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Hey Steve:

Q I have a question about rejuvenating paint (latex enamel)! My uncle was given 20 gallons of latex enamel paint, and he stored it in a barn, and I think the paint froze and is now separated. Should I drain off the liquid and what can I put in it when I remix it? Thank you! Ian McDougall

AIan - You may be able to reclaim the paint; open each container and ...

  • Do not pour off any of the liquid. This should be kept as part of the paint.
  • Look for any signs of rusting or deterioration of the containers, and where you see any contamination of the paint, discard that container of paint.
  • Remove any obvious skins, or hard pieces; leave soft lumps in place.
  • Now the containers have to be mixed thoroughly. The best bet would be to have the containers shaken at a paint store. You may have trouble getting this done, unless you are a friend of the owner! You may have the best chance of success asking at a store that sells the same brand as you paint. When using a shaker, be sure all paint is removed from the chime (groove where the lid fits), and be sure the lid is on tight. Or use a paint stir-stick and stir each container thoroughly for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If, after the mixing, the paint seems smooth, uniform, free of specs, is not thin and runny, not putrefied, etc., it should be OK to use; but check each container out first by applying to a scrap surface, and look for uniformity of gloss and color. Still, don't use it in a critical place like a living room.