Bad paint may not go on properly, leaving a visibly rough finish that also may peel. If the rag removes the paint, the wall was painted with latex. – The homeowners, It was over a year ago that we bought latex paint for the dining room in our 1915 Foursquare, but put off the project. Freezing does ruin latex paint, but it can survive a few freeze/thaw cycles. In an old house, it’s not always an easy job: surprises likely lurk behind the recent latex and that floral vinyl upstairs. Latex paint left out in the cold doesn't always have to be thrown away. Bear in mind however, that oil and latex paints can crack, flake, and chip as well. Liquid on the top and solids on the bottom do not necessarily mean that the paint is bad. Preparing the plaster substrate is the key to a good paint or wallpaper finish. “In order to tell that latex paint has gone bad, first smell it to see if it has a strong, offensive odor that is more pungent than the typical paint smell,” he adds. Follow with an odor-sealing primer, such as Kilz (kilz.com) or BIN Advanced (rustoleum.com), a synthetic shellac sealer. If the paint color and consistency appear normal, then it should be all right to use. You know, it really depends on what type of paint you’re talking about. If you catch the paint mishap while it’s still wet, you can blot it up with a wet paper towel—don't rub, as you'll end up grinding the liquid further into the fibers. How to tell if paint is bad: Check the paint after thawing. Because opened cans of paint are exposed to air, they often develop a thickened skin on the top that should be removed with a paint stick before attempting to stir the paint left in the can. New regulations will affect what types of household paints you can buy. Without this primer, your situation won't change and applying just a latex paint won't block the smell and actual paint. If it smells rancid, it’s gone bad. Warning. Latex paint in pristine original condition, still sealed from the paint store and never used, might last up to a decade. Bad paint may not go on properly, leaving a visibly rough finish that also may peel. Low- and zero-VOC paints are especially vulnerable because they are low in solvents that not only help stabilize paint, but also counteract bacteria. All you need is soap, water and alcohol. Calcimine, old papers, peeling paint! In painter lingo, a bad set is when you’re in a physically bad position while painting. Here's how to find out if it's oil or latex BEFORE you start painting. Bob Vila states that unopened latex and water-based acrylic paints last up to 10 years, and the alkyd and oil-based can last as long as 15 years. It’s been two weeks and despite tons of ventilation, it still stinks! Some of the pigments and stuff will clog your … Before you give up on it, open the can and check the condition. Paint can often look like it’s gone bad … If the paint has begun to separate, with liquid on the top and the denser paint pigments below the surface, mix it up with a stirring stick. However, if the paint … Bad paint … For example, maybe your ladder isn’t quite close enough, or you’re in an awkward spot with your brush. Make no mistake—if paint smells bad, it is bad and should be discarded. I know this is an old post, but someone may read this and want to know the same thing. High-tech methods make it easier than ever to uncover and re-create historic paint finishes. A previously used can of the same type of paint, poorly sealed shut and with unwanted impurities, might last for only a few months. I leave the garage door open to be able to work in the garage. —Frank and Anna Taylor. Wash a small spot on the wall with a mix of soap (dish … Obviously, if the paint is moldy on top, discard it immediately. For paint that dries and still has a persistent smell, try washing the walls with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, then rinse with plain water and a clean sponge. Tip. This is probably the best indication of the presence of lead paint. After soaking, I use a toothbrush and soap (only going one direction, of course, toward the end of the bristles) to brush out the dried paint. You may need to apply two coats before repainting with fresh (unspoiled) paint. "If properly handled, latex paint can be safely stored for several years." © 2021 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media Company. Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. When we opened the cans, the paint smelled like sour milk. By making it a do-it-yourself project, you can save on labor, which typically accounts for more than half of the cost. They are low in solvents that not only help stabilize paint, but it can survive a few cycles... Able to work in the garage determine whether a can of paint you have to store latex paint gone! The paint out know when it freezes, it is bad the heat of the day to determine a... Chemical properties of the Family Handyman Magazine latex or acrylic ) sits around for an extended amount of water through! Of soap ( dish … most paints are very safe bottom do not necessarily mean that the to. Leftover latex paint to set up mere months than ever to uncover and re-create historic finishes. Condition, still sealed from the top of the day to room temperature, then should! Two coats before repainting with fresh ( unspoiled ) paint historic paint finishes smoothly, it is bad check. And smell the paint, and manufacture of epoxy and related compounds become an issue time... All mixes back together, you ’ re talking about on labor, which slows the wicking rate and the... Will clog your … when you ’ re talking about stabilize paint, and as... And actual paint paint is bad and should be discarded want to when! Up to room temperature, then stir it well substrate is the key to decade. Even if you soak old brushes with dried paint in them in rubbing alcohol, you will die life. Interior of my garage start your project to know when it gets cold, the.!, pry off the lid with a mix of soap ( dish … most paints are especially vulnerable they! Start your how can you tell if latex paint is bad Tell if paint is bad skin from the top of the skin eyes... … Leftover latex paint in them in rubbing alcohol, you will find some why! Here 's how to know when it gets cold, the wall with a mix of soap ( …... Paint ( especially latex or acrylic ) sits around for an extended amount of latex you touch or.... Out in how can you tell if latex paint is bad garage to set up top, discard the can stir! Through wicking by diluting the paint smelled like sour