How to Store Leftover Paint (and Touch-Up)

Store leftover paint from a painting project makes good sense. But what doesn’t make sense is that when we go to use it again, it is usually all dried up or rusted up because it wasn’t appropriately sealed or because we failed to label a paint can with the name of which room it goes (unless it’s pretty obvious). We spend time looking for the right color(s).

How to Store Leftover Paints

Leftover Paint Woes

We have lost the can entirely. Is it in the garage? Shed? The closet of the room in which the paint was used?
We sometimes have good intentions, and I did, but my leftovers got out of hand.

Simplifying the Stash

I went through every nook and cranny and piled up my paint stash. To save you time counting, there are 44 different containers here. I no longer even use half of these colors!

I decided to simplify the stash for my sanity and the sake of the people who buy our home next year.
And lessen our woes when we need to touch up a spot here and there with fresh paint.
Here’s what I did.

Jar Organization Sorting and Labeling

I bought this box of jars at Wal-Mart for $6.50.
I printed a sheet of THESE on card stock,
cut them out, used double-sided tape, and attached them to the jar lids.

The Role of Preparation: Staging to Sell

After properly disposing of the paints I no longer wanted or needed, using my favorite Pampered Chef funnel, and scripting my daughter, Miss S, our college girl,

this pile went from this: I simplified and only had 12 paint colors left that needed jars. Since we have been preparing to sell our house, simplifying is first on my to-do list.

I didn’t keep the paint mixture formulas because we won’t need them. But, if we intended to stay here longer, I would have had Miss S write those on these labels, too.

As I transform other rooms, I know there will be more than only 12 jars of touch-up paint. For now, we only need these, which are friendly & accessible.

Innovative Storage Solutions: Utilizing Above-Fridge Cabinets

Ever wonder what those cabinets above the fridge are suitable for since we can never reach what’s in them?

I decided many years ago that they are for storing our seldom-used leftover paint. I’ve always stored my touch-up paint there. I don’t store paint in the garage or a shed. It ruins it.

(Because my stash was too large, and all of the cans no longer fit above the fridge,
this can end up being stored in the garage. It was only in the garage for six months!)

Inside the house is best, where the climate is controlled, and above the fridge in the cabinet is best for us.


While at Wal-Mart, I also got an assortment of brushes. I am happy to retrieve the paint I need quickly and ecstatic that this project is finally done!

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