You can find at least a few spray paint cans in the homes of people who appreciate DIY projects or often like to change things. Spray painting is effortless, quick drying, and gives an even coating on any surface. You can use it for wall painting, car spraying, furniture decorating, etc. There are a ton of great uses for spray paint cans.
But is it wise to buy spray paint in bulk? Does spray paint expire, and if it does, can you use it after the expiration date?
I will explore these two topics, as well as a few others, in today's guide. If you want to learn more about what spray paint expiration is, how long this paint lasts, how to store it, and whether to use it past the expiration date, stick around for the rest of the guide!
What is Spray Paint Expiration?
If you turn a spray paint can upside down, you will likely find one or two dates at the bottom. If the dates aren't at the bottom, you can find them somewhere else, like on the label. But more often than not, they will be there.
These dates are the production and expiration dates of the spray paint. Spray paint expiration refers to the date before the manufacturers recommend people use the paint. It does not always correlate to the expiration date of the paint itself but to the predicted expiration date of the aerosol pressure or the can.
While it is essential to take note of the spray paint expiration date, a few other things can affect how long the spray paint is good for. For example, if you open the can and start using it, the expiry frame will be cut in half. If you do not store the can properly, it will not last as long as it could when put in optimal storage.
So, it all comes down to knowing how to use and store the spray paint to prevent it from going bad. More on that in one of the following sections!
How Long Does Spray Paint Last?
How long a spray paint lasts can depend on several factors, from the chemical composition to the type of can, where you store it, and how you store it. Let's look into these topics further to help you determine how long it takes before your spray pain expires.
The paint used for spray painting differs from regular powder or liquid paint. This paint is made with chemicals such as pigments, solvents, propellants, and binders. The chemicals used to make the paint can determine how long it lasts.
For example, HFCs are chemicals that do not last that long. If your spray paint contains some HFCs, it will likely not last as long as spray paints without HFCs.
Another thing to note is that the binders can also make a huge difference. If the binder in the spray paint has good fade resistance or gloss retention, it will last long. In contrast, paint with poor chemicals will likely fade fast, change color, or deteriorate.
Suppose you are looking for spray paint that lasts long and is not likely to suffer color damage or changes. In that case, you should invest in some top-tier paint manufacturers that guarantee the best quality.
How long the spray paint lasts can also depend on storage. If kept in a store with extreme temperature changes, it can either suffer from the warmth or freeze from the cold. Suppose the can is exposed to direct sunlight. In that case, it will also deteriorate and cause a change in the chemical composition of the paint. So, proper storage is vital to keeping the spray paint intact for as long as possible.
If you are using aerosol cans, you must ensure that you use them before the expiry date, as the aerosol pressure can evaporate from the can, deeming the color unusable. Spray paint cans expire too, so you must take care of them and the paint. Keep that in mind, and always go for spray cans that will not likely suffer damage even with prolonged storage.
Finally, the longevity of spray paint can depend on the manufacturer. Top-tier manufacturers use quality chemicals to make the paints so they would not expire quickly. For example, Montana spray paints can last up to 15 years in optimal storage.
In contrast, Krylon and Irolak have a shorter shelf life and should be used between two and five years after the production date. Most cans of Rustoleum spray paint expire within seven years of production. Still, improper storage can cause them to deteriorate within four or five years.
Because of this, I recommend checking the production and expiration date on a spray paint can before buying it. Ensure it is recent and has a long shelf life. Also, go for spray paint from the best manufacturer to get the best paint results.
Can You Use Spray Paint After Expiration?
If you have a can of expired spray paint and are wondering what to do with it, I have you covered. There are a few instances in which you can use expired spray paint, but only after doing a few other things. Here is what you need to do:
Shake the Can
If you have old spray paint that has not been moved for a while, I recommend you start by shaking the can for at least 90 seconds. This will allow the aerosol to move around and move the paint inside the can.
Declog Clogged Spray Paint Nozzle
Then, check to see the state of the nozzle. If you have a clogged nozzle, you can use paint thinners to unclog the nozzle. If you do not have the thinners, you can also try blowing compressed air in the nozzle to get the leftover spray paint to move.
Test on Scraps
After that, test the expired spray paint on a surface you do not mind ruining. If you think the paint is okay, spray it all over your desired object. If not, you can try one more thing - decanting the paint!
Decant the Paint
Grab a sharp object and make a small hole in the can. Wait for all the air to get out, cut the can enough to get the color out and put it in a spray gun jug. Stir decanted paint until it reaches a good consistency. Then, use a spray paint gun to paint over whatever you need to.
How to Store Spray Paint for Maximum Shelf Life
So... does spray paint expire?
Yes, it does. Whether you have opened or unopened spray paint cans, you should know that they can expire, especially if not stored properly. Here are a few tips for storing paint that you can use to extend the shelf life of your spray paint:
The first thing is always to ensure that you close the spray paint good. Ensure the lid is as tight as possible before storing the spray paint can. Otherwise, you risk it possibly combusting or going bad.
Do not keep the spray paint containers in your home. Instead, please place them in a shed or garage without exposure to direct sunlight or constant temperature changes.
As for temperature, most manufacturers recommend keeping the spray container where the temperature is between 41 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. That will ensure the spray paint stays good for longer.
As mentioned before, you should keep it away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Drastic temperature changes will only cause chemical reactions that will deteriorate the paint.
High humidity can impact the spray paint negatively and cause it to deteriorate or become clumpy. However, putting it in a humid place can help seemingly dead spray paint become wet and usable again. So, you can use humidity to your advantage, depending on what you need it for.
Finally, you should never store spray paint cans near heat sources, as that will only cause them to deteriorate. If exposed to too much heat, spray cans can even combust, leaving a big mess for you to clean up.
Thank you for reading this guide on spray paint and its expiry dates. If anyone asks if spray paint expires, feel free to tell them it certainly does! But you can always prolong the shelf life by storing the cans correctly and keeping them out of harm's way.
Also, if you have expired spray paints that you want to use, make sure that you follow the decanting process mentioned above or put the can in warm water to help the paint get back to its previous state.
If you have any personal experience on the topic, please share it with the other readers and me. I cannot wait to read about your spray painting projects and storage tricks.