Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

October, 2008

Paint Shelf Life

Q. My parents bought a house and found about 20 gallons of paint that has never been opened but they said that the date on it was back in the 60's and 70's. Is it still good?

A. In my opinion this should be a museum piece. First, I doubt that it is still good since most solvent based paints have a shelf life of approximately 1-2 years, and waterborne paints have an even shorter shelf life. Even if it is possible to brush the paint onto a surface, I would not want to paint anything of value, since I would have no idea if the paint will soon peel, flake, blister, etc. I suggest you dispose of it as hazardous waste.


Ron Joseph

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