How to Store Paint & Solvents During Cold Weather

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Extreme cold will ruin paint and solvents quickly so it is important to take precautions and follow the storage instructions outlined for the specific product. Proper storage can extend the life of the paint, but there are some universal tips that you’ll want to follow to ensure the paint is still good when you need it. New products introduced by most major paint companies now allow you to paint in temperatures down to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but paint should never be stored in a place where it could freeze.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelves
  • Store in a cool, dry room at or above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Basement storage rooms are best, but it is important to keep all paint and solvents off the floor, and away from the furnace, water heater or other natural gas appliances like a clothes dryer. An insulated garage or shed that maintains a temperature above freezing is a good place, but you should monitor the temperature on exceptionally cold days.

  • Prepare your storage room. Make sure the area is ventilated and free of rags or other flammable materials. Solvents should be sealed and clearly labeled. Store away from children and animals. Use metal shelves in case a can leaks; most solvents and paints can corrode plastic or wood.

  • Prepare your paint for storage. Cover with plastic before closing the lid and use a mallet or large hammer to seal it. Stack the labeled paint can upside down. This will create an air tight seal.

  • Rotate your product. Once a year you should discard old solvents and purchase new product only when you need it. Take outdated cans to a local service station or your city hazardous waste dump.

  • Photo Credit painint lime and grey. image by Sorbotrol from Fotolia.com
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