Why Old Paint Smells Bad

Hello, paint enthusiasts! Have you ever wondered why old paint smells bad and that can of paint in your garage smells like something straight out of a science fiction horror film? Well, get ready to unlock the secrets of this stinky phenomenon! While we’re at it, we’ll also explore some clever storage solutions and eco-friendly ways to bid farewell to your old paint.

The Smelly Truth About Old Paint

Ever cracked open a can of old paint and been met with a nose-wrinkling, sour milk-like odour? It’s not your imagination; it’s a real thing! The culprit behind this olfactory assault is none other than our tiny, unwanted friends: bacteria and mold. But how do they sneak into the paint party?

Well, sometimes, they hitch a ride during the manufacturing process. However, the most common entry point for these paint party crashers is after you’ve cracked the lid yourself. Once exposed to air, paint can become a breeding ground for these pesky contaminants.

If you’re wondering how long you can keep your paint around, fear not! When stored PROPERLY, opened paint can last up to approximately two years. To be sure it’s still good, take a peek at the expiration date. If it’s past its prime or emits a foul, rancid smell, it’s time to bid it adieu. 🗑️

Testing Your Paints’ Prowess

Before you part ways with your paint, give it a stir! Be sure to remove any paint film that may have formed before you stir. A simple swirl with a stir stick should result in a smooth, homogeneous mix. If your paint starts to separate or turns lumpy, it’s best to toss it.

Now, let’s dive into some smart practices for storing your leftover paint.

Mastering the Art of Paint Storage

We get it; storing paint in its original container can be a real conundrum. You never know when it was last used, where it was used, or how much is left. Plus, it can turn your garage into a chaotic, colourful mess. But fear not, we’ve got some tips to keep your paint organised and fresh:

Opt for Airtight Containers: Transfer leftover paint into airtight containers that are easy to open. Glass mason jars or old jam jars are fantastic for small amounts because they let you see the paint colour easily. Smaller jars mean fresher paint due to less air exposure.

Label Like a Pro: Don’t forget to label the jars with the paint name, brand, and the room it was used in. Keeping a digital or written record is a bonus if you’re feeling extra organised.

Cool and Dark Storage: Store your paint jars in a cool, dark, and dry place like your trusty broom cupboard. Extremes in temperature can mess with your paint – it might dry up when it’s too hot or separate when it’s too cold.

If you’re sticking with the original containers, follow these steps:

Mark the Date: Write the date you opened the paint on the lid. Clean off any dried paint to ensure a proper seal. Consider using plastic wrap before sealing it shut.

Avoid Sunlight: Keep the container away from direct sunlight to maintain the paint’s quality. Ideally, store leftover paint in a temperature range of 15.5 to 26.5 degrees Celsius.

Bidding Adieu to Old Paint

So, what do you do with that smelly, unusable paint? Please, don’t pour it down the drain! That’s a huge no-no for our water systems and with the water issues in South Africa, it is imperative you don’t add to our woes. Locate your local recycling depot to drop it off safely.

Share the Love: Donate Your Usable Paint

There you have it, folks – the lowdown on smelly old paint, savvy storage solutions, and environmentally friendly disposal methods. Now, armed with this knowledge, you can confidently tackle your next painting project!

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