How to Open a Paint Can
House paint usually comes in a can, and since the can is where the paint will need to be stored it really needs to be kept in good shape. Proper paint storage actually begins even before you use the paint. It is very important to use the proper tool to open a paint can properly. Don’t be tempted to open the lid with a coin, a knife, or even a screw driver. There is a tool whose sole purpose is just to open paint can lids. You can buy a paint can opener at hardware stores, but some stores will give it to you for free. If you use other things to open the lid (such as a flat head screw driver), the lid can become distorted or bent which will let air into the can once you are ready to close the can and store it.
Taking Care of the Paint Can
One of the hardest things to deal with in keeping a paint can clean is the paint that drips down the sides once it is poured into a paint tray. To keep the can clean, you will need to wipe the dripping paint with a rag. You will also notice that the paint tends to pool in the top rim of the can where the lid locks, so be sure to clean that out as well. If the paint dries in that rim, the lid will not lock properly and will allow air to get to the paint. Be careful not to drop the paint can, don't let your kids play with it, and don't let your dog chew on the lid. Remember that the container needs to stay intact in order to preserve the paint well.
Closing The Can
After using the paint, cover the can immediately. To seal the can better, cover the opening of the can with plastic wrap first before you close the lid over it. The plastic wrap creates an additional seal aside from the lid.
In order to seal the can tightly, use a rubber mallet instead of a regular hammer which can be quite heavy. They can dent or deform the rim of the paint can. When sealing, cover the lid with a small towel and then hammer it with the mallet. The towel absorbs the impact, preventing the lid from deforming.
Storing The Paint
Some painters recommend that you store the can upside down. Storing the paint can this way prevents the drying out of the paint caused by air. However, there are some local programs that discourage storing of paint this way because there is still a possibility that the paint might go bad, and when it does, it may then be very difficult to open the lid.
Paint cans should be stored in places where temperature is constant. Refrain from storing paint in rooms that are exposed to extreme heat or cold (no storing near the furnace or near a heater). Keep cans in a dry place such as your basement or laundry room. Do not keep paint in a garage that is not heated. The paint should not be stored in temperatures below freezing.
• Label the paint cans properly by writing important information involved. Write the date when it was opened, the exact color and the paint brand.
• While you may have already labeled the can properly, it is still wise not to not peel away the original label from the can. The label can still be helpful when it comes to disposal.
• Numerous things can contaminate the paint, so keep contaminates away.
• Paint must be stored in a safe and suitable location. Look for a place that cannot easily be reached by children and pets alike.
• Keep the paint from freezing, away from heat and in a dry place to prevent the can from rusting.
• Dispose of the paint properly if you find out that it has already been spoiled.
So, remember, you don't need to throw away your leftover paint because you can still use it. Open the can, close it and store it properly. Follow the steps given above and increase the longevity of your paint for future use.