With a hurry-up-and-wait vibe with home buyers (hello interest rates) and sellers who love their houses (and their rates) more than appraisers do this year, I was out of excuses to avoid organizing the gallon-size cans of leftover paint in the garage.

But now that my husband is happily (and permanently) working from home I had a reason to spend a few hours in my garage sorting through the leftover paint.


In shocking news, my husband is not a fan of me consolidating paint on the kitchen island in a climate-controlled and Netflix environment.

In the bright, not-flattering garage lighting I was met with over a dozen gallon-size paint cans and just as many quart-size cans. It looked like the oops paint section at Home Depot. 


As I hauled them off the shelves I guessed how much paint was in the can by the weight of the shake.

If my right elbow twinged when I picked up the paint can I placed it back on the garage shelf– there was more paint than a mason jar could hold.

If there was no “give” in the paint can the paint likely dried up from a lazy lid?


And most of the paint cans had less than a quarter of paint. I wanted that garage shelf space for my growing collection of buckets and vases. 


But if there was less than 1/4 of a can of paint I used a mason jar and lid.



A few years ago I purchased several dozen 12 and 16-ounce mason jars for the summer (one time) I made strawberry jam. When I made the choice to let Smuckers cover the jelly market I found myself with a cabinet full of mason jars, seals and lids.



  • Clear Jars
  • Seals and Lids Included
  • Works for paint samples or almost empty quart-size paint cans
  • My go-to jar to store touch-up paint under the sink.  
  • Mason or recycled jars work best for the 1-5″ of paint at the bottom of the can.
  • Label the color and finish. I include the paint # on the can’s sticker because Home Depot color matches the top brands. Recycled Jars & Plastic ContainersEmpty spaghetti jars and salsa jars work too. I would suggest a jar with a wide mouth so you can dunk your paintbrush into the paint like a cookie into a glass of milk. You don’t want the paint handle to get slathered in paint.


 What I don’t like about a plastic container is it can be kind of bendy and not as stable in my hand.

Most of my nearly empty cans or plastic containers looked like this when I pulled them off the garage shelf.

Here is how I store that last 1/8 of a Hale Navy or Kendall Charcoal paint can. In great news many   mason jars are made in the USA.

I found these multi-purpose mason jar labels. Store the jars in a cool or temp stable spot. I store my mason jars in this closet.

I have stored paint for more years than the paint color was on the walls.My daughter’s bedroom was pink for a very hot minute.

Can we agree that everything looks better in a mason jar?

A funny thing happened when I transferred the paint into mason jars. It had nothing to do with paint. It was like when the Grinch realized Christmas wasn’t about packages and bows. Well, neither was the task of how to store leftover paint.

Nope, the best reason to organize leftover paint was it motivated me to tackle those nagging home maintenance tips like paint and trim touchups.

I no longer dreaded searching through eight shades of grey paint to find the paint color for the back of the front door.

Once I sorted through the paint I ended up with empty shelves. Empty!


It was liberating!

Mason jars make everything prettier and more manageable. I now keep touch-up paint in mason jars in this closet.


And, for those wondering if that paint “keeps” in a mason jar. The short answer is yes. I found these jars online and sometimes they are on sale at Kroger and Target in housewares.

Thank you for stopping by today. Here is a tip for all that tissue paper you have in bins and boxes!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by KariAnne! I do love a chalk label!

  1. Laua,
    I did the same exact thing in August and organizing the paint and pouring it into mason jars then lead me to clean and organize our entire storage room…..Glad I did it though because it gave me so much more room!! Thanks so much for visiting!!

  2. Great tips!! I don’t know why I ‘m not seeing your posts on my feed!

  3. Laura,
    This is such a great tip! I’m so doing this. Thanks so much for the tip. I plan to share this post on my Dirt Road Adventures this weekend! I’ll link to your post for all the details.

  4. This is such a great tip! I’ll be organizing my garage this Spring and I need to incorporate your idea to make more room on my paint can shelf! Pinning now!

    1. Thanks, Donna! You will be amazed how much space you gain!

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