Did you know the average UK household has 17 containers of paint stashed away within their home – whether that be in loft spaces, sheds, garages or elsewhere?! As winter draws in and the temperatures drop, it’s time to rethink where and how you plan on storing your leftover paint.

See our top tips below for storing surplus paint, and if you don’t think you’ll reuse your paint again, prevent it from going to waste by donating it to Community RePaint, where it will be redistributed for reuse within your local community. Click here to find out more.

1. Replace the lid firmly

To reseal your paint container, tap (using a rubber mallet)/press down the edges of the lid, all the way around the container, to form as tight a seal as possible. This will help to prevent air from getting in and drying out the paint. Placing a layer of clingfilm over the top of the paint before replacing the lid can also help form a stronger seal.

Firmly replacing the lid on a paint container Using a rubber mallet to seal paint tins

2. Store in a dry place

This will help prevent metal tins from rusting and discolouring your paint.

3. Avoid extreme temperatures

If the temperature drops below zero, ice crystals can form in your paint. When these ice crystals thaw, they cause the paint to separate. This reduces the quality and changes the consistency of the paint – making it unusable (see photos below). Try to avoid storing paint in places, such as your shed or garage, where the temperature will likely fall below 0°C.

If not possible, try to insulate your paint by wrapping the containers with dustsheets or placing them in a box packed with scrunched up newspaper.

Frost damaged paint from storage in a cold place Frost damaged paint from incorrect storageExamples of frost damaged paint

4. Donate your paint to Community RePaint

If you don’t think you’re going to reuse your leftover paint again, or don’t have a suitable space to store your paint, donate it instead to Community RePaint. Your paint will then be redistributed for reuse by individuals, families and community groups within your local area.

Our householder paint drop-off points are located at local authority-run Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Click here to find out if you have a Community RePaint drop-off point located nearby.

If you are a business with surplus paint, click here find out how your paint can be redistributed through the Community RePaint Network.

For additional top-tips to help you smartly store your leftover paint, click here.

Community RePaint Bradford manager Karen Hutchinson and volunteer Lawrence Knowles process reusable paint. Dulux sponsor community RePaint.

Do you want to reduce the amount of paint you have leftover after your next project? Calculate the quantity of paint you need for your project by clicking here

Interested in finding out more about what happens to leftover paint? Click here!


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