Will Sherwin-Williams Shake Old Paint?

There's nothing worse than something going to waste, especially when it's expensive. Say you have some old paint lying around—will a local Sherwin-Williams store shake it to get it in good condition again? If that's your concern, let's discuss the details. 

Sherwin-Williams will shake old paint as long as it's within reason. Before you head to the store, it's crucial to inspect the quality. Otherwise, they will turn you away. The reason is that your old paint might be too old to be salvaged. 

Now we have an answer, but there's still more to discuss. For example, when is it too late to shake paint? In addition, what can you do with it once it's no longer usable? These are some of the concerns we'll cover in depth. To learn more, keep reading.

How To Determine If You Can Still Shake Paint

Old paint cans in front of a garage

As mentioned, your local Sherwin-Williams store will shake old paint as long as it's within reason. It raises the question—what does within reason mean?

Let's start with an extreme example. As one employee on Reddit shared, old paint that looks solid as a rock won't be able to go into their shaking machine. It's understandable why they wouldn't be able to revive it. 

The paint is no longer liquid! At that point, purchasing a new can or bucket of paint would be a better choice. Of course, you can attempt to revive it with water, thinner, etc. 

However, that's if you want to put in the time and effort to do so. In any case, the main point is to avoid bringing solidified paint into the store. You won't have success in convincing an employee to shake it. 

Unopened Vs. Opened Paint

Now we have the extreme example out of the way. So, what's something more reasonable? That would depend on several factors. First, we have to consider the packaging. 

Is the old paint you want to shake opened or unopened? The answer to this question can make the decision-making process simple. If the paint is unopened, it's safe to assume that a Sherwin-Williams employee will shake it. 

Of course, that depends on how well you stored it. If you put it away with care, the paint won't change much over time. 

More specifically, it will still be liquid. However, there will be signs of separation. If you open it, you might see oil floating on the top and pigment chunks floating everywhere else. 

In most cases, the pigment will rest at the bottom of the can or bucket. In this situation, a simple shake or stir would be enough to make the paint usable. Here's a video demonstrating old paint a Sherwin-Williams store would shake:

Opened Paint

If you have an old opened can or bucket of paint, it can be tricky to determine if you can revive it. Of course, the first step you should take would be to take note of what you see inside.

Does it look similar to the old paint in the video above? If it does, you might be able to take it to a Sherwin-Williams store to have it shaken. 

How To Tell If Paint Is No Longer Usable

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Chemical waste from paint work in the industry

On the other hand, the paint might show signs it's no longer able to be used. The first bad indicator would be mold. If mold somehow infested the can, it's beyond saving.  You can try to remove the mold, but you might not get rid of it all. The same goes for rust. 

The second bad indicator would be chunks. However, you'll have to test the paint first in this situation. So, take a stick and try to mix the paint. 

If the chunks break down and mix adequately, take it to your local Sherwin-Williams for a shake. However, stirring the paint might be a better idea in this situation. 

We've already covered the final indicator of paint that has gone bad—dried-out paint. You can try liquifying it again with water, thinner, etc. 

However, if that's something you don't want to do, save a small piece of it. This way, you can have it for color matching. 

What Can You Do With Old Paint?

Store, Dispose Of, and Recycle Paint and Paint Cans

Now you should have an idea of what you can and can't do with the old paint you have. A shake or stir is enough to make it usable if it's still liquid. 

If the paint contains mold or rust, it's no longer usable. Lastly, you will have to test chunky old paint to determine its quality. 

Some of you might realize you can't use your paint anymore, which leads us to the next question. What can you do with old, unusable paint? Unfortunately, you'll have to dispose of it. There are several ways you can go about this. 

The first option would be to look for local retailers with take-back programs. If you have a Sherwin-Williams store nearby, you can visit them for more information on their recycling program

Otherwise, bring the old paint to a special waste drop-off site. If you need help finding a recycling service, sites like Earth911 can help you find one. 

Should You Shake Or Stir Old Paint?

Let's say you determined the paint will likely get accepted at a Sherwin-Williams store for a shake. However, things didn't go as planned, and they denied this service for you.

It's not the end of the world, but the question remains. What can you do? Should you attempt to shake it with your own hands? 

Unfortunately, shaking old paint with your hands isn't an adequate solution. The difference in force between you and a machine is substantial. 

You can attempt it, but you will waste effort. Here's a video demonstrating this with a can of wood stain:

As you can see, there will be chunks that shaking won't be able to mix. For this reason, it would be better to stir the old paint if your local Sherwin-Williams store refuses to shake it. 

How To Stir Old Paint

stir white paint in a black bucket.

Some stores will give you a mixing stick when you purchase paint. Unfortunately, that mixing stick won't perform well with paint that has been sitting for a while. 

As mentioned, you need to reintegrate the separated ingredients; this is where a drill and paint mixer attachment can come in handy. 

Click here to see this paint mixer on Amazon.

When you have these in hand, mixing the paint becomes as easy as running the drill. Still, you'll want to work your way from the bottom up. 

This way, you can agitate any chunks lingering at the bottom of the container. However, sometimes stirring might not be enough to make the whole thing usable again.

Sifting Chunks Out Of Old Paint

The used paint cans. - Will Sherwin-Williams Shake Old Paint?

More specifically, there's a chance you'll see chunks still lingering in the paint. Fortunately, there's an easy fix to this problem. 

All you need is some stockings and another container. This method starts by lining the new container with the stocking. Then, pour the old paint over it. 

After pouring the paint, take the stocking out of the container. That's all it takes to remove the stubborn chunks that won't mix! If you'd like, finish the job by stirring the paint one more time. 

From here, the paint should look as good as new. Before you use it, test it on a piece of wood. This way, you can check for bubbling, adhesion issues, etc.

Here's a video demonstrating this:

In Closing

As we've found, we don't have to let old paint go to waste. If it's still liquid after all that time sitting, Sherwin-Williams will likely shake it for you. However, if they don't, you still have options! After all, shaking isn't the only way to mix the ingredients of the paint. 

In any case, we hope you found this informative. Before you go, do you have any more concerns about old paint? If you're thinking about taking it to Sherwin-Williams for recycling, check out our post:

Does Sherwin-Williams Take Old Paint?

Here are other Sherwin-Williams topics that might interest you:

Can Sherwin Williams Color Match Farrow And Ball?

Does Sherwin Williams Do Samples?

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