How Long Does Unopened Paint Last? [Answered]

Paint is a key ingredient for any perfect home recipe. Without paint, a wall looks so dull and odd, but just one clean coat of paint can change its color to a whole new level.

To get the best out of paint, you must buy the right one. Paint needs to be stored properly in order to preserve its quality and have a long shelf life. How long unopened paint last will depend on the brand of paint, type of paint, and even color or shade?

How Long Does Unopened Paint Last

Why does the paint dry?

Paint dries when the solvent in it evaporates. This process causes the paint to dry and form a protective film on the surface, which is what gives us that smooth look.

How long does unopened paint last?

Unopened paint can last for 15 years. If you open it and close it sealing tight, then it can last for ten years if stored properly. Once it is opened, the paint can last for one year if not exposed to environmental conditions.

Paint TypeLasting Duration
Oil-Based acrylic paint (unopened)15 years
Oil-Based acrylic paint (opened)10 years
Emulsion paint (unopened)10 years
Emulsion paint (opened)5 years
Latex paint (unopened)10 years
Latex paint (opened)2 years
Chalk paint (unopened)5 years
Chalk paint (opened)1-2 years

If you want a good quality of paint that will be long-lasting and continue giving you that fresh look, then always buy high-quality paint rather than cheap ones. The cheap paints will make the surface rough and uneven after the solvent evaporates.

How to tell if the pain has gone bad?

You can judge if the paint has gone bad with the help of the following tips.

  • If the paint has thickened, then it should not be used.
  • If the paint surface begins to bubble or crack, then discard it.
  • Don’t use paint if it becomes sticky or viscous even after stirring.
  • Discard old paint which does not dry no matter how many days you let them sit in the open air.
  • Check the paint label; there is a best before date on it.
  • Discard paint if some unwanted sediment forms at the bottom.
  • Always seal a paint can immediately after use to prevent exposure to air and keep it fresh for longer periods.

If you have followed some of these tips, then you should be able to get the most out of your paint.

What are the types of paint?

There are three main types of paint:

  1. Water-based paints
  2. Latex paints
  3. Oil-based paints

Water-based paints are the most commonly used paints in homes and for painting walls. Latex paint is a type of water-based paint, but it has more natural ingredients, making it long-lasting and easy to clean after use. Oil-based paints are popular among painters because of their strong durability.

What should you consider while buying paint?

Before you buy paint, always look for the following factors:

  1. The brand
  2. Type of paint
  3. Brand of paint mixer
  4. Price and quantity
  5. Color and shade of paint

How to make paint long-lasting?

  1. Always make sure to stir the paint thoroughly and store it in an airtight container immediately after use to prevent exposure to air.
  2. Store the paint cans in a cool and dark place for the longer shelf life of the unpainted surface.
  3. Mix new paint with old remaining paint only if you want the same color; otherwise, mix new paint with old one only if the color is slightly different.
  4. To make new paint long-lasting, always store it in a cool place without exposure to sunlight or heat.
  5. If you want to mix colors, then always mix them at room temperature, not directly from the refrigerator, as that may damage the latex particles and cause a dropdown of viscosity.
  6. Always use paint within the time period indicated on its lid to prevent color change, evaporation of the solvent, and contamination with microbes that may cause skin disease or irritation.
  7. To increase shelf life or durability then, you can add mildew or mold inhibitor into it before using it for painting purposes.


If you want to know how long unopened latex paint lasts or how long open latex paint lasts, check the above table. If you have any more questions about painting, then feel free to ask us. Happy painting!



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