with paint smell, you can easily identify if the paint is in a good state or has gone bad by just getting its smell.

Open your can and give it a smell; you will notice if it is still fresh and usable or has gone bad.

2. Use Your Stir Stick

Just as you stir new paint with a stir stick before you start to use it, it is the same way you should stir stored paint.

If it doesn’t mix up easily or fails to fully separate, it indicates it has gone bad.

3. Try Painting A Small Surface

Test the paint by applying some on a small surface. If it is bumpy and rough or doesn’t appear silky, you can dispose of it correctly.

Make sure you check on the regulations for disposing of paint, especially oily paints, to avoid getting into conflict.


When you purchase paint for your DIY projects, it is not every time that you will use it exhaustively.

If you remain with some paint, whether canned or spray paint, you should consider storing it for future use.

Even though the garage seems the first storage space for such, you should, by all means, avoid keeping canned or spray paint in there, especially if you are uncertain of when you will need to use the paint again.