Does spray paint expire

Different varieties of paint have other shelf lives. But does spray paint have a shelf life? Does spray paint expire and become unusable, lets find out below.

Spray paints have an expiration date printed on the bottom of the bottle. The best before date on spray paints is determined by the paint’s date.

However, the paint’s longevity is not guaranteed by the expiration date printed on the bottom of the spray can. Humidity, heat and storage conditions affect spray paint’s shelf life.

Does-spray-paint-expire or last for long time

Spray paint can also outlive its expiration date provided it is appropriately maintained.

What Causes Spray Paint to Fade?

The various paint ingredients and pigments used to create spray paint are combined. These consist of paint molecules, colorants, and solvents like acetone and xylene. Additionally, the spray contains preservatives to stop the paint from spoiling or setting inside the bottle.

Also, spray paints feature a pea made of metal, plastic, glass, or marble. When the valve is depressed, a combination of paint particles emerges from the container due to the pea’s mixing of the paint. if you want to remove spray paint from plastic then read this post for more detailed.

These substances are bound together in a spray canister pressurized with air. The spray paint is unstable due to the compounds’ reactions to various storage conditions and its fluctuating chemical composition. The leading cause of spray paints’ short lifespan is this.

Spray Paint That Isn’t Opened Will Fade

Due to the chemical makeup of spray cans, unopened spray paint ultimately goes terrible. Various paint ingredients, pigments, solvents, and preservatives are mixed and compacted inside a spray can create spray paints.

The spray paint has a finite shelf life due to the various characteristics and chemical reactions of these chemical components. Spray paint has a shelf life of five years, provided it isn’t opened, compared to ten years for other paints like latex or enamel.

Unopened cans of spray paint typically have a three-year shelf life (36 months). While brands like Ironlak and Krylon have a two to five-year shelf life, Montana spray paint promises a ten-year shelf life (if stored properly). However, the storage environment and temperature influence spray paint’s shelf life.

You Can Still Use Old Spray Paint

Spray paint that has expired may still be used, but only after shaking the can for 90 seconds. The pea within the paint container properly mixes the paint particles when it is shaken.

To test the spray paint, it would be best to spray a disposable object first. Observe how the paint sprays out, how it dries, and how the finish comes out. Use old spray paint if everything appears to be in order.

Spray paint expires for two reasons: either the paint within the spray container has hardened, or the spray container has lost pressure.

Pressing the valve on a spray container releases pressurized air (gas) or liquid paint. However, old spray paint doesn’t have air pressure, so it won’t release the spray paint when you press the valve. The spray paint nozzle becomes clogged as a result. Open the spray bottle, pour the paint into a fresh bucket, and use a sprayer to fix it.

Inside the paint can, the spray paint can also solidify. Spray paint cannot be used if it has solidified since it cannot be mixed (when you shake the container). Pour the spray out of the bottle, dilute it with mineral spirits, and use it to mend it.

spray paint cans for painting

Not all spray paint that has run out can be used, though. For instance, using expired graffiti spray paint is not a good idea.

Spray Paint Shelf Life After Opening

The shelf life of spray paint is half after it is opened. In other words, if a can of spray paint has a three-year shelf life before being opened, it will only have a 1.5-year shelf life after opening.

Even with appropriate storage, a can of spray paint won’t typically survive longer than a year. This is because the spray container’s contents will come into contact with dry air; over time, dry air will cause the paint to harden.

Opened cans of spray paint are more susceptible to moisture and temperature changes. The condition of the paint inside the container will change as a result. In the spray paint container, it will also result in chemical reactions, paint solidification, and separation. Spray paint that has not been opened is sealed and won’t be harmed by these factors; thus, it lasts longer.

The sealant is compromised once a can of spray paint is opened. Spray paint that has been opened is thus susceptible to moisture, heat, humidity, and dry air. Spray paint will last longer, though, if you store it unopened in a cool area, close the cover, and keep it out of the sun, dust, and moisture.

How Can Old Spray Paint Be Made To Work?

Shaking or dumping the paint out of the can and diluting it are the two methods for reusing expired spray paint.


Method 1: Shake the paint can 

Spray paints need to be shaken before use. This is due to the necessity of mixing the contents of the spray paint container to achieve uniform dispersion. The old spray paint works better when the spray bottle is shaken.

How to do it:
  1. Shake the spray bottle vigorously for two minutes.
  2. The pea inside the spray bottle will mix the paint particles while you shake, resulting in a uniform consistency and color.
  3. Shake the can and then use a paint thinner to clean the spray nozzle (turpentine or mineral spirits).
  4. When you press the valve, the paint will come out nicely smooth since the paint thinner will have cleared the blocked paint particle in the nozzle.

Method 2: Open the spray paint cans and thin it

Open the spray can, pour out the paint, thin it, and use it again to reuse expired spray paint. Use this procedure for old spray paint that has dried out in the can or won’t release when you squeeze or pull the release valve.

You’ll need the following supplies and tools to complete this method:

  • a cutting edge piece or a little drill bit
  • scissors or other cutting tools
  • rotating stick or paint mixer
  • a gallon of Paint thinner
  • painting tool
  • a set of heavy gloves

Here is a brief explanation of decanting and thinning spray paint:

  • Puncture or drill a hole through the spray can’s top.
  • Watch for the escaping pressurized air.
  • starting from the drilled hole, make an opening
  • Pour the aerosol paint out.
  • Include paint thinner
  • Utilizing a paint mixer, stir for a few minutes.
  • Examine the paint.

Let’s start working now.

Make a hole in the paint can’s top. Start by making a hole in the container’s top. Use a drill bit or other sharp tool, such as a nail. Make a tiny hole in the spray bottle’s bottom.

  • Watch for escaping pressured air.

The spray can release some air when you pierce it. A brief hissing noise will be heard; this is the sound of air escaping the container. Keep waiting until the hissing stops.

  • Create A Can Opening

Cut a hole in the spray container’s top once the hissing has stopped. This aperture will be used to pour the spray paint from the can.

Use big scissors to accomplish this. Make a little cut or slice at the spray paint’s top (where you drilled the hole earlier). Be careful since spray paint will be sharp once sliced.

  • Empty The Paint

After that, transfer the spray paint from the can into a paint bucket. The paint will slide off the spray painter if you turn it upside down to accomplish this.

You can no longer use paint after it has hardened.

  • Include Paint Thinner

You can use paint thinner for thick spray paint. A liquid that thins thick paints—also known as a solvent—is a paint thinner.

Use water to dilute water-based aerosol paints. Over the poured-out spray paint, pour a couple of cups of water.

Use mineral spirits, turpentine, or white spirits to dilute oil-based spray paints.

  • Give the mixture a few minutes of stirring.

After adding the paint thinner to the spray paint, you must whisk the mixture. Use a paint mixer or a rotating stick to stir. The results from a paint mixer will be better.

Spray paint and thinner should be thoroughly combined after 2 minutes of stirring.

  • Check Your Paint

Test the mixture’s paint after stirring on a piece of cardboard you can paint cardboard also.

Use a paintbrush to apply the blended paint. You can use the mixed paint on your subsequent painting project if the paint’s color and flow are constant and the spray paint dries appropriately.


Spray paint eventually runs out of use. However, the expiration date for the spray paint is visible on the can’s bottom. This aids in calculating the amount of time left before the paint degrades.

Also, you can use expired spray paint, but you must test the paint first. if you want to remove spray paint from concrete then this guide is for you.

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