You did everything right--you carefully sealed the can of paint after you were done with the job. You labeled it and put it away safely in case it was needed for touch-ups later. Now you need to touch up the wall, but the darn paint lid is rusted shut. It just takes a little common sense and a few professional tips to keep paint fresh and to keep the cans from rusting once they've been opened.
Things You'll Need
- Damp rags
- Petroleum jelly
Avoid working straight out of the paint can. Instead, pour the paint you're going to use for brushing into a separate bucket and work out of that. This keeps the rim of the paint can clean, so it's easier to close properly when you're done.
Rinse the paint can lid until all the paint is cleaned off. Using a damp rag, wipe around the edge of the can, removing excess paint.
Use a hammer to gently tap down the lid until it's tightly sealed. Don't whack it too hard--this isn't necessary and crimps the metal, allowing air to seep in and rusting the edge, making it more difficult to open later. Laying a block of wood or a rag over the lid before using the hammer will also prevent you from crimping the metal lid.
Choose a cool, dry place to store the paint can. If possible, use a shelf rather than a damp garage or basement floor. Humidity and moisture cause rust, so the drier the storage area, the better. Store the paint can upside down. This sounds counterintuitive, but it works very well. The wet paint in the can will automatically seal the opening, keeping the paint fresh for years.
Wipe a very thin layer of petroleum jelly around the rim of the can before sealing it if you live in a very humid area. This will help keep the lid from rusting shut.
If the paint is being stored for a long time, check it about once a year. If the can has started to rust, it can be poured into a new can.
Tips & Warnings
- Make sure any stored paint is protected from freezing.
- Date and label paint cans for storage. You may think you'll remember which paint was used where 3 years from now, but most people don't.
- Avoid leaving paint near any heat source.
- Why Do Iron Nails Rust?
How to Clean Paint Rollers
Clean rollers immediately after use to maintain their quality and durability.
How to Keep Deco Paint Markers From Clogging
Paint markers are some of the most fun and versatile drawing tools. They can be used to adorn everything from wood to...
How to Clean Old Paintbrushes
Washing a paintbrush with plain water right after you use it removes most paint. But if there's stubborn paint still stuck to...
How to Paint a Milk Can
Although milk cans are getting hard to find, there are still some of these mid-century treasures hanging out in antique shops. During...
How to Rust Tin Cans
If you're trying to rust tin cans, or change the surface to iron oxide, you're probably working on a craft project. Rusting...
How to Prevent Rust
Rust is a type of corrosion that affects metals like iron and steel which are categorized as ferrous metals. Typically rust will...
How to Paint a Rusty Gate or Fence
Iron gates and fences are attractive but require regular painting to keep rust away. It is not always an easy job to...
How to Keep Washable Paint on Glass
You can obtain beautiful effects by painting on glass and glassware. Washable varieties of paint are easy to use, easy to clean...
How to Paint to Prevent Rust
Rust is a natural process that occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture. If you want to paint to prevent...
How to Prevent Rust From Bleeding Through Paint
Rust is a natural process that occurs when metal is exposed to air and moisture. If you attempt to paint over rust,...
How to Paint Over Rusty Metal
Most people know how destructive rust is to metal, so discovering a rusted area on your metal patio furniture, decorations or other...