If you are a carpenter, or an architect, or anyone who has to work with a lot of paint, it is a common question dealt with by all, will paint cans freeze over winter?
Since not everyone is aware of this, a lot of people do not store their paints properly in winter, to find it change formation afterward.
This can be heartbreaking since we cannot always find the right colors, it is hard to get the right paint and shades, and not to mention paint is expensive, making it a big loss for the people.
So if you are someone who works with paint, this is the article for you! You need to know how to deal with paint in different temperatures, how to store them, and how to prevent them from freezing, so your money does not go to waste.
Why Paints Freeze?
You might be curious to know why paint freezes in the first place. Well, this is because paint includes a solvent. This differs for different kinds of paints, but this solvent is the paint reason why paint freezes when it is in its can and does not when it has already been painted on the wall.
While in its can, the paint contains solvent, and this later evaporates after you have painted it on a surface. This is why, while in its can, or liquid form, it is prone to freezing, and when in solid form on the walls, it is not anymore.
How Long Does It Take For Paint To Freeze?
It would depend on the temperature. For latex paint, it would take the same amount of time as water at that particular temperature. For oil-based paint, it will take a little less time compared to the latex paint, at the same temperature.
What Temperature Does Paint Freeze?
So one of the first things you need to understand and know is the temperature at which paint freezes. This temperature depends on the solvent used in this paint. For Latex paint, the solvent is water. This means that it will freeze at the same temperature water freezes, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, you have oil-based paints, which as we can tell by the name, has oil as the solvent. As we all know, the organic compound oil freezes faster than water, which means it will freeze at a lower temperature than latex paint, and it will depend on the consistency of the paint itself.
How To Store Paint During Cold Weather?
Well, now that you have a base on the hows and whys, let us get to the main point- how do you properly store your paint?
The quick answer is to store them at room temperature. This will ensure that the paint has a good and long life. It is even better if you can store them in dark and dry places that are neither too cold nor too hot. This will ensure longevity for the paint.
Spaces where you can store them during the winter include spaces such as the basement, or inside the house, where you have temperature control and the outside cold cannot get in.
If you are looking for the right temperature, anywhere between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is good for the paint, which is around the same temperature as inside our homes on an average day.
How To Restore Frozen Paint?
For latex paint, thaw the paint out, and then mix it continuously for it to return to normal. You will be able to use it again. The same does not apply for oil-based paints, which in most cases are destroyed once it has frozen.
When To Dispose Of Frozen Paint
So suppose you came across our article a little too late and already got your paint frozen. What do you do? Do you simply throw it out? No.
You try to see if you can resolve the issue first. Wait for the paint to thaw out completely. Then stir and mix it. If you can get a creamy nice texture to it, or whatever the initial texture was, runny or thick, then you are good to go. You can use the paint again.
However, if you find that there are lumps forming after you have stirred it, then the paint has lost its formation and you will have to dispose of it.
But do try to see this before you dispose of it, since you don’t want to throw out good paint!
Tips To Avoid Paints Freezing
Below are some basic and random tips in no particular order. If you work around paint, you will want to know them!
- Do not throw away old paint. Some people say it is a bother to keep, but don’t listen to them. Now that you know how to effectively store paint for the long run, keep them with you. You never know when you need a little touch-up, and buying the entire thing again would be costly and a waste. Not to mention, you might not even find the right shade again!
- Some people quickly go to store them in the shed, even in the winter. Don’t do that, unless your shed has a heater or temperature control.
- Don’t expose your paint to sunlight. Just as the winter can ruin it with its cold temperatures, direct sunlight can also affect its consistency and formula, rendering it useless.
- When storing paint, place a layer of plastic wrap on the closing and then place the lid and tap it shut with a hammer. Doing this will ensure the lid is safe, so you can cleanly open it again to reuse it. And keeps the paint airtight and shut properly too.
- After using the paint, use the same paint to draw a mark on the can to indicate the level of paint you have reached. Not only does this help you understand when you need new paint without opening up the entire thing, but this also indicates the color, in case your can does not properly show it.
- In case your paint is ruined, and you need to throw it away, do so with care and precaution. You cannot dispose of paint everywhere since it can be considered hazardous waste. For latex paint, you can mix it with cat litter so that it dries up, and then dispose of it. For oil-based paints, look for paint recycling facilities, or dispose of them at hazardous waste stations.
Well, that was a lot of information on paints! But all of that is much necessary when you are dealing with paint. Whether you are in the business or not, these are some basic facts everyone should know in case you ever need to work with paint, be that even one can.
In either case, we hope this has provided you with a clear idea of, will paint cans freeze over winter? As we just saw, the answer is yes! If water freezes, the paint will too, and in a lot of cases, you won’t be able to restore it.
So we recommend you read up carefully and take good care of your paint, so it does not go to waste, and neither does your hard work and efforts!