Keep unused paint cool and dry so it is fresh and ready for reuse. Following this one rule eliminates the storage areas available to most people. The truth is, direct sunlight and extreme weather can ruin most latex paints. Keeping toxic and flammable paints deep inside the home is not a good option either. Well-ventilated, locked storage rooms located away from exposed flames and in moderate temperatures will work best.
Store paint in cool, dry rooms that are out of direct sunlight and away from freezing temperatures. Avoid sheds or outdoor storage areas that freeze during the winter months. Damp or wet environments can rust paint cans and jar lids. A ruined container means ruined paint. Just a little rust on the container can lead to rust entering the paint once you open the can. Do not place paint in front of heating vents.
Walls should be solid in order to keep out the elements. The storage room should also be temperature- monitored in climates with extreme seasonal temperature changes. Checking the manufacturer's label will tell you the temperature range the paint can handle. A paint storage area should contain shelving that keeps the paint off the floor to protect the cans from rain and flooding. Concrete floors are not a good place to store paint. The floors can become damp in humid climates. Garage and basement floors are not good places to store unused paint.
Children and Pet Proof
Paint is toxic and not safe to ingest, so keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Shoulder-height shelving in a paint storage room can fill this requirement. Higher shelving near the ceiling will be exposed to warmer temperatures. A surface door lock placed out of reach can keep small children away from the stored paint. Place the lock at least five feet from the floor. This is important whether there are children in the household or not because neighboring or visiting children can wander into an unlocked storage room and be at risk.
A well-ventilated storage room will keep paint fumes from collecting and causing a fire. Storerooms should not contain flames of any kind. Open-flame heaters and pilot lights can cause explosions when flammable material like paint is available. Keep paint away from water heaters, even those with self-contained pilot lights. Store rags, flammable fabrics and material apart from paint. Keep them out of the same storage room and away from combustible substances.
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