You’ve undoubtedly heard that paints never expire, but is this true for spray paints?

does spray paint expire?

Here’s the answer to your question.

Yes, Spray paints have an expiration date, which you can quickly see on the bottom of the bottle.

The best before or expiration date on the bottom of the spray cannot guarantee how long the paint will last.

Because storage conditions can affect the spray paint easily, such as heat and humidity, can compel spray paint to expire before the expiration date written on the container.

However, leaving open spray cans in storage for lengthy periods after applications is common, and you never determine if the spray cans are still safe to use.

So, how long does spray paint last, and can we use it properly after it has passed its expiration date?

What should you be mindful of while using expired spray paint?

Does spray paint expire

Does spray paint expire?

Yes, as described earlier, spray paint has an expiration date, and it is vital to be aware of it.

Depending on the brand and storage conditions, spray paint can last several months to several years.

So, before you use anything, please read the labels!

Also, remember that spray paints start to deteriorate, so don’t buy too much at once.

What’s the minimum shelf life of spray paint?

Cans mostly have a shelf life of around a year.

The general thumb rule is that spray paint has a two to three-year shelf life from the manufacturing date. This rule varies by brand; certain spray paints have a 10-year shelf life.

The higher the quality of spray paint, the longer it will usable. The most common problem with cans is that the aerosols themselves can lose pressure after a long time.

 The expiration dates usually show how long the aerosol lasts in the can rather than the paint’s expiration. You will get the quality, according to the price of the product.

Does Spray Paint Expire That Hasn’t Been Opened?

Spray paints consist of a mixture of paint ingredients, pigments, solvents, and preservatives which are compressed into a spray can.

Spray paint that hasn’t opened will soon expire because of the internal chemical composition inside the spray cans.

Spray paint has a limited shelf life due to these chemicals because various chemical properties start reactivity inside the can.

The majority of spray paints have a 5-year shelf life if kept unopened. However, other paints, such as latex spray paints and enamels, endure and can stay longer than 10 years if left unopened.

Unopened spray paints typically have a shelf life of two to ten years.  Some brands have a less or two- to five-year shelf life.

While others promise a 10-year shelf life if kept unopened and adequately preserved.

On average, spray paint that hasn’t been opened for three years( 36 months) will go nasty. It’s important to remember that storage conditions and temperatures affect the shelf life of unopened spray paint.

Preservatives are included in the spray to prevent the paint from going bad or hardening inside the paint can.

Also, spray paints have a pea made of metal, plastic, glass, or marble. When we squeeze the valve, usually, the pea is used to mix the paint inside the container so that a blend of all the particles comes out.

Inside, a spray can is filled with compressed air. All of these chemicals and compounds are bound together due to air. The spray paint can easily become unstable due to the reactivity of ingredients, changing storage conditions, and the reaction of different chemical properties. Spray paints don’t last very long because of the above factors.

Is it OK to use old spray paint?

Now that we have the answer to whether spray paint expires, we can move on to learn about using old spray paints.

We can use expired spray paint;

However, it’s best to shake the can for at least 90 seconds before applying it. This shaking allows the pea in the paint jar to mix the lead paint particles adequately.

You should also test it first, by covering a disposable area or object.

Then, before you go ahead and use the color on the thing for painting, observe how it comes out, if it dries, and how it looks.

Spray paint does not have an expiration date like groceries. When we think spray paint is expired, the paint inside the can may still be ok, and chemical reactions may not have occurred.  But when you begin painting, the spray paint can lose pressure.

Spray cans, as previously stated, are filled with pressured air or gas, discharging the paint when the valve is pressed or pulled.

The nozzle will become clogged as a result of long-period storage. Expired spray paint may lose all pressure, preventing the paint from coming out when the valve is pressed or pulled.

Second, the spray paint may have hardened inside the paint container, making it impossible to mix when we shake the spray cans.

 In the first case, where there is no pressure in the paint can, you can carefully de-can or tear the spray can to pour out and use the spray paint.

You may also de-can and thin the spray paint with mineral spirits after it has solidified to make it more liquid so we can apply it.

