Monday, November 9, 2015

Storing Paint So it Doesn't Dry Out and Safe Storage of Chemicals

For a week or two, we have had a weird chemical smell in the garage. We weren't sure what was causing it. 

I searched and found that a five gallon bucket of Drywall Primer was leaking. I had it on carpet and I am not sure how the bottom of the plastic bucket cracked but my only guess is that some water spilled and then froze causing pressure on the bottom of the container. It hadn't been opened so it was odd that it leaked.

I can't imagine that is it but you can clearly see the crack in the bottom and it slowly leaked out causing a hard form of paint in the shape of the bottom of the bucket and so I got rid of the carpet and scrubbed the garage cement and poured the now half empty bucket into another container. 

Two days later, we still smell something and then I could smell gas in my basement. I don't have any idea what is going on so I put a fan in the garage and the basement hoping it is residual smell but it continues to get worse. 

I dig around all the paint strippers, oil mix, lawn mower and then I remember I had an extra 5 gallon gas container on the bottom shelf. I lift it and the paint underneath it was bubbling and there was "wet" under it. 

There was a slight crack which must be VERY slow leaking as it was still half full but I guess half of it leaked around the back of the bookshelf and then down the crack between the drywall and cement. 
It must have run down that wall inside the wall and then hit the basement cement as I can't see any indication of it in the basement on the wall or floor but it is behind the entertainment center so I hope it isn't ruining the carpet under there. 
I dumped it into another gas can and washed the shelf and the cement around the book shelf and there is still a smell. I pray nothing sparks so I have kept the fan running. It smells a bit better so I am hoping it will evaporate. 
While cleaning out, I put all the paint for the house on one shelf but many of the paint cans seemed quite empty so I thought that I should consolidate the paints into smaller containers as I had over the past few years and it would save space on the shelf.
I brought about 12 gallon cans into the house and started opening them. Four of the first 6 cans were hard like a rock. One was like putty and one was separated and rust dropped into it when I opened the can. 

There were only two that had usable paint in them out of all the house paint used in the house. I did save some of the "putty" type paint as I can still use it to spot paint the walls I used it on. 

The paint in the plastic containers I used to store the paint in the past few years, the paint was in good condition, it was easy to mix as I could just shake the container in my hand verses trying to shake a paint can.
EVERY can had rust around the lid area and when I opened them, the rust dropping into the paint.  

The film containers worked for about five years, the play dough container also lasted about that long but my favorite is the Tupperware as they seal really air tight and they don't dehydrate and dry out. 
The larger containers are from dry "Gatorade," "Wylers" and "Country Time" drink mixes. They work VERY well and the paint in those is at least five years old and is in great condition and is so easy to mix and use as you can easily hold it in one hand as you paint with the other. 
I used a rubber spatula to get the paint out into the plastic containers and in one, I had a larger amount so I used a plastic square chocolate covered almond container and put saran wrap over the lid before putting it on just to make sure there was a good seal on it.
Out of all the gallons of house paint in my garage, I only kept one. It had a plastic lining on the inside and I had 3/4 of a gallon in it still.

I do have some new paint I bought for the wedding and never used and some that I was going to use to paint my garage etc but since they haven't been opened, I let them be until I need paint for something. 

Princess One is looking at houses so I told her she could take what I had to use if she wanted once they get a home.

I wish I had done this years ago but each day I get a little more done in the yard, house, or garage or even just a project. Yesterday, I winterized most of the yard and did most of Princess Three's Christmas quilt. I have a "list" and each day try to get something checked off it and can happily say that it is going well. Even on the rough days, I get something done so it has been a few good weeks that way. 
It would be great if I could get lots checked off before the holidays but I am giving myself the gift of being happy with what I do get done and I can see little accomplishments daily so life is good.              

I wanted to share that I thought I was safely storing chemicals but realized that my garage was a hazard. Before winter comes, you may want to do a little chemical check to make sure your chemicals are stored well and not leaking. Learn from my mistakes! :-)

1 comment:

  1. This is wise advice. Darren's brother's house just had a fire in the middle of the night from chemicals stored in their garage that spontaneously combusted. It was a cold night, so it wasn't heat that did it. The fire alarm went off at 4 am. Luckily everyone is safe but it will be a year before they can live in their house again... just a from a few old rags.