When you purchase paint in the store, it is almost always stirred and shaken for you.
This process helps to make sure that the colors and the ingredients of the paint are properly mixed.
When you go to use the paint, you will not have quite as much work ahead of you to prepare the paint for use.
The question that many people have is how long this initial mixing will last.
We have all the answers you need to make sure your paint is ready to use and suitable for your project.
How Long Does Paint Stay Mixed After Shaking?
The paint will stay mixed for about a day after shaking.
If you start painting the day you get home from the store, you can start applying it directly to your wall.
If you wait until the following day to start your painting project you are going to have to do a bit of mixing.
Essentially, as soon as you let the paint sit, it is going to start breaking apart and will need to be stirred.
For some who purchase paint in the morning, by the time they get home that afternoon, it will need to be stirred again.
Many times, you will also need to stir the paint a few times throughout the duration of the painting project.
Whenever we do a painting project, we always keep a stir stick nearby.
If the paint has been sitting for an hour or so, we will mix it a few times to make sure that it is blended properly.
If your paint has been sitting on a shelf for a few years, you will see that you have quite a bit of stirring to do when you open it up.
This is a very common problem, and for the most part, when you stir the paint, you will end up with a product that will work just as well as when it was originally mixed.
However, paint does have a lifespan.
If you want to make sure that your paint has not already gone bad, you may want to consider the lifespan of the paint.
Shelf Life of Common Paints
Paint can have a very long shelf life if it is stored properly.
It is important to put the top of the paint can on carefully and securely and to make sure that you keep the paint in a temperature-controlled environment.
The paint can do a great job of insulating what is inside, but you must make sure that it is completely sealed to do its best job.
Most of the time, hammering on the top of the paint can give it a tight and secure fit, enough to make sure that no air gets in.
When you have your paint properly stored, you can then start to figure out whether or not the paint is still going to be useable for your walls.
The latex and oil-based paints are going to have the longest shelf life.
The latex tends to last up to ten years, with the oil-based lasting up to 15 years.
Of course, if the paint is not stored properly, that lifespan could be as short as two years.
Other types of paint, like chalk paint and milk paint, are not going to last very long.
In fact, milk paint will only make it about seven days.
If you are working with this type of paint, make sure that you are ready to use it right away.
Does Paint Need to Be Stirred?
Paint does need to be stirred.
This is a step that cannot be skipped.
When you are painting, you want to be sure that you are always equipped with a stir stick, which is usually available free of charge from the store where you purchased your paint.
The stir stick allows you to make sure that the paint can always be spread on the project that you are working on.
Stirring paint is not hard, and it should just take a matter of minutes for you to get the paint ready to be used.
When you are stirring, make sure that you can’t see any streaks of color or white in the paint.
The paint needs to be one solid color throughout the entire can.
The paint should also be very smooth with no chunks or areas of thicker and thinner paint.
Knowing that you have stirred your paint enough will take a bit of experience.
Here are a few key things that you can look out for to make sure that you have stirred your paint enough.
One of the easiest ways to look at the paint and know that it is properly mixed is to check out the color.
You should have a general idea as to what color of paint you are using.
If the color seems too dark or too light, you should know right away that it needs a bit more stirring.
Even if the color looks exactly as it should, we recommend that you still stir for a few minutes.
The stirring is only going to help you when it comes to the quality of the paint job that you do.
You may find that, when you paint with an inadequately stirred product, you may have issues with the color blending on the walls.
Some areas of the wall may appear to have a darker color paint than others.
The extra few minutes that you spend stirring will certainly pay off.
2. Paint Separation
One of the easiest ways to see that paint needs to be stirred is if the paint has separated.
This usually happens when the paint has been sitting unused for about a week or so.
If the paint is really separated, you may want to take it into a paint store and have it shaken with a professional paint shaker again.
This is usually more effective than the stirring a homeowner can do at their own home.
With the paint separation issue, if you notice that your paint will not start to blend, even after being mixed again, the paint may not be good anymore.
It is essential to make sure that the paint can blend and stay blended at least for an hour or so.
If it cannot do this, you will not be able to use that paint on your walls.
3. Top Layer of Paint
Sometimes you will notice there is a film or a clear coat at the top of the paint.
This looks a bit like a piece of plastic wrap sitting on top of the paint.
You can easily stir this back in, and it will blend in with the paint in the can.
Don’t give up on mixing paint too soon.
Sometimes it can take up to ten minutes to get the paint completely stirred up again.
Why Do You Need to Shake Spray Paint?
The brush-on paint is not the only thing that needs to be shaken or stirred before it is used.
When you are working with spray paint, you should always shake it prior to use.
Shaking the can of spray paint allows for the chemicals to mix and let out a very smooth stream of paint.
If you don’t shake the paint before applying it to your project, you could end up having to re-do the entire process.
You only have to shake the can of paint for about five seconds before you can get the stream of paint to release quite easily.
This will end up being about ten shakes of your hand, and then the paint will be ready to use.
You can always look at the specifications on the side of the can if there are some specific requirements about the time to shake.
When you use paint, you must make sure that it is adequately prepared and ready to use.
The fact that you had the paint mixed in the store is a great thing, but it does not always mean that your paint will be ready to use.
You should make a habit of stirring paint each time you use it.
This way, you know that it is ready to be used and that it will look good on the wall.
You can take our word for it: if you don’t mix paint correctly, you will absolutely be able to tell when it is up on the wall.