How to Save Leftover Paint with Plastic Wrap

If you bought paint recently, you know that good quality paint is not cheap, so when you buy a gallon you want to make sure you use every drop of it.

If you finish a project and end up with half a gallon of paint, store it safely so you can reuse it next time.

Now, although the can is half-filled with paint it’s also half filled with air, and that air can cause problems. For instance, a thick skin will form on the top layer of the paint, making it almost impossible to use next time.

This happens, not only with paint, but also with clear-coat varnishes and sealers, so try to store it safely and seal out as much air as possible.

And all you need is some plastic food wrap. Pull off piece of it and lay it right in the paint can.

Set it as carefully as you can on top of the paint, right on the paint itself, and then press it against the sides of the can.

So once the plastic’s sitting right on the paint like that, just replace the lid and store the paint. Then when you’re ready to paint again, just pull off the lid carefully.

Remove the plastic and the paint will be fresh, ready for a new coat.

Watch the video above to see Joe’s Simple Solution.


  1. Thanks Joe. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I have only been covering the top of the can with the saran wrap then put the lid on. Haven’t had a problem with any thick skin. Maybe next time I’ll try it your way (o:>

  2. You’re very welcome, Debbie. I’m glad you liked the tip and hope it helps extend the life of your paint well into the future! Thanks again. Best wishes, Joe T.

  3. Great tip, Have had to toss out a lot of paint for that very reason.
    Years ago before the big box home improvement stores, we had a local hardware store that sold inert gas (helium or nitrogen) in an aerosol can, spray it in the can put on the lid and the paint would be fresh ready to use next time you open the can.

    • Thanks for sharing that story with the Today’s Homeowner community, Bill!
      It’s always fun to discuss the different ways to achieve the same goal. 🙂


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