Ellen and I painted the shelf we made on Wednesday with her Grandpa Wisner today - dark purple to match the trim of the light purple room she has. The challenge was finding the old paint that was used to paint her room. Off to the garage we went, searching the 25 old cans of paint that are stacked neatly in shelves that have never to be opened in over 10 years.
Every home in America has a place where left over building materials are stored - bathroom tiles, wall paper, roof shingles, old bricks, wood trim, and old paint. Of course most of this material is not marked and is several generations old but still stored "just in case". Even a paint can with less than one inch of remaining paint is dutifully stored for that touch up job that never gets done. Likely there are paint cans that were inherited from the prior owner of the house.
Luckily we found the purple paint. The paint contractor had good "standards" and had 'dabbed" a splotch of purple on top of the can so the color inside was readily apparent. And since her room had been recently painted (about a year ago) that can was actually on the top shelf and visible.
Part of the reason for old paint inventory is the harm to the economy of disposal. Sawdust, cat litter, or sand can be used to absorb the old remaining paint or there are paint hardener packets that you can buy also. I have many of those sitting on the same shelf awaiting the day I get the courage to throw away the old paint.
Why courage - well as a self confessed junk collector, I can always say that I have some touch up paint available - if I can just find it in the 25 cans of unmarked paint.