Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2008

Paint Shelf Life

Q: How do we prolong paint shelf life?

1. Do we shake containers every so often?
2. If so 2mos, 6mos. etc.?
3. small town paint stores, sediment in bottom of cans.
4. Slow moving product. (devine) eggshell base. 1 gl, 5 gl.

A: You can most certainly shake the paint on a regular basis, perhaps every three months to keep the solids in suspension. The settling that occurs is on a case-by-case basis, therefore I can't tell you how often to the shaking.

In my opinion the best strategy is to store the paint cans in a cool place. Do not, however, allow the paint to freeze. Paints that go through several freeze/thaw cycles do degrade faster; therefore you should make an effort to prevent even one freeze thaw cycle.

Even if you exceed the shelf life as printed on the label of the can, you can often use the paint for an additional several months. The best way to evaluate this is to send a sample of the "aged" paint to a paint laboratory so that they can assess if the paint is still good.


Ron Joseph

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