How do I know if my paint is stuffed?

I get asked this question all the time by home owners and business owners alike. How do I know when my paint has gone off? How can I tell if I can still use my paint? It smells, should I throw it away? ………….

More often than not, paint when left in a drum will start to separate into different layers. The heavier solids in the paint will sit at the bottom of the drum and the stuff that carries the solids to the wall sits on the top. Tint also appears to separate, giving you what looks to be a totally different colour.

So when you open a drum of wall paint or ceiling flat you can end up looking at a dark looking water that smells like rotten eggs!

Many of these paints, with just a stir will come back to life and although they will smell bad, they will be fine for touchups etc. Just stir the paint for a good couple of minutes. If you feel the whole drum or tin is mixed through then just test a spot on your finger in an unobtrusive area.

If you can feel a solid tar like feel that wont mix in and is stuck to the bottom of the tin, its time to go and buy a new one!

Rust build up on the inside of the tin can somewhat effect the colour of the paint so check this before doing any major work with it.

So other than smelling like rotten eggs and having a funny colour when you open the drum, stir it up and give it a go. You might just be able to save buying a whole new drum if you only needed to do a few touch ups.



Stephen Lockyer
Stephen Lockyer
Professional painters and Decorators on the Gold Coast. Serving all your interior and exterior painting needs.

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