How To Keep Paint From Freezing In Your Garage

If you're like most people, you probably keep a few paint cans in your garage. But what happens when the weather gets cold and those cans start to freeze? Fortunately, we have done comprehensive research to discuss how to keep paint from freezing in your garage!

Frozen paint can damage its consistency, making it harder for you to use. So, before the cold weather, especially winter, begins, it would be better to take precautions. Here are the simple ways you can keep your paint in its best condition:

  1. Seal the can properly
  2. Store in a cool and dry place
  3. Use a freeze-thaw stabilizer
  4. Secure in a sealed container
  5. Keep the room heated

To learn more about how to secure your paints effectively, check out the following tips below. Additionally, see the best ways to make your paints still good even during winter. Find out the techniques to salvage them even when you accidentally left them in the garage.

Paint can and brush on the ground outside in the winter - How To Keep Paint From Freezing In Your Garage

Will paint freeze in the garage?

shelves with cans of silk screening paints

Anyone who has ever tried to paint a room in the dead of winter knows that the process can be challenging. Low temperatures make the paint thicker and harder to work with and can even cause it to freeze. It is especially true if you store the paint in a cold garage. 

Check out the condition of the different types of paint when exposed to low temperatures.

  • Spray Paint: Spray paints in cans are highly prone to freezing. But compared to other paint, they are still usable after thawing. 
  • Chalk Paint: As for chalk paint, they can keep up with the freezing cycles. Yet still, there is no 100% guarantee that damage will occur. The good thing is you can still check it before using it again.
  • Acrylic Paint: Unlike spray paint and chalk paint, acrylic paint is more sensitive when it comes to freezing. It could purely damage the paint, especially when you thaw it. You could expect clumps and other unnecessary formulations inside the can. 

Above all, for these types of paints, you can still prevent them from freezing. How? As long as you keep the paint in its proper seal and location, it should be fine.

Is paint freezing bad?

A horizontal shot of a collection of opened and unopened American brand cans of paint, wood stain and paint sprays organized neatly on a wooden shelf.

Frozen paint could cause some serious damage when applied to your walls. How? When paint freezes, the pigments and binders can separate, resulting in a runny and uneven texture. 

In addition, frozen paint is more likely to drip and splatter when applied, making it difficult to achieve a clean finish. And if that wasn't bad enough, frozen paint will take longer to dry, meaning you'll have to wait even longer before you can enjoy your new look. 

How can you keep your paint from freezing in your garage? 

When temperatures drop, water-based paint can freeze and become unusable. If you're expecting a cold snap and you have water-based paint in your garage, there are a few things you can do to prevent it from freezing.

1. Seal the can properly

Make sure you tightly seal the paint in its original container. If there are any cracks or holes in the container, the paint will likely freeze. 

You can put plastic covers on the cans to prevent air particles from reaching the inside. Besides that, you can also add insulation around the cans to help keep them warm. Others even use a rubber mallet to gently pound the lid and keep them in place.

Another important part is when storing paint for extended periods, check the cans periodically to make sure they are not rusting or leaking. 

Use rubber mallet to secure paint can lids properly. - Check it on Amazon.

2. Store in a cool and dry place

The paint will freeze when the temperature gets too low, and the molecules in the paint start to slow down and clump together. It is best to avoid storing paint in basements or attics during winter, as these areas are often subject to extreme temperatures.

Instead, try to find a storage spot in a warm room such as a spare bedroom or office. But then, you can still keep it in the garage as long as you properly store it.

3. Use a freeze-thaw stabilizer

You can also keep your paint from freezing by using a product called freeze-thaw stabilizer. It is a chemical additive that you can add to your paint before you start painting. It will help the paint to resist freezing, even in cold weather conditions.

4. Secure in a sealed container

Consider putting the paint container in a box or bag filled with crumpled newspaper. It will help insulate the paint and keep it from freezing.

5. Keep the room heated

You should also store the paint in a cool, dry place if possible. A basement or an unheated garage would work well.

If you must keep paint in an unheated area, consider placing the cans on a shelf or raised platform off the floor to prevent them from freezing. Additionally, you can install heavy-duty foam insulation to your garage walls and doors to keep the temperature stable. 

Use foam insulation for your garage. - See it on Amazon.

If all else fails, you can always switch to oil-based paint for your winter painting project. Oil-based paints are less likely to freeze than water-based paints, and they also have the added benefit of being more resistant to moisture. 

But then, they are also more challenging to work with and can be harmful if ingested. So if you're not familiar with oil-based paints, it might be a good idea to consult with a professional before making the switch.

By taking these precautions, you can keep your paint from freezing and ensure that your painting project goes smoothly. But the problem is, what if you forget your paint in the garage during winter? 

What to do if you accidentally left a can of paint in your garage and it froze?

Paint can and brush on the ground outside in the winter.

If you accidentally leave a can of paint in your garage and it freezes, you need to check it properly.

For example, you should check the paint's finish by applying it to a small area of the surface. If the finish is uneven or streaky, the paint is no longer good. But then, if the paint seems to be fine, proceed with your project as normal.

Is it possible to thaw frozen paint and use it later on?

Frozen paint can be thawed and used later on, but a few things to keep in mind:

  1. First, it's important to thaw the paint slowly and gradually. Otherwise, the paint can become lumpy or unusable.
  2. Second, once the paint is thawed, it's important to mix it well before using it.
  3. Finally, frozen paint may not match the original color or texture, so testing it on a small area before painting an entire wall or surface is important.

With these considerations in mind, thawing frozen paint and using it later on, is possible, but it may not produce the best results. If none of these steps work after thawing, it is best to dispose of the frozen paint right away.

How to dispose of frozen paint?

Disposing of your frozen paint is not just typical disposal anywhere. It could be dangerous to anyone, so it is better to dispose of it properly. To do so, here are the simple steps you could do:

  1. The first step is to call your local waste disposal site to find out if they accept frozen paint. If they do not, the next best option is to contact a hazardous waste disposal company.
  2. Once you have found a place that will accept the paint, remove as much of it from the container as possible and place it in a heavy-duty garbage bag. Be sure to seal the bag tightly and label it as hazardous waste. 
  3. Then, take the bag to the disposal site and follow their instructions for proper disposal. 

By taking these steps, you can ensure that frozen paint is disposed of safely and without harming the environment.

Empty and Old Paint Cans Ready to be Disposed

Final Words

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about the weather too much when it comes to storing paint. You might be surprised to know that there are a few things you can do in order to keep your paint from freezing in your garage during the winter months. By following the tips discussed above, you can save yourself time and money down the road.

Want to learn more? Keep reading the additional tips on how to keep your home safe and secure.

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