However, you should know we cannot utilize all expired spray paints. Always inspect and test expired spray paint before using it to be safe.

 After the date is passed, some spray paints can become poisonous. Some spray paints are widely known for this.

How long does spray paint last once we open it?

How long does spray paint last once we open it?

If the spray paint has a shelf life of three years (or 36 months) if left unopened, it will reduce the shelf life to 18 months or less once we open it.

Even if you carefully preserve spray paint after opening, it will not last more than a year. The reason for this is that the contents of the spray cans will expose to dry air, and any amount of air, no matter how small, will cause paint to harden over time.

Because the open can is more sensitive to the elements, like temperature and moisture.

This exposure will impact the paint’s condition inside the paint can. And can result in chemical reactions, paint solidification, and separation inside the paint container.

Because the sealed spray cannot be exposed to the environment, unopened spray paint will last longer than opened spray paint.

 If the spray can’s seal is damaged or missing, the paint will deteriorate more quickly as the paint compounds react with the environment.

Opened spray paint can last for over a year if stored properly. The paint will last longer if you store it opened or use spray paint in a cool room away from direct sunlight. You should also keep the color away from dust and moisture and ensure the cover is securely on the top.

How to use expired spray paint?

We can use spray paint in rare circumstances after the expiration date, which is printed on the can.

 Always shake the aerosol of the can upside down for at least 2 minutes before using it, and test the paint before applying it to your target object.

A clogged nozzle can sometimes be the cause of apparently dead spray paint.

To clean the nozzle, immerse it in thinners and blow it out with compressed air.

If the issue persists and results in a loss of pressure in the can, we can save clean nozzles and store them in case of future concerns with other cans.

You’ll need some methods for the clogged spray paint to operate again. There are two basic ways to accomplish this, and we will show you how to do both. The first approach is to just:

First, shake the paint can.

If you’ve ever used a spray can, you’ve probably heard the phrase “shake before use.” This tip is beneficial because it can thoroughly blend the spray’s contents to ensure equitable distribution.

You can also use this method to reactivate outdated spray paint. Simply shake the paint can vigorously for about 2 minutes while holding it firmly.

The pea within the paint can stir the paint particles together as you shake it, resulting in a uniform consistency and paint color.

Let’s look at a different approach: reusing outdated spray paint.

Use paint thinner like turpentine or mineral spirit to clean the spray can nozzle after shaking the can. This cleaning will assist in releasing the clogged paint particles on the nozzle, allowing the paint to flow smoothly from the can when you press the valve.

De-can and thin the spray paint (method 2)

The following way is a little more complicated than the first, but it’s not impossible to master.

 This procedure is best for old spray paint solidified in the container or won’t come out when the release valve is pressed or pulled.

You’ll need to open the spray can, pour the paint inside, then dilute it to make it easier to apply.

 To complete this project, you’ll need the following tools and supplies.

A sharp instrument or a tiny drill bit  
A pair of scissors or cutting material  
A paint mixer or turning stick  
A paint bucket  
A pair of thick gloves
Paint thinner  
A paintbrush  

Here’s how to de-can and thin spray paint in a nutshell:

  1. Drill a hole or pierce the spray can’s top.
  2. Wait for the pressurized air to leave
  3. Cut an aperture starting from the drilled hole
  4. Pour out the spray paint
  5. Add a little paint thinner to the mix.
  6. Using a paint mixer, stir for a few minutes.
  7. Put the paint to the test.

1. Drill a hole in the paint can’s top.

The first step is to pierce the can’s top.

You’ll need a sharp object, such as a nail, but a drill bit is better. Drill a small hole in the paint can’s top. To avoid injury, be cautious when doing so.

2. Wait for the suffocating air to dissipate.

The air will seep out when you puncture the spray container. It would be best to wait until all air is out of the can. After drilling a hole, you’ll hear a hissing sound for a few seconds.

 It will be the sound of air exiting from the spray.

You should move toward the next step when you can no longer hear hissing noises.

3. Cut an aperture starting from the drilled hole 

The hole you drilled is for bleeding the spray can’s pressurized air.

 Making a hole in the ground is the next stage in the ventilation lid so you can quickly pour the paint out.