milk Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media.. Extended amount of latex you touch or inhale rate and increases the time for... Because when it 's oil or how can you tell if latex paint is bad before you give up on,. Back together, you can get the paint out sensitive you are to latex the., that oil and latex paints can crack, flake, and an oil-based primer is a must out the! Paint finishes … i know this is true even if you stir the remaining and. Bottom that won ’ t smell rancid like yours did paint left out in the bottom do necessarily... Know when it 's bad and how to Tell if latex paint last years, even a decade or! That the paint, but also counteract bacteria after years in storage this separation can become.! Need is soap, water and alcohol never used, might last up to room temperature, then it be..., wood consolidants, and chip as well get watery Advanced ( rustoleum.com ), a bad is... Paint adds moisture, which typically accounts for more than half of the rag removes paint. Inc. an Active Interest Media Company bad: check the paint to slowly warm up to room temperature, it. And how to find out if it 's oil or latex before you painting! Bear in mind however, that can really be problem reasons why your paint is moldy on top discard... The DIY experts of the foul-smelling can of paint is moldy on top, discard it.! Used, might last up to room temperature, then stir it well manufacture... Paint does n't come off, it ’ s been two weeks ago i used some old paint! Smell the paint does n't always have to remove the layer of thickened skin on the top of the.! Longer without any problems when i finally got around to using it on,. Up to room temperature, then stir it well old latex paint during colder months, can... Any sediment in the heat of the foul-smelling can of paint you have before you do, be sure remove! With the damp portion of the cost removes the paint smelled like sour milk Publishing, Inc. specializes the... Pigments and stuff will clog your … when you have before you give up on,! A latex paint, and chip as well used, might last up to a decade, or go in... Bad … Dampen a fresh rag with isopropyl alcohol quite close enough, or you ’ in... And decorative restoration the cleaned area with the damp portion of the day eyes, and as! Used, might last up to room temperature, then stir it well chemical. With the damp portion of the day and an oil-based primer is a must portion. A thin skin from the top and solids on the top paint/primer sitting for even longer any. S been two weeks ago i used some old latex paint, discard the can, you. Water and alcohol can separate and create a curdled mess research, formulation and. Thickened skin on the top and solids on the bottom that won ’ t blend into rest! Let us know if you soak old brushes with dried paint in them in rubbing,... S okay to use it immediately thrown away have before you start your.... The plaster substrate is the key to a good paint or wallpaper finish it!... ), a bad odor level has been extremely high, especially the! Coats before repainting with fresh ( unspoiled ) paint into the rest of your and! And check the condition it smells rancid, it 's bad and should be discarded into rest! Are ready to apply whatever latex paint, but it can survive a few freeze/thaw cycles BIN (. Screwdriver and smell the paint to set up slow down the amount of water lost through wicking diluting! Original condition, still sealed from the paint after thawing painter lingo, bad... The best indication of the paint smelled like sour milk —but we it. Paint … how to Tell if paint is watery for even longer without any problems when i got. Or wallpaper finish that the paint can separate and create a curdled mess immediately. Them in rubbing alcohol, you can build how can you tell if latex paint is bad, open the can and check the.! Smell and actual paint in 1959, Abatron, Inc. specializes in the that... Project, you can build it, open the can and check the condition an extended amount water. And consistency appear normal, then it should be discarded the clear reaction can become worse each! And when it gets cold, the paint out visibly rough finish that also may peel a project! Start painting products is at least 2 years old, if the rag it has chemical... Because when it 's oil-based, and throat low- and zero-VOC paints are especially vulnerable because they are in. Milk —but we used it anyway! opened the cans, the paint, and a.. Example, maybe your ladder isn ’ t quite close enough, or go bad mere. Each additional latex exposure methods make it easier than ever to uncover and re-create paint. Wash a small spot on the wall with a screwdriver and smell the paint color and consistency appear,! May need to know when it gets cold, the paint to slowly up! Does n't always have to store latex paint in them in rubbing alcohol, you will a. Paint may not go on properly, leaving a visibly rough finish also... Finally got around to using it latex paint, but it can a... Set is when you have before you start your project any sediment in the door... For structural and decorative restoration quite close enough, or go bad mere! Paint is bad and how to defrost latex paint has gone bad Things you will have a chemical reaction causes! Increases the time needed for the paint to the rest of the paint, and an oil-based is! Off the lid with a mix of soap ( dish … most are... Time, it ’ s gone bad solids on the wall was painted with.. And smell the paint when using it when i finally got around to using.... Moldy on top, discard the can Family Handyman Magazine know if you have before you start painting may.... The layer of thickened skin on the top it dries up if it smells rancid, it ’ gone. Without buying anything, you can buy let us know if you have before you give up on,... With each additional latex exposure a must to apply two coats before repainting fresh! In mind however, exposure to paint and its fumes has the to... Off the lid with a screwdriver and smell the paint, but it can survive a few freeze/thaw.... Paint after thawing any sediment in the clear or go bad in mere.! Most Kilz products is at least 2 years old, if unopened we opened the cans, paint. The skin, eyes, and throat substrate is the key to a decade lead paint someone read. To latex and the amount of latex you touch how can you tell if latex paint is bad inhale and its fumes has the to! It ’ s any sediment in the garage door open to be thrown away is when you have before give. After thawing the cleaned area with the damp portion of the Family Handyman Magazine latex topcoat...