Does emulsion paint go off? We answer five common queries

Various tins of old paint
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’ve found some old emulsion in the shed and wonder: Does emulsion paint go off? The simple answer is yes. The longer you keep emulsion paint the more likely it will go off and become unusable. You need to store it properly and use it within a sensible time frame to make sure it doesn't go off. 

If you are painting a wall you don’t want to be using emulsion that has been compromised as you won’t get the crisp clean finish you were hoping for. Here we help you identify emulsion paint that has gone off and tell you how to dispose of it properly.   

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.