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Storing mixed paint in lined paint cans

This is somewhat related to my thread on mixing candy paint with the SPI intercoat clear, but I thought I'd post it as a separate thread because it applies to other custom paints I've mixed and need to store. The only paint cans I can buy locally without a lot of hassle are at the hardware store and they are all lined paint cans - they have a grey coating applied somehow to the inside presumably to keep them from being rusted by water based latex paint most people use them for. I've always worried that if I use these cans for storing automotive paint - like candy colors I mix up that have a lot of reducer in them - the strong solvents will over time weaken this coating and it will end up in the paint. As a result I've gone to the trouble of getting unlined cans elsewhere (Barry even sent me some once). Does anyone have experience storing automotive paint in the grey lined paint cans, and is this safe to do?


The New Guy
That gray liner is meant for non-solvent paints such as latex. Solvent based paints will surely dissolve the liner. I get my metal cans from the local auto paint supplier.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
Mike gave good advice go to an automotive paint store. I have never seen an issue with cans from p[laces like ACE but I have no clue what they are coating the cans with.
in automotive they use I think its called BPA without looking up the initials the same stuff they coat your corn and other can goods with.
I bought some cans to store the Euro activators. I don't know what it is about the activators but they weld the lids shut.
I just about bought one of these hardware type cans yesterday to intermix two gallons of base. I decided against it because of that gray coating, it just seems like a poor coating in general, the one I looked at you could scrape the coating off with a finger nail pretty easily.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
i get cans at napa here. they are a plastic type . work well.
The only issue with the plastic is don't store activators in them.
Shine being an old dinosaur like me you may remember when S&W back in the late 80's or early 90's had the brain fart of packaging their activator in plastic and within months the jobbers had activators that were so puffed up they would not stand up on their own and sucked air, had to have cost many many millions to fix that screw up.
The guy that thought of that was probably promoted. LOL
you can buy cans anywhere but 160z is the smallest your going to find. ww granger sells the flat plastic screw on lid type .
I've checked at Oreillys about empty paint cans since they sell Nason paint and they had them listed in their computer but for some ridiculous price. It's a better deal to order them off of eBay, especially in quantity, I've found.

There's still a PPG jobber in the small town I live in: I used to buy almost all my paint products from them, but they eventually had turnover of their employees and one of the new ones treated me very poorly - and the manager didn't make any attempt to apologize for the employees behavior - so I decided they didn't need my business any more. I don't plan on doing business with them again even to buy paint cans (which I'm sure they would insist had to have paint in them). Just because I'm not a high volume body shop they treated me like dirt.