I have a gallon of high gloss paint that's almost 7 yrs old. It's

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never been opened because after I bought it, I changed my mind about the color for the intended room -- and didn't think high gloss was a good idea. But now I want to repaint my small blue bathroom and the high gloss paint, which is a medium to light brown, is exactly what I want. My current blue paint is satin finish. Questions: 1. Could I paint high gloss over satin without priming? If so, will just a good cleaning of the wall be OK? 2. Will high gloss be too much shine for a bathroom? 3. If I take it to Lowe's to be shaken, will it be OK to use after all this time -- or not?
q i have a gallon of high gloss paint that s almost 7 yrs old it s, diy, painting
  25 answers
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jan 01, 2014
    Yes you can, but when you open the paint smell it. If it has sat in a garge and has gotten to cold the paint could be bad. You can almost tell just from opening the can if the paint is good or bad, if nothing else the smell will tell you and believe me you don't ever want to use paint that has soured.

    • Nora Satrun Nora Satrun on Jan 02, 2014
      @Sherrie I agree that just because paint is old, it can still be useful. I live in a tiny house with few closets and little storage areas. I left paint out in cold northern winters and was still able to use it on my walls.

  • Carole Carole on Jan 01, 2014
    I would have thought that high gloss might be a little too much. If you will take it to Lowes anyway to get it shaken, you can ask them in there if it is OK to use after 7 years - they should be able to advise you. I would be thinking of using an anti-mould/fungal paint for the bathroom (if it is going on the walls) or at least adding an anti-mould agent to the paint as the bathroom is a 'wet' area. What does it say on the tin regarding priming? Brown over blue might be a big ask and need quite a few coats to cover the existing colour and also, most paint do better if you use a primer first as they need to be able to adhere to the surface and that is what primer is for - to enable the paint to do just that. It would last longer I believe if you prep properly and use a primer, even though it is tempting to skimp on the cleaning and prep work.

  • Louise Louise on Jan 01, 2014
    I sooooo hate prepping and hoped I could shortcut this job. I'll ask at Lowe's but don't often feel that their paint people know a lot about paint. Once in a while I find someone who does, but mostly they act like they just happened thru the dept as I needed to ask a question. Sometimes I ask a customer who seems to know what he's doing and get better answers. :-(

    • See 1 previous
    • @Louise , Carole is right about smaller department stores and staff knowledge. Also - THE most important part of a durable paint job is the prep work! I know it's a pain, but if it isn't done correctly the paint will fail QUICKLY and you'll have to do it all over again! I've seen it happen and it's a mess! ;)

  • Mary Blackley Mary Blackley on Jan 01, 2014
    Pitch it...it's old

  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Jan 02, 2014
    I feel like I've spent my life painting. You should use a paint & primer like Valspar (Lowes). If you want the shortcut do it right the first time. Clean your walls, get a paint with primer that is the color you want and forget it. Old paint or not start fresh end fresh.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 02, 2014
    For the price of a gallon of paint, I would buy new paint. The labor of painting, especially a bathroom, is too intense to waste it on old paint!

  • Most likely, as most have expressed, the paint is not any good. I would take it to the place that recycles paint and start over. Plus today paint has little odor and it will be much more pleasurable painting with a new paint that fits your needs. In my experience painting over colors~brown will go over blue but if you choose a brown get samples first! Brown can change colors and not look like the chip once you paint. I once painted a room brown 3 times because the brown was too yellow! I found a darker brown after a couple tries that is a Glidden color~bittersweet which is a dark brown. I would buy primer and paint combo to avoid a step but remember that paint with primer is thicker and requires good brushes and rollers for the best coverage. I find many times people glob on the paint and try to roll which causes runs and color variations too. You will need at least coats and may even be 3 to get the brown to look uniform. But I can tell you that brown is a great color to work with for accessories. As for paint type~semi gloss for wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens has been a long standing notion and will work. Now there are paints designed for bathrooms. If you have a good exhaust fan like I do, you can actually use satin and not have any problems. Yes, Satin and it has been painted for 4 years now and I had 3 teenagers (now just 1) who take/ took long hot showers and I have no mold issues. Exhaust fans are a must and in my area they are code. I also paint the ceiling the same color in the bathrooms too which makes it easier and faster to paint because I find that it takes longer to paint a bathroom than it does to paint a large room because of all the obstacles. I would highly suggest that you remove the toilet tank to paint behind it. It is so much easier! Really it is. I have bought and painted many houses where behind the toilet was not painted because they could not reach. This is a pet peeve of mine. LOL Behr and Valspar are both good paints and they are what I use and I have never had a problem. Just remember paint with primer is thicker and for several years I use the small 6" rollers and not those old traditional type rollers for better coverage and they are easier to control the paint and clean too. Good luck with your painting

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jan 02, 2014
    Are you sure you want gloss paint on your walls? I realize this is non of my business but I personally hate gloss paint on walls. I use eggshell paint on all walls and if prepped properly it is very washable and lasts for years and years. I touch up my wall paint every winter (scratches and mars to keep the rooms looking almost freshly painted) so when kept up this way I've had high quality egg shell paint (Benjamin Moore for example) last15-20 years on a wall.

