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How to Store Leftover Paint for Free

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How to store leftover paint for free using recycled food containers.

I’ve been in a purging, cleaning and organizing mood lately and hitting every room in the house.

This past weekend was the basement’s turn so I descended into the depths of the dungeon and spent time cleaning up and organizing the old, leftover paint from our kitchen remodel.

Usually, when I buy paint I’ll leave it in the can.

I always use a spout, which helps keep the can clean for a while.

Inevitably though, the can gets messy with dried paint around the rim causing both the can and lid to rust.

Not good when you have half a gallon of good, and often expensive, paint left.

close up of white paint can

I needed a good paint storage solutions.

Free containers to store leftover paint

In my search to store my leftover paint I started using glass and plastic food containers bound for the recycle bin.

My container of choice lately has been the clear plastic bottles our orange juice comes in.

Can you store paint in plastic jars?

They are the perfect paint storage containers for leftover paint!

The plastic containers I have been using lately are the ideal combo of tall and slim, so you can store more in a small space.

They’re also see-through, so you can see what you have and how much is left.

paint can and plastic juice containers on kitchen counter

The orange juice containers I used have a small opening so we used a water bottle with an even smaller opening as a funnel.

We just cut off the bottom and turned it upside down in the OJ bottle.

using scissors to cut plastic water bottle

So easy and completely free since you’re using something that would be tossed out anyway.

pouring white paint into plastic container

I also filled up a small creamer container that will be stored under my kitchen sink, for quick touch ups.

creamer container and plastic container filled with paint

Paint storage tip

I know that keeping paint in recycled bottles or jars may not be a new and clever idea, but I do have 1 tiny, little paint storage tip to share.

Place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening before you put the lid on.

It helps keep air out and it also keeps the lid clean and dry so you won’t have a crusty, dried mess that prevents you from closing it tight.

paint in plastic container with orange lid

The only thing missing was a label.

We went high tech with good old fashioned painter’s tape.

I  made sure to include the brand, color, formula (in case you need more of that color) and finish, plus the month and year it was stored.

Now when I need to grab some leftover paint I just pull the bottle out, shake it up well and I’m ready to paint.

putting painter's tape labels on plastic juice containers filled with paint

I know, I know…so easy.

But…if you spend $20 or $30 on a can a paint, you want it to last as long as possible, right?

Now you can go and pull all of those plastic bottles and glass jars out of your recycle bin and use them to store leftover paint.

What is the best way to store paint

Ideally you should store paint in a cool, dry area of your home that does not get direct sunlight.

A basement that is climate controlled or a cabinet in a storage room are perfect places to store paint.

Our paint is kept in one corner of our basement, in old wood cabinet, where I can see exactly what, and how much I have.

Any tips you care to share for storing leftover paint?

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