why store paint upside down
Kristina Davis

The question “why store paint upside down?” has led to some controversies over the years.

Some people find the idea of storing paint upside down silly and for good reasons, while the rest strongly believe that that is the way to go. 

Why does the position of the paint in storage matter, and what effects would it have on the paint? Is it even possible to store paints upside down? 

All these and more are the questions people ask regularly.

This writer understands the confusion and the need for those answers, which is why I would be using this article to clear it up.

There are several reasons why people store paints upside down, and the main one is for it to last longer in the store.

Why Store Paint Upside Down?

store paint upside down

As I said earlier, there are several reasons why people store paint upside down.

It could be for storage longevity, to prevent skin from forming over the paint, and to make it less chunky after storage. 

To be honest, all these reasons are good enough to want to store paints upside down.

But before we jump into anything, I want to show you the advantages and disadvantages of this method of storing.


Just like I mentioned earlier, storing paint upside down makes it last longer.

Since the can is upside down i.e, in the direction of the cover, it prevents air from entering the can of paint.

Doing so thereby makes the paint last long while still keeping it fresh.

can of chunky paint

For this same reason, it prevents skin from forming over the paint after a long period of storage.

It also keeps the paint as it is, without allowing it to get chunky over time during storage. 

Although you can easily learn how to revive chunky paint here.


Every good thing has its bad side, and so does storing paint upside down.

The main disadvantage of storing paint upside down is that it could end up pouring and causing a huge mess in your storage room. 

This happens mostly when the can of paint has already been opened before storage and most paint cans stored have already been opened before. 

After using the paint, the cover might not seal in tightly and can come off when you want to carry the paint.

open can of paint

It could also be that the cover got stuck on the rack you stored it on and could come off when you try to carry it, leading to a great spillage.

After knowing all these, why store paint can upside down? To be honest, I don’t see the need to store paint upside down because it is accident-prone. 

Not neglecting the fact that it can also be very messy, but if you store it well, who knows, it might actually work out for you. 

Life is full of risk and if you still want to take this risk of storing paint upside down, you might as well do it well. 

This brings us to the next part of this article.

How To Store Paint Upside Down 

storing paint upside down

When you are done with your paint or just got a new paint you are not ready to use, storing it upside down might be a good idea.

For the new paint, you can go ahead and store it upside down without having to worry about anything since it hasn’t been opened yet. 

But for the leftover paints, you have to make sure it is tightly sealed before proceeding to store them upside down. 

It should be placed on a flat and stable surface that is not too far from the ground, just in case it tumbles.

If the cover of the can is not as it was before, then storing your paint can upside down isn’t a good idea. 

It is best to put it somewhere else before storing it upside down.

If the paint is half full or even less than half, it would be unwise to store it upside down. Instead, there are other ways to store it that would be equally as effective.

Tip: This method of storage is only applicable to almost full or full cans of paint. 

Other Ways To Store Paint

other ways storing paint

There are other ways to store leftover paint without having to worry that it would spill over one day.

Method #1: Tightly Sealing The Can

The first and the most basic thing to do when storing paint is to make sure it is tightly sealed to avoid air from going into the can.

This method might be plain and not as dramatic as storing paint upside down but it is equally as effective. 

So to achieve this i.e, to be able to tightly seal your paint can after use, you must have opened the paint can carefully with a can opener. 

If you made use of objects like keys, screwdrivers, and the like, you might get a dent in the seal in the process of opening it. 

Note: This dent would allow air to come in, making sealing the can tightly impossible.

Method #2: Wrapping The Surface

This is a very effective way to store leftover paint. All you have to do is make sure the paint settles in its can in such a way that the surface is flat. 

paint flat surface

After it has settled, you place a thin sheet of plastic bag on top of the paint to cover the surfaces of the paint. 

You can also put the plastic bag on top of the can instead of the paint to avoid being too messy. 

After the paint or the can have been properly covered, you can then seal it tightly and store it in a place of normal condition.

Tip: This method, though effective, can be very messy when you want to reuse it.

Method #3: Transferring The Paint 

There are two main reasons for transferring the paint to a different container.

The first is that the can housing the paint before can not be tightly sealed anymore due to some damage. 

transferring paint

The other is less complicated, if the paint remaining in the can is very little, it is best to transfer it to another container for storage.

So now that we know the why, let’s talk about the most effective how. Here are the steps involved:

Step #1: Prepare A Container 

The best container to go for is one that has a very tight cover. The container should be an airtight jar that would keep paint in and air out. 

Once you find that container, clean the inside by washing it with soap and water and dry it with a cloth.

Tip: The quantity of paint would determine the size of the container used.

Step #2: Transfer Carefully 

After you have finished drying the container, you transfer the paint into it carefully without any spill.

Make sure the paint fills up the container if possible. 

transfer paint carefully

There should be no space at the top of the container before sealing. If there is anything spilled, clean it up before tightly sealing the container for storage.

Step #3: Label And Store

After the paint has been packed into the container, you label it with the storage date, the content of the container, and the color in the container. 

The paint should be kept away from extreme conditions.

This means that the area where the paint would be stored should not be too hot, too cold, or too humid

It should be stored in a normal condition and be kept away from children’s reach.

Tip: This step is very crucial, especially if the container isn't transparent.


Every good thing has a bad side, and no matter the method you decide to go with, there will always be a probability of you going wrong. 

So why store paint upside down when you can practice the other methods? And that question, my dear reader, is one that even I can’t answer.

We have given you options to choose from, now the choice is yours.