  • Linda Parker Linda Parker on Jan 02, 2014
    Are your walls in good shape? Gloss paint will show every imperfection like a beacon. Good luck and enjoy the process.

    • Louise Louise on Jan 03, 2014
      @Linda Parker Yeah, they look pretty good. I removed wall paper a few years ago and that left them in a mess, so I had to patch and sand so they're fine.

  • Grandma Lorna's Attic Grandma Lorna's Attic on Jan 02, 2014
    High gloss paint shows every imperfection. As far as the age of the paint, I would say it is most likely not great. I use paint daily and it does have an expiration on it. There should be an 800 # for the company, you could call them. If you are wanting to paint and save money, try one of your local paint stores, they most likely will have some cans of miss tinted paint that you can buy, (usually around $8.00 a gal. here). If it is a lighter color, ask them if you can add some darker pigments to it. They are usually pretty good about it. I would suggest a paint with a primer already in it, that way you get the benefit of the primer but only have to paint. :) Message me if you have any other questions. Judy @Grandma Lorna's Attic

    • Louise Louise on Jan 03, 2014
      @Grandma Lorna's Attic Never thought about calling the company. Good idea.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jan 02, 2014
    Newer paints are better for the environment and for you due to chemical changes. I'd buy the right paint in the right color and recycle the old paint at a center that accepts paint. My husband worked part-time at a large home supply place, in the paint department while he was looking for a new job, a few years ago (it wasn't Lowes). He learned so much about paint while working there, so that now we go for the best prep and best quality paint when updating, and I've learned that better quality paint is much nicer to work with and is worth the extra cost.

  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 02, 2014
    I agree paint probably to old, easier to buy a can of valspar paint that has primer in it. Most times with this paint only 1 coat is needed !

  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Jan 03, 2014
    It's probably trim paint any way. Gloss is rarely used in wall paint, but it would not be bad, if not ever frozen, it keeps a LOOOOONG time. Don't ask at Lowes, they will just try to sell new paint, it is their JOB. Also the paint and primer in one is another way to sell more paint, it takes just as much to cover ( if not more) and a dedicated primer is best, that is why they still HAVE primer, and what the pro's that warrant their work USE. That being said, over another paint, it isn't always needed to use primer, the old paint is acting like primer, and it is over what was primed on the wall board. Primer has an entirely different chemistry and properties to adhere and fill minor voids from sanding the compound on the joints. Agree on the mildewcide added, good call. As to shaking paint you didn't buy ( esp with a crusty lif groove)? They may, but I'd just use a drill paddle and buy the mildew stuff and add it myself. Safest bet? Buy new. Frugal bet? Use it. But also be sure you have enough, because you can't "box" another gallon like you can 2 new ones to even out the mix and if you run out, the new won't match the old very well most likely. Boxing means mixing 2 or more cans to be sure they are matching when on the wall. Matching another gallon after the fact by less than perfect workers is a gamble.

    • Jill Jill on Jan 03, 2014
      @Spheramid Enterprises Very true! If you don't have enough of the old paint, you won't be able to match it if you are short. Old paint sitting around, even in an unopened can, changes it's tint over time as it ages. If you still want to use it, I would buy another gal of the same tint color from the label. Mix the two together and then paint. That way you will have enough, and extra for later down the line for touch ups (Warning, even then with touching up paint does not sometimes match exact).

  • If never opened, paint will keep for longer than 7 years. But the issue is that in the last 7 years so much has changed in paint manufacturing - for example, paints are more environmentally friendly than ever, and with lower VOC's. "Paint-and-primer-in-one" products (which just means that the paints have more solid content and binders in it - it's no substitute for actual primer) are good because they cover better and are more durable. Semi-Gloss is trim paint and is especially durable, so it's worth the trip to the store (I recommend your local paint store rather than big box home department stores, but that's an opinion) to buy a new gallon. Good luck!

  • I forgot to mention, you're best bet is to use a high quality eggshell paint for bathroom walls. It should have a mildicide in it and will hold up against condensation. Eggshell is as durable as it gets for walls. Again: good luck!

  • Kris Broughton Kris Broughton on Jan 03, 2014
    Last Year I used a paint that had been sitting for over 10 years unopened. I stirred it up - tested it - and it was fine. I took it to my local paint store who tinted it for me. I completely used it up in a project. I was able to dispose of an empty can instead of a load of paint!

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jan 03, 2014
    Many People are on a right budget. They save, salvage and re-use. Throwing something workable out isn't a choice. Re-Stores are busier than ever because many are budget minded. If the paint isn't soured, or separated it should be fine, clean your walls, fill in the holes. Sand, and sand rough surfaces. I would rather see high gloss walls than dirty walls.

