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Storing Paint Cans

Updated: Jul. 25, 2019

No more crusty rims after learn this tip on how to store paint

how to store paintFamily Handyman
Use a can of latex or oil paint once and the rim invariably get coated with dried, crusty paint. This solution is unusual and counterintuitive, but it really works.

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How to Store Paint: Keep rims clean

Puncture and drain

Use a small nail to drive four holes in the rim of the paint can. Let the paint drain back into the can and seal the lid with a block of wood and a hammer.


With the lid tightly sealed, flip the can upside down for storage.

We’ve covered paint can storage tips a hundred times before. But this tip comes to us from a house painter with thousands of paint jobs under his belt. Rather than spending time trying to sop all the paint out of the rim, he punches four small holes in the valleys and lets it drain as shown. Then he stores the cans upside down. He swears it works like a charm.

Learn 29 more painting tool hacks that will get your projects rolling smoothly.

Required Tools for this how to store paint project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Hammer

Required Materials for this how to store paint project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 8d finish nail
  • Block of wood