Is It Safe to Store Paint in a Storage Unit?

Wondering if it’s safe to store your leftover paint cans in a storage unit? While it might seem like a convenient solution, there are several factors to consider. Here’s a comprehensive list to guide you through the dos and don’ts of storing paint safely.

1. Check Storage Unit Guidelines

Before storing anything, it’s crucial to review the guidelines provided by the storage facility. Many facilities have specific rules about storing hazardous or flammable materials, which often include paint. Make sure you’re in compliance to avoid any penalties or safety hazards.

2. Understand the Paint Type

Different types of paint have different storage requirements. Latex and water-based paints are generally less flammable compared to oil-based paints. Knowing what type of paint you have will help you make informed decisions about storage.

3. Consider the Temperature

Paint is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Extreme heat can cause paint to separate, while freezing temperatures can make it unusable. Choose a climate-controlled storage unit to maintain a stable temperature and preserve the quality of your paint.

4. Ensure Proper Sealing

Before storing, make sure all paint cans are sealed tightly to prevent leaks and spills. A secure seal will also keep the paint from drying out and becoming unusable.

5. Use Original Containers

Store paint in its original containers whenever possible. These containers are designed to hold paint safely and will include important information such as color, type, and expiration date.

6. Label Everything

Proper labeling is essential. Clearly mark each container with the type and color of paint, as well as the date it was stored. This will make it easier to find the right paint when you need it and help you keep track of expiration dates.

7. Avoid Stacking

Stacking paint cans can lead to spills and leaks, especially if the containers are not sealed properly. Place cans on a sturdy shelf or on the floor with adequate spacing to ensure stability.

8. Use Secondary Containment

Consider placing paint cans in secondary containment bins to catch any potential leaks. This adds an extra layer of protection for both your stored items and the storage facility.

9. Stay Updated on Regulations

Laws and regulations regarding the storage of hazardous materials can change. Stay informed about any local or state regulations that may affect your ability to store paint safely in a storage unit.

10. Consider Alternative Storage Options

If you’re unsure about storing paint in a storage unit, consider alternative options like a dedicated storage shed or a climate-controlled garage. These options can offer more control over the storage environment and reduce potential risks.


While it is possible to store paint in a storage unit safely, it requires careful planning and adherence to guidelines. By following these tips, you can ensure that your paint remains in good condition and poses no risk to you or your belongings. If you’re still unsure, consult with the storage facility or look for alternative storage solutions.