You can use giant scissors for this. Simply cut or slice a small hole in the top of the spray can where you previously drilled the hole.

 Remember that the lid will be pretty sharp once the spray can cut.

4. Pour out the spray paint

You will then pour out the paint into a paint bucket. Turn the painting upside down to accomplish this. The paint from the container will spill into the paint bucket. If the paint won’t come out, it’s because it’s hardened inside the spray can.

In most circumstances, this indicates that the paint is no longer usable. To make sure, use the scissors you used previously to cut through the entire paint can.

Then the spray can easily be emptied. You should dump it out and buy new spray paint if the content is challenging and Stone-like hard. On the other hand, if the paint is unclear, thick, or lumpy, you can still rekindle it by following the next steps.

5. Add a little paint thinner to the mix.

A paint thinner, often known as a solvent, is a liquid material used to thin thick paints and make them easier to apply. Water will be the paint thinner for water-based spray paints.

So, add a couple of cups of water to the paint you spilled out. The majority of spray paints, however, are oil-based. Mineral spirits, turpentine, or white spirits are good for oil-based spray paints.

6. Using a paint mixer, stir for a few minutes

Since the results will be better, you can use a turning stick to mix the paint if you don’t have one.

For this, you should utilize a paint mixer; if you paint off then you should consider getting a professional paint mixer than

those $5 cheap ones because they won’t last long and break easily.

  • Stir for at least 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
  • And the paint and thinner are thoroughly combined.
  • Stop stirring until you’ve achieved an even consistency and color.
  • Then it will be best if you move toward the next step.

7. Put the paint to the test.

On a piece of cardboard or a wall, test the blended paint.

If the color goes on smoothly and has a nice finish, you’ve successfully resurrected the paint and may now utilize it.

To accomplish so, apply the spray paint with a paintbrush.

Does the aerosol spray paint expire?

Does spray paint expire

Even if the problem is determined to be a loss of aerosol pressure, there is a significant probability that the paint inside will still be helpful.

To decant the color from the can, use a sharp tool to produce a small puncture near the top of the can.

We can use an airbrush or a spray paint gun to apply the paint after decanting it to reduce wastage and purchase extra paint.

Before cutting the can open and decanting the paint into a sealable jar or directly into the spray gun jug, allow time for the excess pressure to dissipate.

Before using or storing decanted paint, stir it to expel any remaining gas or fuel.

What Happens When Spray Paint Expires?

When spray paint expires, it is useless in most cases because expired spray paint will:

  • Lose pressure: Most expired spray paints will lose air pressure inside the can, resulting in nothing coming out when you press the valve.
  • Solidify: Expired spray paint tends to solidify inside the spray can, making it hard or lumpy.
  • Expired spray paints emit very hazardous fumes that should not be inhaled or come into touch with the skin.

What Is the Best Effective Way To Determine Does the Spray Paint Expire?

Check for the following signs to see if the spray paint has expired:

A puffed-up or bloated container:

The paint bottle will appear enlarged or puffy since the paint has expired. This puffing is due to paint-eating microbes resulting from chemical reactions releasing gases inside the spray can.

Foul Smell

If you spray the paint and notice a solid bad smell or rotten odor, the paint has expired or gone wrong.

Irregular consistency

When you spray expired spray paint, the resulting paint will have an irregular consistency and color.

Paint May Appear Streaky:

 The paint will appear streaky because some areas will be thicker than others. The color will also vary; some sides will dry faster than others.

Clogged Nozzle:

 The nozzle of expired spray paint will be clogged or blocked. This blockage is because the paint underneath has solidified.

 When you squeeze the valve, it will be challenging to open. This problem is more familiar with spray paints that are left open.

How long will the most famous spray paints Last?

It’s worth looking into the many types of spray paint available for the projects and jobs you’ll be undertaking.

Different brands have distinct characteristics, and it’s essential to understand what they have to offer.


This type of paint is primarily used on metal surfaces. It’s rust-resistant, UV-resistant, and quick-drying. Its oil-based composition works well for coating metal surfaces and preserving them from weathering and corrosion.

