Tips On Storing Leftover Finishes

Here are some tips to get the most mileage out of a leftover can of finish after use. Read on for the video transcript and a list of useful links.


  1. Clean the chime of the can for a good airtight seal. This is especially important with water-based products to minimize rusting. Although the interior of our water-based cans are lined with a special coating; if scratched during use they will rust.
  2. When closing down a lid, put a paper towel over it to prevent splatters. You should be able to turn it over without leaking.
  3. Extreme hot and cold temperatures can damage finishes. Oil base finishes are not as vulnerable, but water borne products are extremely sensitive. So if you live in Wisconsin, don’t leave your finishes in an unheated garage.
  4. Frozen topcoat looks like this. Stirring won't help and neither will your blender. This finish is unusable.
  5. High temperatures can spoil a can of finish. The ideal temperature is around 70 degrees.
  6. To improve the shelf life of leftover Gel Stain, many of our customers add Bloxygen Finish Preserver to the can. Bloxygen works by purging the oxygen from the can and replacing it with an inert gas, which delays the curing and the thickening of leftover product.
  7. Finally, storing cans upside down will also reduce the surface oxidization, and makes it easier to stir the contents again.

We recommend using finishes within one year of the production date, although they may last longer.


Where To Buy General Finishes Products