Does Spray Paint Expire?

Does spray paint expire?? Spray paint is labelled with an expiry date, but it isn’t as simple as just tossing it after that date. 

Read below as we break down does spray paint expire and the expiry labels on cans of spray paint. 

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Does Spray Paint Expire?

Yes, spray paint expires. Spray paint cans have an expiry date on the can, usually on the very bottom of the can. But that doesn’t mean that spray paint expires exactly on that date. It could be sooner or later, depending on how you store it, the brand, and the ingredients.

Before you buy a can of spray paint, make sure to check the expiry date on the bottom and buy the one with the latest date. 

Does Spray Paint Freeze?

Spray paints may freeze in colder temperatures. Some websites say that the spray paints are just fine once returned to room temperature, but that’s not true. The integrity, quality and coverage ability of the paint may change, leaving you with a can of garbage spray paint. Keep your spray paints from freezing to preserve the quality of the paint. 

What Temperature should Spray Paint be Kept at? 

Extreme swings in temperature, such as very cold to freezing and very hot (like in the Southwest) should be avoided as it will degrade the quality of your paint and make your spray paint can useless.

As an experiment, I stored a Rustoleum spray paint can in my garage in Arizona over the summer, where temps reach close to 120F and humidity is very low. When I went to use the spray can on a project, the paint inside would not mix when shaken. The spray came out mostly a clear liquid with 0 coverage (when it was black spray paint) and I had to toss it. 

Keep your spray paints (and any paint) at above 50F/10 C to preserve them for future use. 

Store spray paint cans in a cool, dark, dry place to prolong their shelf life. Higher quality paints also tend to last longer.

Does Rustoleum Spray Paint Expire?

All spray paints expire. Does Krylon Spray Paint Expire? Yes, every type of spray paint expires. Depending on the brand, most spray paint lasts anywhere from 2-4 years if stored at the proper temperature and conditions.

How to Know if a Spray Paint has Expired 

Cans of spray paint have expiry dates printed on them, typically on the bottom of the can. There you will find a production date and the expiry date (which is labelled as “EXP” and is usually 2-4 years from the production date labelled as “P”). 

Despite this date, your can of spray paint could expire sooner than the label. It’s important to know how to tell if spray paint is bad so you can save yourself a huge headache. Spray paint does have a shelf life and it could be longer or shorter than is printed on the label. If you’ve kept you spray paint in less than ideal temperature conditions, that expiry date could be sooner than what’s printed on the label.  

If you’ve been careful to store your spray paint properly at above 10C, your spray can may last past the expiry date. 

The main way to tell if your spray paint has expired is to shake the can vigorously according to the instructions and then spray a test spray to see what, if any paint, comes out of the spray can. 

The consistency of the paint you sprayed with tell you if it’s expired. If the paint is chunky, not coming out of the nozzle, not spraying as expected, or the coverage of the paint is not what it should be, your spray paint has expired. If the paint is still smooth and the color is consistent, it should be fine to use.

Why Does Spray Paint Expire? 

does spray paint expire
All Spray Paints Expire

Spray Paint expires for several reasons. Most of these problems are solved by properly storing your spray paint. 

  • Kept at too high or too low temps 
  • Kept in direct sunlight 
  • Aerosol pressure has been lost (due to underuse, and over time, the pressure is lost through the spray nozzle) 
  • Relative humidity is too low 

How Long is Spray Paint Usually Good For? 

Each brand and type of spray paint is different. Check the label every time you buy a can of spray paint for the latest date. Typically, spray paint can last anywhere from 2 to 4 years from production date. Spending a bit more on spray paint may extend the shelf life by a few years. 

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Can You Use Expired Spray Paint?

If the spray paint is spraying properly from the can, you’ve stored it in good temp range, and the integrity and coverage of the paint is as expected, then you can use the expired spray paint. Be mindful that since it’s already expired, the aerosols and pressure in the can may be on their last legs, so use up the paint as much as you can.


Spray paint expires and should also be kept at above 50F/10C temperature to preserve the quality and integrity of the spray paint. 


Can you use expired spray paint?

You can, but the integrity of the finish may be compromised and the results will not be as fantastic as you expect.