Whether you Find a Decorator on Mr-Skill or do the job yourself, you inevitably end up with left-over pots of paint. Those with just a few scrapings in them are best thrown away. Those still at least a quarter full could be worth preserving for touch-up jobs.
Reseal Quickly – Air is the enemy of paint because paint’s supposed to dry in its presence. Clean both lid and tin carefully where they come together. Insert a sheet of film or tinfoil. Close firmly to achieve an airtight seal without causing any distortion.
Label the Tin – Begin to clean your brush by painting a colour-patch on the tin in a way that does not cover up any important information. Use a laundry marker to note the dates when bought and used, and the colour code if the paint was specially mixed.
Store Away Sensibly – I know a London Painter who insists in storing paint tins upside down so that the paint remains above the film and not beneath it. I’ve followed his advice and found it works quite well. In any case, store the tin away from extreme heat and cold.
Using Old Paint – Paint has a limited shelf-life and many manufacturers suggest that it should be used within a year of being purchased. Don’t be tempted to bring down the cost of a Decorating Quote by using paint that’s gone beyond its usefulness. In any case, make sure it’s strained through a fine mesh sieve or piece of muslin, and into a clean container and well stirred.
Storing paint is really only really useful when you have a plan to use it shortly. This could be when you are half-way through an upgrade, and just want to brighten up a wall. In other instances it may just be an excuse to accumulate more clutter.
Be brave. Know the difference. Why not give your old paint tins a fresh view on life instead.