Furlough Project #4 – Paint Jars

I am a Federal employee & have been on furlough since 12/22/2018.  I’ve been keeping busy with projects and deep cleaning.  My 4th furlough project was transferring all of our paint from cans to mason jars.  I’ve always stored my paint cans in the basement on shelves, like most people:

       

But I’ve noticed that paint cans tend to rust after a while, and don’t close well if you’ve used them a bunch of times.  I’d resorted to wrapping some in ziplocks with rubber bands:

        

And had transferred others to new cans which I’d bought at Home Depot.  But even those rusted after a while.  Last fall I googled “better ways to store paint” and saw some amazing photos of colored paint stored in mason/ball jars.  I thought “I want to do that!”  After eye-balling and handling my paint collection [many cans were half empty – no sense buying a full sized jar] I bought a bunch of pint, quart, and half-gallon sized jars from Amazon.  I am not very well versed in mason/ball jars, and didn’t realize there’s “regular mouth” and “wide mouth”.  I bought some of each and I’d highly suggest wide mouth for paint storage:  easier to pour the paint into [less drips] and easier to dip a brush into.

I shook up each paint can before opening then poured them into jars of appropriate size.  I used paint stirrers as spatulas to get every last drop out [good thing I’m a paint stick hoarder].  I labeled the tops of each jar with the brand, color, what it was used for, and year of purchase.  The trim paint got a special label on the front so I can find it fast:

        

Halfway done and loving the results:

It took about 3 hours over 2 days to get all the paint moved to jars:

        

When I was done I was left with a graveyard of old cans and tops, which I’m drying out before trashing:

I cut some old cat shelves from my wood pile [which were already painted white] to make a nice firm shelf for the jars.  Then lined them up.  They’re still in the basement, but in a much easier to see spot because they’re pretty 🙂 I LOVE THEM:

        

I am currently working on furlough projects 5, 6, & 7.

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8 Comments

  1. They look so pretty! You can really see your color schemes without peering into a can with mold in it!

  2. Very smart. What did you do with colors you didn’t want to keep anymore? That’s my biggest problem.

    • Hmmm… I didn’t have any colors I didn’t want to keep anymore. But I know to discard of latex paint you don’t want, you just let it air dry for a month or so with the lid off, and then you can discard it in the regular trash. I don’t know about oils. I have discarded latex paint in the past that way. I once let almost a full gallon of bright orange dry out and tossed it.

  3. Never thought of using Mason Jars. I always used small plastic screw tops from the Container Store. Either way it works great…

  4. This is a great project! The final result, along with being decorative and fun, is that
    your paint should literally last for years.

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