Skip to Content

How to store spray paint cans in your garage

Have a lot of half-used cans of paint? Here are the best practices for organizing and storing spray paint in your garage!

If you do a lot of DIY projects, chances are that you have a lot of cans of spray paint.

I have learned the hard way to never just buy one can – you never know when it’s going to crap out on you or how much coverage you will really get from can.

Better safe than sorry, but that means we have a ton of half used spray paint cans to store in our garage.

They come in handy for small projects all the time, but they do require a bit of thought and planning when storing them.

Today we want to talk about how to store spray paint cans in your garage safely and in an organized manner.

Remember: spray paint is pressurized, flammable paint. It is super important to read labels for specific storage instructions to avoid the risk of leakage – or explosion! It is best practices to keep a fire extinguisher near your spray paint storage – just in case.

How to store spray paint cans in your garage

Ideal Spray Paint Storage Conditions

These are the ideal conditions to store your spray paint in:

  • Temperature: Spray paint cans should ideally be stored in a temperature-controlled environment, typically between 50°F and 80°F (10°C and 27°C).
  • Humidity: High humidity is just moisture in the air, which can lead to rust on your cans.
  • Light Exposure: Keep away from direct sunlight to prevent temperature increases.

So, take a good look at your garage and determine if it will be able to keep your cans of paint at stable temperatures, out of direct light, without being too humid.

This will of course depend on the weather where you live and how finished or exposed your garage storage space is.

Garage storage and spray paint storage rack

Choosing the Right Storage Location

It’s really important to choose the right location to store your spray paint. This article is all about storing spray paint in your garage, but even garages can vary greatly. Assess the temperatures and conditions of your space to determine if it is appropriate.

You definitely do not want to store spray paint outdoors where it will be exposed to the elements. The cans get rusty really easily if they get wet and direct sunlight can definitely mess them up.

Even with an indoor garage type space, you want to make sure that it is a well ventilated area in case of any issues with leakage. And, keep them stored away from other chemicals – just in case.

Finally, think about accessibility. You want your paint cans to be easy to access but out of reach of children and pets, and out-of-the-way in general.

Spray paint filled up on storage rack

Spray Paint Storage and Organization

Here are some tips to consider when choosing the best storage solution for your spray paint.

Spray paint shelving

Shelving is usually the easiest way to store spray paint. We built custom spray paint shelves, but you can use any appropriate shelves.

Make sure that the shelf is durable, strong, and of a material that you don’t mind getting a bit of paint on in a pinch.

Remember – it’s super important to shake spray paint before using it, especially if it’s been in storage for a while!

How do you store spray paint cans?

You want to store spray paint cans upright or at a slight angle. Don’t store them flat on their side or upside down. This will help to prevent leakage.

While you’re at it, make sure that the lids are on tightly before storing them. Loose lids just make a mess.

Do not stack cans on top of each other – this is just a disaster waiting to happen. Use bins or get narrower shelves if you need more storage room.

Or, better yet, take a minute and purge some of those almost-empty or super old cans!

Spray paint organized by color
DIY Spray Paint Storage Rack Plans

Organizing spray paint cans

If you have deep shelves, consider using plastic bins to organize your paint cans. This will help keep them upright, and makes it easy to grab for a project.

For example, make a bin for white paint, silver paint, and gold paint.

Or separate by sheen – such as matte vs glossy – if you have a lot of the same color.

If you have more narrow shelves like we do, it sure is satisfying to line the cans up by color!

Once you have everything separated, I always like to put the most-used cans at arm-height shelves. Stick lesser used cans on upper or lower shelves, where they are slightly harder to access.

Consider if it would be beneficial to add labels to your bins or shelves. This can be great if others will be looking for cans and your organization system is not immediately obvious.

color shot spray paint island girl

How to dispose of old spray paint cans

Finally ready to get rid of some extra cans? Do a quick Google and check your local regulations for the specific requirements. Generally, fully empty cans can go in the trash. Partial cans should be taken to a designated hazardous waste disposal facility.

Remember, spray paint is a common product, but it can be messy or dangerous if mis-handled. Store them properly to keep them in top shape and to keep your space organized!

Need to organize & declutter your garage?

Be sure to sign up for our free 6 day workshop organization challenge!

Looking for something?

We’ve been doing this since 2012 so we have a LOT of blog posts!
Search stuff like: Ceiling Projects | DIY Plant Stands | Thrift Flips

Charleston Crafted logo banner