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Colorado Springs Painting Contractors: Article About Can Paint Go Bad?

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One might assume that the old cans of paint in the garage will always be available for use in the future. However, paint is actually a complex substance that can expire, just like foods and other household items. Learn about the various methods by which homeowners can select, store and prevent against paint expiration.

Consider for a moment the functions of regular house paint. It stays liquid in the can, and then it dries at a reasonable rate after being spread onto the walls. When applied thickly enough to avoid dripping and splattering, it will retain a uniform color over a long period of time, despite sun exposure or weathering. Plus, as evidenced by growing concerns over VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, its composition is usually safe for household environments. Most modern paint manufacturers avoid the use of VOCs, so many paints today do not emit any harmful chemicals.

The lifespan of individual paints varies widely. Most Colorado Springs painting contractors are able to advise customers on the lifespan of whatever paints they use. As a general rule, unopened paints may last up to 10 years, while opened cans usually expire after two to five years.

A house painter from Avalanche Roofing & Exteriors of Colorado Springs would be happy to answer any question about attic insulation or exterior painting.

Therefore, depending on how often one plans to retouch paint, it may or may not be worth keeping an extra can or two on hand.

While those average lifespans apply across the board, paints may expire sooner or later depending on their ingredients. Latex paints, which are water based, usually last up to ten years, while solvent based paints often last closer to 15 years. How one stores paint also affects its lifespan. An advisable method is to set plastic wrap over the can and then to replace the lid. Rusty paint cans should be disposed of, as they rarely close well, and the paint should be transferred to a better container. For an airtight seal, it's advisable to store paint cans upside down. Of course, it's important to make sure they're truly closed with a carefully tight seal.

If it isn't clear whether paint has expired, look for key signs of spoilage. Paint that has separated and will not mix back together is unusable. Likewise, avoid using paint that is lumpy, gritty or mildewed. Should it turn out that paint has expired, take precautions to dispose of it properly. If in doubt, homeowners should consult with their local waste management and recycling companies about the local protocol for paint disposal. In some cases, completely hardened paint is treated differently than paint that is still in its liquid phase.

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