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How Long Does Paint Typically Last In The Can?
Even if the leftover pigment inside of a stored can hasn't yet dried out, it's still possible for it to have gone bad. While leftover cans of paint can last for years, all types of paint can eventually spoil over time — especially if they are not stored properly or if it has been a long time since your last revamp.
Latex-based paint lasts anywhere from two to 10 years while acrylic lasts from two years to as many as 15. You can expect chalk paint to last up to five years and a premixed can of milk paint to last up to two. However, milk paint mixed from a powder has a shelf life of one to seven days, so you're better off buying a new can if you plan on doing touch-ups with the same pigment.
Unopened cans last longer than those that have been opened, but if the pigment has chunks that won't mix in, there's a lot of thick sludge, or there's a sour or smelly odor, your paint has likely gone bad. The easiest way to ensure your leftover pigment lasts is to never leave the lid off the can and ensure the tint is properly sealed inside the can before storing.