Does Chalk Paint Go Bad? (& How To Revive It)

Yes, chalk paint does go bad. Chalk paints can last up to five years if stored properly. But, if the paint is left exposed to the air, it will definitely go bad.

Paints are made by mixing many components, and these components can hold their properties for a certain period.

A can of chalk paint stored in the godown of a shop can survive up to five years or maybe six years because it is in the proper place.

Whereas, the same paint can get bad within one year if stored in an inappropriate place like in direct sunlight or where it is exposed to weather conditions.

Therefore, the life of the paint depends on the kind of environment it faces, and eventually, all paints will go bad.

Can You Reuse Old Chalk Paint?

Many people have leftover chalk paint, and sometimes it also gets dried. But, you don’t need to worry about it; if the chalk paint is in dry condition, you can reuse it.

Most of the paint companies mention one or two years of the life of their products, but usually, paints can last up to several years. The life of chalk paint is mentioned as one year from the date of manufacturing.

But, the professionals have practically experienced that if the paint cans are placed in an appropriate place, then paint can last much longer (up to five years) than the mentioned expiration date.

However, if the paint cans have been opened, then the situation can be different. Opened cans will get exposed to air and dust, which will eventually make them unusable. Therefore, if you have leftover chalk paint from your previous project, make sure you seal the container properly and place it in a cool and dry place.

Nevertheless, if the chalk paint gets older than five to six years and has become lumpy with a foul smell, then you can not use it.

This lumpiness and foul smell occur due to the expiration of the components and additives present in the paint. If you try to use it, it may not give a perfect shade, and it will also lose its ability to stick to the surface.

Additionally, if the chalk paint has become dry due to air exposure, you can easily repair it to use again. Although it is worth mentioning here, the old paint will not have the same adhesion power as the new one.

So, you will have to make sure that the surface is prepared properly before applying the paint and sand between the coats to give the paint some extra stickiness.

How Long Does Chalk Paint Last Once Opened?

The life of chalk paint depends on the conditions where it is stored. Usually, chalk paints last between one to five years once opened.

While working on a project, there are chances that you might end up with some extra chalk paint due to improper estimates.

Then, it’s up to you what you want to do with that remaining chalk paint. Either you can donate it to someone who needs it, or you can throw it after disposing of it properly, or you can store it for later use.

If you use the option of keeping it, you must ensure that it is appropriately poured into a clean container and properly sealed.

If you don’t seal the chalk paint container properly, it will get exposed to the air, and eventually dry. Chalk paint dries very quickly once exposed to air. Therefore, you should properly cover the paint and put a tight seal over it.

Related Read: How To Paint Over Chalk Paint?

How To Revive Old Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint becomes very hard once it gets old or gets exposed to the air. Luckily, with this method, you can revive the old-dried chalk paint.

1. Test The Chalk Paint Container

Test The Chalk Paint Container

Remove the entire amount of old chalk paint from the older container to a new container. Make sure the new container is larger than the previous one.

If the paint has become hard as a rock, break it into small pieces: the smaller the pieces, the speedier the process of reviving.

Once you have completed breaking the paint, make sure there isn’t any impurity mixed in the paint. If there is any debris present, then carefully remove it. Otherwise, it will disturb the painting.

2. Add Water To The Chalk Paint

Add Water To The Chalk Paint

After this, pour distilled water into the container. Add water to the paint container according to the quantity of the dried paint. Once you have added distilled water to the container, close the container’s lid and leave it overnight.

Next morning, take a look inside the container. Some of the water must be absorbed by the chalk paint. Take a stirring stick and stir the solution properly. Check if the paint and water are mixed properly.

If the mixture seems smooth and there is no sign of any dried pieces of chalk paint, you can use the paint over the surface. But, if the mixture has some dry parts left, add some more water into it and wait for a few hours.

3. Test The Chalk Paint

Test The Chalk Paint

After waiting for a few hours, recheck the mixture. The paint must have acquired the wet properties by now, and there should be no sign of dry pieces.

However, if it isn’t in the wet form yet, try to perform the same process repeatedly until the mixture gets a moist paint-like consistency in it. Also, there shouldn’t be any lumps present in the mix.

Once the paint has been revived, it will have the same texture as new paint, i.e., creamy and smooth texture.

Related Read: How Long Does Latex Paint Last?

Do Unopened Chalk Paints Go Bad?

Chalk paints also have a limited life. Whether opened or unopened, they go bad, and the colors will change over time, and the date of expiry is usually about one year from production.

The paint manufacturers mention the date of expiry on every can of paint. But, usually, paints have a much longer life than that. They don’t expire for at least four to five years if stored properly.

The secret to maintaining the life of unopened or opened chalk paint is to keep it in a dry and cool place like your basement.

Also, the paint container should be properly covered so that it does not get exposed to air. Air is the biggest enemy of chalk and other paints as it causes slow chemical reactions in the paint, making the paint unusable.

Plastic cans are also being used to pack chalk paint nowadays. The plastic containers are not as airtight as the standard tin cans are.

Therefore, it causes contact with air. Over time the air reacts with the paint present inside the can and causes reactions that cause the growth of bacteria. These bacteria make the components of paint go bad, and the paint becomes unusable.

Therefore, if you have bought some extra chalk paint by mistake, you should make sure that you store the paint cans in an appropriate place.

Related Read: Does Water-Based Paint Expire?

How To Know If Chalk Paints Are Expired?

There are many ways to tell if the paint has gone bad. Here’s some of them:

Paint can go from a thick and smooth consistency, right down into liquid or powder form with no middle ground in between due to changes over time that occur naturally when left unmonitored.

The color might change drastically on one side while maintaining its original pigment elsewhere, usually around the edges of the containers.

Mold can develop inside paint cans that are left in storage for a long period. When you open your paint and notice an odor coming from it, this means that there is definitely mold contamination happening inside.

When paint cans are stored for a long time, the paint settles inside the container. Before using paint in such conditions, make sure that you stir the paint properly and test it on a small patch first to see if it has any chunks or lousy consistency.

If the chalk paint has dried out completely and the paint has become hard, then you will have to revive it to reuse. Dried-out chalk paint can be reused, but the one that has undergone reaction can not be reused.

Related Read: Can You Wash Off Chalk Paint?


The life of chalk paint can vary depending on how you store it. Keep your cans in a cold and dry place for the best results, preferably inside an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting into the product.

Moreover, to see if your chalk paint has gone bad before opening it, shake up the can and then let it sit overnight without shaking again.

If condensation is visible on top of the liquid when you open it in the morning, do not use that particular can as this means that bacteria could be developing inside.

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