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Leftover Paint Storage




Transfer leftover paint from large cans to small airtight resealable tubs. Make sure to affix a label to the container; note the color and the room where the paint was used.


  1. Step 1



Reviews (30)

  • ThomasMaloney 10 Feb, 2014

    Having some simple storage for leftover paint is just great especially if the room that you used the paint would definitely need some re-painting sooner or later just like the children’s playroom or your living room. However, be cautious of storing pain since you might end up have unused and dried paint and you are just going to throw these away and buy new ones.

  • patsy-tierney 4 Sep, 2013

    When I was redecorating certain areas of the house, I changed the paint colors of some of the rooms, that I must have used quite a number of options of paint and I was left with so much excess. Having a number of moms at work who are into DIY self storage they shared with me this page on how to store leftover paint.

  • patsy-tierney 4 Sep, 2013

    Although I did not use plastic containers but instead used those bottle containers of mayonnaise and spreads, I was able to store leftover paint and keep them for future use. It really pays to work with mothers at the portable storage Gold Coast company like ours.

  • Cookees 26 Mar, 2012

    This works great - I have been doing this with old Rubbermaid containers for years!

  • blessedpeg 17 Mar, 2012

    What about using washed out margarine containers? May not be as airtight though. I've also heard that if you keep it in the original container to tip it over to form a seal around the lid, would probably work for the margarine containers.

  • mahjongger 6 Jun, 2011

    I have stored latex paint for years in plastic grated cheese containers; they have wide openings so no funnel is needed. Always make sure you buy a little extra paint for 'touch ups'; paint is like fabric - never matches if it's from another dye lot.

  • Artsy61 6 Jun, 2011

    This is a great idea. . . why didn't I think of it! Too easy! Just make sure it is latex so it can be washed out easily.

  • marvalas 4 Nov, 2010

    I prefer reusing containers I already have in the house - I find leftover water bottles are great to hold the paint - generally more than enough for a touch up. And the idea of getting an extra "recipe" of the paint formula is good to if you need more.

  • Cookees 3 Nov, 2010

    I have two tips for storing paint - if it is a very small amount I just store it in a clean perscription medicine bottle. The second is if I have more left over paint. I use a funnel and put the paint in a 1 gallon water bottle. Of course, I label everything with the necessary information. Works great!

  • All_Hail_The_Martha 3 Nov, 2010

    I bet they're Martha Stewart brand paints.

  • villarrj 3 Nov, 2010

    What are the colors in the picture? They're so bright, cheerful and pretty! Thanks!

  • tess_of_st_paul 3 Nov, 2010

    @by1101, I don't know how long paint will keep, but I bet the reason your ceiling paint didn't match is beause over time the ceiling got dirty and the color chang from light exposure.

  • esthersadowsky 3 Nov, 2010

    To respond to the last comment; the paint in the small sample size cans/jars, are often not the same finish you applied to the walls from the can. Check the finish, most often they are eggshell

  • abby1101 3 Nov, 2010

    I have tried using the small cans they sell at the hardware store, but when I went to use it to touch up a vaulted ceiling, it did not blend in and now I have to paint the entire ceiling again. Does anyone know how long paint will last? Mine is only a couple of years old and was stored in a room where the temperature does not fluctuate.

  • hperkins74 9 Jun, 2009

    Great idea and will make the paint last longer. Agreed you need to also include the details about the color/brand name, where it was purchased and probably a date. We have four properties so labeling paint is super important.

  • um_rebel 9 Jun, 2009

    I use baby food jars and have for years. I use them OFTEN for touch-ups. I also store them in a cabinet or drawer in the room where it was used.

  • michelebrissette 21 Nov, 2008

    I haven't tried this but I'm sure when you buy the paint the store would print out another label indicating the mixing instructions. It's important to have that if you need to purchase more of the same colour in the future.

  • pamelanne 16 Nov, 2008

    This is a great idea! I have also used canning jars - they work great too!

  • tess_of_st_paul 16 Nov, 2008

    RE: Lots of people buy gallon sizes when they only need half the amount of paint. If you get your paint from a good paint store, they will be able to mix up an exact match if you run short.

    That's true -- but it's much more expensive to buy a quart of paint than a gallon of paint. A quart of paint is not 1/4 the price of a gallon.

  • cindy623 16 Nov, 2008

    I store leftover paint in any old jar, just put a piece of wax paper over it and put the lid on and it keeps just fine. Labeling the jars is a must especially if you want to use the paint again for touch ups.

  • Barbartist 16 Nov, 2008

    I am a mural artist, and use these containers for mixing up "custom" colors for large areas of work. Most work requires at least two to three coats of the "base color" before adding the shading and detail work. Once the job is finished, I can save the color for future jobs, or rinse out the container and re-use!~~Barb

  • SMILETU 15 Nov, 2008

    Thanks for this thoughtful idea to store left over paint. I came across this very problem recently and plan on correcting it for projects in the spring to finish up.
    Thanks Indiana Friend

  • chickadoodle 15 Nov, 2008

    I always store a bit of leftover paint in a small canning jar label it where it goes.

  • chickadoodle 15 Nov, 2008

    I always store a bit of leftover paint in a small canning jar label it where it goes.

  • bdouglas2 15 Nov, 2008

    Oops! Just noticed my typing error. Hardware stores SELL mini-paint cans.....

  • littleorphanannie 15 Nov, 2008

    I usually store my small cans of paint upside down to elemanate having a film or skin on it the next time I open it.

  • bdouglas2 15 Nov, 2008

    Hardware stores also cell mini-paint cans and other plastic container for this same purpose. Also, remember to dispose of paint in an environmentally friendly manner. Many cities have "toxic waste" drop off days so these things don't end up contaminating our ground water.

  • euni 15 Nov, 2008

    Great idea. Left over paint has been difficult to store since I have limited space. This will also keep small amounts of paint from drying out. Love it.
    Euni-Colorado Springs

  • Cyndeebee 15 Nov, 2008

    I store a lot of paint since I'm a furniture artist. I buy large jars from the Buck Store - the ones with screw on lids. They work well, too. And another tip...Be careful buying paint. Lots of people buy gallon sizes when they only need half the amount of paint. If you get your paint from a good paint store, they will be able to mix up an exact match if you run short.

  • jcapist 15 Nov, 2008

    Great idea... one of the best!
    Judy St. Louis