Recently purchased paint should not have to be strained, and should be returned if it has any particles or solids that do not dissolve after thorough stirring. You may, however, need to strain cans of paint that you have been stored and cans of paint that you have opened and closed several times.
Stored paints should be evaluated before use. Paints stored for more than five years should be discarded. Thoroughly stir stored material. If it does not have a foul odor or bits of unmixable solids, then it is more than likely fine to use. When in doubt, take your stored paint to your paint dealer for an evaluation.
Cans of paint that have been opened and closed several times may contain dried paint film particles or have a paint skin that has formed over the top of the paint. If this occurs, remove any large particles or paint skin with a stirring stick before straining the entire can of paint.
Straining stored paint
Paint can be strained using a woman’s Nylon stocking or a paint strainer. It is important to strain paint into a clean paint can, also called a painting bucket or painting pail. You can purchase new, empty paint cans with lids at your local home center or paint retailer.
NOTE: For paint disposal instructions, contact your local Solid Waste Authority.
Detailed information about interior house painting surface preparation can be found in the book:
The Homeowner's Guide to Surface Preparation for Interior House Painting
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