Why Is The Paint Separated In The Can? (Solved)

When it’s time to use paint, a certain consistency is expected from it.

This is the only way the paint can be applied or it will start looking splotchy and unappealing. You have to focus on the paint’s consistency before using it due to this reason.

When you look into the paint can, you might wonder, why is the paint separated in the can?

The paint can become separated in the can when it’s been stored for too long. This causes paint to turn into a mixture of liquid and solids. The solids rest at the bottom of the paint can, while the liquids settle at the top. In most cases, if the paint solidifies, it should be disposed of.

It’s best to inspect the paint’s quality to determine how much of it is still usable. If too much of the paint has solidified, there is little you can do to fix the issue. It will not turn out the way you want it to.

This article is going to explain why the paint separates in the can and what to look for when determining your next move.

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Things To Consider With Paint Separated In A Can

1. Amount Of Solidified Paint In The Can

With paint separation, you will want to start by assessing the ratio between solidified and liquid paint.

This will shed light on the chances of saving the paint in its current condition.

When learning how to make old paint usable again, it’s important for there to be more liquid than solidified paint in the can. It’s the only way any stirring that takes place is going to have an impact.

If there is a lot of solidified paint in the can, this is a sign it might have to be tossed out. It won’t stir easily.

To test this out, you can stick something into the can to see where the solidified layer begins. If it’s more than 50% of the can then you will have to toss out the paint because it won’t stir effectively.

If it’s less than 50% then you can attempt to stir it for five minutes and see what happens.

paint separated in can

2. Storage Conditions

If the paint has separated in the can, you will have to take into account where it was stored.

Were the conditions ideal for storing paint? Was it too hot in there? Perhaps, the timeline is the issue and too many years went by before the can was opened?

Whatever the reasons may be, you have to ensure the storage conditions are not the reason for the paint getting ruined.

Sometimes, the paint separates because of the conditions more than the timeline.

3. Type Of Paint

You will also want to focus on the type of paint.

If latex paint is separated in the can, it can be saved through stirring. You will want to make sure to do this for at least five minutes and continue to work your way through the paint can.

You will want to test the paint and see its consistency.

If the paint is mucky and does not seem to be in a good state, this is likely a sign stirring won’t help as much as you want it to.

paint separated in can

4. Consistency After Stirring The Paint Again

Let’s assume you attempt to stir the paint for 5-10 minutes.

It’s now time to take a look at the new consistency after it has been stirred. Is the paint in better condition? Is it usable?

You will want to compare it to how this type of paint should be whether it’s latex or acrylic paint. Always compare it to how the paint’s composition should be in ideal conditions.

This is the only way you can use old paint after it has been separated.

Can You Mix Paint That Has Separated?

Yes, you can mix paint that has been separated. This includes using a mixer to ensure the liquid and solidified paint turns into a usable formulation.

How Do You Revive Paint That Is Separated?

To revive paint that is separated, use a hand mixer for 5-10 minutes. This will help loosen the solidified paint in the can and mix it with the liquid. Continue to do this until the paint is back to its original state.

Final Thoughts

These factors are important to consider if the paint is separated in the can.

If the paint is separated in the can, this means it was stored for too long and now has turned into a combination of liquid plus solidified paint. To fix this issue, use a hand mixer and mix the contents for at least 5-10 minutes. This will help loosen the solidified paint.

In some cases, you can’t save old paint and it needs to be tossed out.

This occurs if more than 50% of the old paint is solidified. It won’t be easy to save in this state and has to be removed.

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