Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2004

Shelf Life of Paints

Q. Does interior latex paints have a shelf life?

A. All paints have a shelf life; some shorter and some longer. Waterborne paints such as household (or house) latex paints have a shelf life of six months to one year, depending on ambient temperature conditions. Once you have opened the can of paint, the shelf life may be shorter. Even though the published shelf life of the paint you intend to use may have expired, that does not automatically mean that you should discard it. If the paint appears to mix properly and does not show signs of livering, separation or anything else unusual, you should still be able to use it.


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