Tips to store paint stock properly during winter months

PPG offers tips to keep paint supply at optimum performance

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, Dec. 3, 2007 – As we approach the more severe winter months, with days and nights getting increasingly colder, have you thought about the factors that can affect the overall quality of a paint finish? To ensure that your paint system performs as it was designed to do, PPG Industries’ automotive refinish business suggests you consider the following to store and use paint products properly.

How often do you rotate your stock?
After a delivery, fresh stock should be put to the back of the stock shelves and marked with the date of delivery. Although this can seem perpetual with large, frequent deliveries, it saves time in the long run by ensuring the stock is relatively “fresh.” For example, tinters that go on a stirred mixing scheme – the hand or shake stir done prior to placing on the scheme – can be a lot easier with fresh stock. Additional benefits to proper stocking include better color accuracy as a result of more thorough tinter mixing, which helps ensure jobs are done right the first time.

What temperature is your body shop?
High-solids, solvent-based products are more sensitive to lower temperatures than normal-solids, solvent-based products. Although they will not freeze, the products can rise dramatically in viscosity, resulting in negative effects such as:
  • Making paint mixing more time consuming,
  • Slowing the accurate dosing of tinters to make up colors and increasing the temptation to over-pour, which could lead to inaccurate color matches or too much paint being mixed, and
  • Slowing application, which can increase material consumption and cause overloading to occur, possibly causing popping or sagging when baked and requiring a complete redo.
Even standing a can of clear or hardener on a cool workshop floor is enough to remove the heat from products, as tin cans are good heat (or cold) conductors and cold will increase product viscosity. An increase of only a few degrees, such as from 59 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, can give a high-solids product better application speed, flow from the gun and wet out, all helping to create a superior final appearance. Using a wall-mounted thermometer is the easiest way to check if the ambient temperature is satisfactory for product application.

Do you have the correct thinner and hardener?
Be sure to use the proper hardener and solvent for the temperature and the size of the repair. In cooler conditions, hardener and solvent choices may need to be adjusted to maximize systems performance. As the ambient temperature decreases, a faster-curing hardener and faster-evaporating solvent may be required to maintain performance and productivity.

Is your spray gun set correctly?
It is also essential to check that your spray gun is set correctly for the material being applied. Whether it is a high-build primer, basecoat, solid color or clearcoat, you need to ensure that the needle and nozzle combination is correct and clean and that the fan pattern is even. Check air pressure at the gun handle – do not rely on the gauge of a wall-mounted filter/regulator.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company employs more than 34,000 people and has 125 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 25 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit




Calvinia Fields
PPG Automotive Refinish