Do you keep paint cans too long, and find yourself dealing with rusted paint cans? Then, you're in the right place, because I will show you how to save the paint!
How to deal with rusted paint cans
Have you ever opened a paint can only to find the top had become rusty? You have a few choices on how to deal with rusted paint cans.
- use the paint from the can and take a chance of the rustiness getting on your brush.
- you can pour it into a container to use for your current project.
- you can throw it out.
- or you can do what I’m going to show you.
If that has happened to you, you know it’s nearly impossible to reseal a can like this to keep your paint in decent condition.
Repurpose Laundry Detergent Jug
I’ve found that it’s better to stir it up, and carefully transfer it from the rusted paint can, into a detergent jug for safe keeping.
TIP: You must rinse out all of the remaining detergent. I generally fill with water, shake, empty, repeat several times. Then I fill the jug with water and let it set for awhile to loosen any buildup, then rinse, shake, repeat again.
Strain Old Paint
I have a couple of mesh paint strainers. You can pick them up at your local hardware store or on Amazon-- 1 Gallon Elastic Opening Strainer Bags 6 Pieces.
Using caution while stirring your rusted paint can is a must! You don't want those rusty bits dropping into the paint can.
You can see toward the end of the can, the paint is rather goopy, but because I used the strainer, I know there are no clumps in the jug.
I decided it would be less messy if I pushed the strainer further into the jug. You could pour the paint from your rusted paint can into a bucket with a paint strainer, and THEN into the detergent jug to make things easier.
Clean Up The Messy Jug
You can see that the spout sort of makes it difficult for the paint to get in the jug. I wiped it off and went on with my painting.
The next time I wanted to save some paint, I used a different jug. I removed the spout in order to get the paint into it.
I didn’t strain this can of paint because it was a brand new gallon of paint.
After I poured the paint into the jug, I replaced the pour spout to make it easy to pour paint the next time I use it.
Mark Your Laundry Jug With the Proper Description
I used a marker to identify the brand, type, and color of paint.
With the ERA jug, you can even see the amount of paint as well as the color of paint in the little window. You can't do that in a rusted paint can.
I have identified the color on this one as well.
Perhaps you're on team "store paint in a mason jar". I am not of that persuasion because I store my paint wherever I can find a spot. If stored up high, I can just see that mason jar tipping off the shelf and landing with a big SPLAT onto the floor.
No More Rusted Paint Cans
So, if you have a surplus of laundry detergent jugs and are a paint hoarder like I am, you’ve got it made!
This pallet top table was painted with my oldest batch of paint, and LOOK, it's stored in an old plastic milk jug.
Do you have a great tip for storing paint? If so, please leave it in a comment below.
How about using some of that old paint to make your own DIY Chalky Paint Primer? The best part about making your own primer, means that your first topcoat will go on perfectly because you've already used THAT color as a primer! It's a win/win!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.