|Turning Old Paint From Hassle To Helpful: Part
With your old paints gone, you can turn your attention to the paints currently in your home. If you're the type that doesn't want or use touch-up paints, now is the time to take notes (I made this handy FunSheet pdf packet for you to take those notes) on all your remaining paints and get rid of them too (If you missed part 1 of this series, you can read it here and you can find more information on notes and labeling in part 3 of the series here). However, if you're like me and keep your touch-up paints you have a little more work to do. The next step is determining if the paints you're keeping are still any good BEFORE you go shaking the can.
2. Determining the usability of the paints you're keeping.
first order of business now that you've sorted your
paints is determining if the paint in the cans is
still usable. Checking the lid seal is an easy first
step because cans that aren't sealed properly rust,
mildew or harden much faster than normal. If the seals
are all fine, next you need to carefully and gently
open each can and check if the paint has succumbed to
any of the following paint-killing conditions: 1)
freezing, 2) rusting or 3) mildew. If you can clearly
tell any of these conditions has happened to your
paint, your paint is now useless; you should take
notes on the paint (part
1 told you how) and get rid of it in a proper
If you are unsure what to look for, here is an evaluation checklist to help. If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions your paint is most-likely useless and should be discarded after taking notes:
After gently opening your paint can:
in doubt about the paint condition, I advise getting
rid of the paint. It's easy enough to get new paint
when you need it and then you know for sure it's good.
You should check your touch-up paints every few years
for freezing, rust or mildew so you aren't keeping
paint that is not usable. The longer paint sits, the
more likely it is to have one or more of these
paint-killing conditions so it's handy to have your
paint information noted somewhere else besides the
stack of touch-up paint you're keeping.