How Long Does Paint Last? 

Posted on: October 25th, 2021

How Long Does Paint Last?

Most homeowners tend to have several cans of leftover paint in their garage. But just how long is paint good for? Throwing away leftover paint after finishing a project isn’t wise in case you need to do touch-ups in the future. And it’s always better to have more paint than you need. So it’s a good idea to know how long paint lasts. There’s no sense in all those number 10 paint cans taking up room on your shelves if it’s all dried up when you go to use it. So let’s go over how to properly maintain and store paint and how to know if it’s still usable. 

How Long is Paint Good For? 

There are a few factors that will determine how long your paint is good for. It depends on whether or not you stored it properly and what type of paint it is. Paint that has never been opened, latex or oil, will typically last about three years. If you store a can of opened paint in the correct way, it most likely will last a couple of years. 

How Do You Store Paint? 

No matter what kind of paint you are using, you can save and store the leftovers. The most important thing to remember is to keep it from exposure to air. Here are some simple yet effective steps to keep in mind when storing extra paint: 

  1. Wipe away all excess paint from the edge of the lid and top of the can’s rim. This ensures a tighter seal to keep out air. 
  2. Replace the lid. 
  3. Place a piece of wood or another flat surface on top of the lid before hammering it back on. This allows the lid to go on evenly, creating a more efficient seal.
  1. Use a sharpie to mark on the can what area or room you used the paint for and the date and year you used it. You’ll be really glad you didn’t skip this step after several years have passed. 
  2. Store leftover paint in an area where the temperature never falls below 50 degrees or goes above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For most people, this rules out the garage or attic as prime conditions for storage. Store away from furnaces or other heat-generating appliances.

Does Paint Expire?

Yes, paint does expire but since your can doesn’t come with an expiration date stamped on it, how do you know when it’s gone bad? The life of your paint is largely determined by what type of paint it is. Latex and oil-based paints are what most homeowners use. 

  • Latex Paints –This type of paint dries faster than oil-based paints, but it’s less durable and less shelf-stable. Latex paints will last up to 2-10 years. 
  • Oil-Based Paint- Oil-based paints will last between 3-11 years if stored properly. While oil-based paints take longer to dry, both while using it and in storage, it’s a more durable paint option. 

How to Tell if Your Paint is Bad

For the most part, it’s pretty straightforward when it comes to knowing your paint is bad. If it’s dried out, chunky, or smells odd or even fishy, don’t try using it. Also, if it separates after being stirred or has a strange consistency, it’s time to dispose of it. 

How Long Does Paint Last in a Bucket? 

It isn’t a good idea to store your leftover paint in a 5-gallon bucket. If you end up with less than a gallon after painting the exterior of your home or another large project, consolidate what you have. Transfer your remaining paint into a smaller container that will seal tightly. Just be sure to transfer the paint code, name, and date used so you will have that important info down the road. 

How Long Does House Paint Last? 

Despite the fact that exterior house paint contains a higher number of VOCs than interior paint, that doesn’t make it have a longer shelf life. Exterior paint follows the same rules and guidelines as interior paint when it comes to storage and longevity. 

Conclusion on How Long Paint Lasts 

When you need answers to painting questions, turn to PaintRite Pros. We are the top-rated painters in the Elk Grove-Sacramento area including Davis and Stockton. Our services include kitchen cabinets, interior, and exterior house painting, garage floor epoxy, commercial painting, and more. We strive to live up to the claim of providing you with only the highest professional services. Our experience and dedication are unmatched. We don’t just want you to be satisfied with our work, we work to ensure we are also proud of the work we have done. Give us a call to get a free estimate today!

Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood? 

Posted on: October 5th, 2021

Can you paint pressure treated wood?

People often wonder: can you paint pressure treated wood? The answer is, yes, but there are some important things to consider for best results. There are extra steps you need to take that aren’t necessary with regular lumber. 

Pressure treated lumber needs time to dry out completely before it’s painted. Showing a little patience, then applying the proper paint and primer will be your best chance at a successful and long-lasting outcome.

How Long Should you Wait Between Coats of Paint

When Can You Paint Pressure Treated Wood? 

Pressure treated wood needs time to dry out before it’s primed or painted. You can expect 3-4 months before the moisture levels fully go down. If moisture beads up on the surface, it’s still too damp. You’ll know the treated wood is ready to paint when it absorbs water instead of repelling it. If you picked up pressure treated lumber from the hardware store, chances are it will be too wet to use right away. There are also chemicals in the wood such as resin and pitch that need time to dry out as well. The danger in painting too soon is that your lumber could decay and deteriorate much faster than if given time to properly cure. 

The drying out process will obviously take longer depending on your location and the climate where you live. Areas with extreme humidity will take treated wood much longer to cure. Cities such as Sacramento with a more arid and dry climate will speed up the process significantly.

How To Paint Pressure Treated Wood 


Before starting to paint, the first thing you should do is give the wood a good cleaning. Use soap and water to wash away any dirt and debris on the wood. You may need to scrub with a clean rag to really be thorough. When finished, wipe down with a dry rag and let it completely dry.

1. Let the wood dry 

As mentioned earlier, between the chemicals used to treat the wood and the water used to clean it, the lumber needs time to dry out. This process can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Pressure treated wood that is kiln-dried after treatment will dry out much faster. So if you have a project that can’t wait, opt for kiln-dried wood. 

2. Apply a coat of primer

Once you’ve tested the moisture of your wood and are certain it’s dry, you can apply a coat of primer. We recommend using a primer that is listed on the label as suitable for both treated and exterior wood alike.

3. Apply paint or stain 

When the primer coat has had plenty of time to dry, the next step is to apply the paint or stain. Stain can be easier to apply but won’t fill in the cracks or give you the color options paint has to offer. Painting pressure treated wood can really change the look and fill in any cracks or imperfections. If you take the paint route we recommend applying at least two coats. Stay away from oil-based paints for treated wood as latex adheres much better. It may take a little longer but the extra protection a double coat gives from the sun and elements will be well worth it. 

Conclusion on Painting Pressure Treated Wood

If you live in the Sacramento area and have further questions about painting treated wood or any other project you are working on, give PaintRite Pros a call. We offer a variety of top-quality painting services to people throughout Elk Grove and the surrounding areas. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you love the work we do. We serve the entire area including El Dorado Hills, Roseville, Stockton, and Davis.

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