    • See 2 previous
    • April E April E on Jan 04, 2014
      @Louise I have higloss on both my bathroom and kitchen walls and have had for over 10 years I have never had a mildew issue and in the kitchen I can clean up "spots" with a damp rag I have also used paint that has been sitting around for years before in projects with out issue. everyone going on about high gloss is worrying over nothing if you are worried about "imperfections" showing add a little texture to the paint and the "imperfection" becomes a asset.

  • If latex paint is sealed and in a cool and dry place (without freezing) it should still be good. However I would never want to use a high gloss on walls, it will bring out all of the imperfections. I would buy a gallon of a matte or eggshell for the walls, but first do a light sanding over the satin finish. I would agree that the discounters and big box know very little about paint, so going to an independent retailer when seeking assistance about a project is the best idea in the future. Good luck w/your project!

    • Cathy W Cathy W on Jan 04, 2014
      @Rebecca Dumas/Gregory's Paint & Flooring I prefer satin for walls unless it going in a rental with high turnover. And even then would rather re-paint. But in my home we used a satin paint that was washable (or wipe-able) on the woodwork. And a flat on the walls (by the way, over many coats of wall paper). Too much work to invest the time when we aren't planning to stay here. We've been here for 20 years!!!

  • Louise Louise on Jan 03, 2014
    Thanks. If I use eggshell, will I have to prime the wall since it's currently either satin or semi gloss. I think it's satin. I'll look at the can.

    • See 1 previous
    • @Louise Priming is always a good idea if you want durability. I can't stress the importance of prepwork enough. Try this article: http://bit.ly/1gfiPJt for some good tips from someone who's been painting for over a decade.

  • Brenda Cantrell Brenda Cantrell on Jan 03, 2014
    if it hasn't been opened it should be ok just stir up good. i put gloss paint on some textured wallpaper in my bathroom, royal blue, turned out great

  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Jan 03, 2014
    Hi Louise I would prime your bathroom first with at least one good coat of primer, before painting with any texture of paint. If you have a good coat of primer, if helps the paint grab onto the wall etc better and gives the paint a better finish. As most people have said here, high gloss will show even the smallest imperfection. I would just purchase a discounted paint in semi gloss, satin or pearl for your bathroom if you are on a budget. You can get it tinted closer to the paint colour you want. Believe me, they want to get rid of that discounted paint, so the store would be happy to help you out. Regarding the high gloss paint, I would mix it up really good with a paint stick or a paint mixer that attaches to a drill, and do a test area on a scrap piece of wood and wait until dry. If the paint mixed up well, and the can isn't starting to corrode, then maybe use it for a piece of furniture. Or find a used piece of furniture for cheap and use your paint up on that. Also you could just give it away to one of your friends or trade paints with a friend or family member. I used high gloss once many years ago in my kitchen and one of my bathrooms. My home was brand new. Sure it was super easy for cleaning the walls, but it was not absorbing the light in the room. The less shiny the paint, the more the light gets absorbed, and gives the room a more relaxing feel. In the bathroom you want a more relaxing feel. So after one year, I painted over the high gloss with semi gloss, and used Ralph Lauren suede paint for the bottom half of the wall with a chair rail. My bathroom has been like that for about 15 years now. I used Benjamin Moore paint on the top half which is a good quality paint and for all these years I have never had an issue with it. Semi gloss, satin, or pearl finish is super easy to clean. Flat paint, not so much but absorbs the light and is relaxing in a living room or bedroom. I would never recommend flat paint in a kitchen or bathroom. I am due to renovate my bathroom soon, and will not use high gloss, except for the cabinets for example. I think I might even tile most of the wall this time around. LOL Hope everything works out with your bathroom.

  • Nancy Nancy on Jan 03, 2014
    I used a brand new can of paint that was 4 years old in my bathroom about 6 mos ago. The paint never cured and although it is not tacky everything (dust, hair and sock fuzz) seems to stick to the wall! When I wipe the wall down with water the paint comes off onto the rag. Not worth it, i'd buy a new can and discard the old one!

  • Janice Phillips (JP) Janice Phillips (JP) on Jan 04, 2014
    I took my OLD, unopened high gloss paint to Lowes for the professional shaking. I open the can of luxurious nautical navy paint, strained it through panty hose ( painters trick) and painted away! The finished powder room was glorious BUT, I couldn't leave well enough alone! I applied a coat of dark wax over the yummy paint. The result was a rich, deep, worn leather look. SO warm and rich. You can do it. As I tell my clients, it's just paint. If you don't like it, paint it again.

  • Rebecca Duff Rebecca Duff on Jan 04, 2014
    I agree with the above on the paint being usable, but I disagree on the color and type. ANYTHING goes these days, Even a darker color in the bathroom...and the gloss, I LOVE it!!! It cleans easily and has a 'clean' look to it! Good Luck on your project!

  • Pati Pati on Jun 28, 2016
    I love Gloss in a bathroom especially! (Kitchen too!) It helps repel the moisture and cleans more easily. I use a semi gloss through the rest of the house too. I hate a satin or eggshell finish.