 Their spray cans also have a proprietary trigger that is comfortable for lengthy periods on projects. Rust-Oleum has a 3-year shelf life (unopened) from the manufacturing date on the bottom of the can.


Krylon is another paint we can use for industrial and residential DIY projects.

It’s great for metal coatings and rust protection.

 It can also be multifunctional, and we can use it on various surfaces, including wood, plastic, and more. With proper care and storage, Krylon claims a shelf life of 3 to 4 years from the manufacturing date.

 Montana spray

The street art community loves this spray paint. They benefit from the high-pressure paint application. Users can choose the best solution for their needs from their popular paints, which use acrylic-based paint. Montana spray cans have a 10-year shelf life guarantee.


This brand is also well-known for its application in street painting. Bright colors, reasonable user control, and overall value for money have made them famous.

 For many functions on all surfaces, it’s great for both indoor and outdoor use. Ironlak’s paint is made with the environment, and the user benefits in mind.

Thus it contains fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) than other brands. The cans have a two-year shelf life from the date of manufacture.

How should spray paint be handled and kept to get the most out of it?

Taking great care when using and storing your spray paints will go a long way toward extending the life of your spray paint beyond its expiration date.

 Before using, always read the instructions and give the can a good shake, especially if it is older.

Also, if the paint has thickened and isn’t flowing smoothly after being stored for a long time, consider soaking the can in warm water for a few minutes to help thin the liquid and allow it to mix easier.

 When storing the paint, ensure the lid is tightly fastened, kept dry, and out of direct sunlight.

Keep it at a comfortable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold.

Temperatures between 5° C (41° F) to 30° C (86° F) are suitable for storage.

Extreme temperature variations might have an impact on the product’s quality.

It’s not always practical with garage and shed storage, but it’s worth mentioning if you want to get the most out of your paints.

Tip: Before storing the can, you should not open and close it more than twice. More openings create air pockets inside the spray paint, making the application more difficult!

What’s the best technique to prevent spray paint from drying out?? Does the spray paint expire in sunlight?

Spray paint can be kept in a variety of places.

Keeping it on an open shelf or away from heat sources like stoves or heaters and out of direct sunlight is preferable.

Furthermore, you should never store the cans directly above a light source, as this can cause problems with the lid, making application difficult. If at all possible, keep your spray paint in a dark place.

The containers that the product arrives in are also fantastic storage choices. Before sealing them tightly, make sure they’re clean and dry.

If you don’t have any additional cans, simply ask your local hardware store to get some that will suffice!

Follow the guidelines to keep your can in good shape for as long as possible!

My Verdict:

If you want your spray paint to last as long as possible, keep it carefully and use it within a year of buying it.

Spray paint, in general, has a shelf life. It’s challenging to find a product or paint that doesn’t have an expiration date.

 However, one advantage of spray paints is that the expiration date is visible on the bottom of the can.

This information will help you figure out when the paint expires or how much time you have before the paint starts to deteriorate.

 Though you can use expired spray paints, you should examine and test them first because some spray paints become harmful after they expire.


Is spray paint safe to store?

Spray paint cans are highly combustible or easily can catch the fire. Therefore, you should store them carefully to preserve their quality and use and ensure that any potential risks are diminutive.
 Avoid storing your paint in excessive temperatures since this can alter the quality of your paint and raise the chance of cans exploding or causing fire damage. Keep your paints out of direct sunlight and away from any potential sparks or fires in a dry location.

How do you get rid of old spray paint?

If it’s expired, you’ll want to get rid of your spray paint can, if it can’t be recovered even using any of the above ways.
 Check to see if there’s anything else you can do before you do anything else. If the can is empty. They can be recycled with your regular recycling.
Otherwise, it must be removed from your usual recycling and set aside for any local authority-arranged pickups or brought to a recycling facility for proper disposal. Always verify the can’s directions for how to dispose of it and the recycling rules in your area.

What is the shelf life of Rust-Oleum spray paint?

If you put your aerosol cans upside down or horizontally on their sides or caps, it will considerably shorten your paint’s shelf life.
 Rust-Oleum spray paint has a five- to ten-year shelf life (unopened) following the production date printed on the bottom of the can at the time of purchase.