How To Pour Paint Out Of A 5 Gallon Bucket

Buying paint in 5-gallon buckets is more cost-effective than buying multiple, smaller buckets. However, it can be tricky pouring paint from these colossal containers. Is there a secret to getting the paint out of a 5-gallon bucket? We've done the research to bring you the answers to this pigmented problem.

To pour the paint out of a 5-gallon bucket, there are several different methods you can employ. Here are simple yet proven ways to do it:

  • Pour it over on the tray.
  • Dip a small container.
  • Cover the rim with tape.
  • Transfer the half. 
  • Replace the old lid with a spouted one.
  • Fasten a reusable spout.

Whether painting from a bucket big or small, you'll save yourself paint and frustration if you can pour it out without waste and spillage. In this article, we'll see the different methods for doing so. We'll also explore coverage, storage, saving tips, and other questions. Keep on reading to gain insights into this sticky situation.

A worker pouring paint for repair into tray, How To Pour Paint Out Of A 5 Gallon Bucket

What Is The Best Way To Get Paint Out Of A 5-gallon Bucket?

Getting the paint out of the 5-gallon bucket does not need to be messy all the time. We will share various hacks in this section without making your hands dirty. You won't need to buy any extra materials for most of these methods. Similarly, we've included videos, so you can visualize how to do it.

Labor pouring white paint from a bucket

Pour Over On The Tray

This simple pour-over technique doesn't require any other tools, but it takes proper handling and patience. Because of this, wear rubber gloves if you choose this one.

Ladle Out The Paint Using A Small Container

If you find a 5-gallon bucket too unwieldy, why not just transfer some paint into a smaller container? Plastic cups or cleaned food containers from takeout are great for this method.

Cover The Rim With Tape

Because painter's tape is already part of most painting kits, you'll likely have some on hand if you want to try this useful strategy. C

ut two strips of painter's tape of the same length. Then, adhere them to the opposite sides of the opening to create a DIY spout.

Transfer The Half 

Another cost-efficient technique is to transfer half of the paint to another bucket. This one is a good alternative if you have a collection of clean buckets. Find a large, empty bucket and pour over the paint. It offers leeway in preventing any spillage.

Fasten Reusable Spout

Screw on a reusable spout extension to the small opening in the bucket's lid. Some varieties of this tool are flexible enough regardless of cover size. It is a good investment for those who frequently opt for 5-gallon paint buckets.

Click here to see this pouring spout on Amazon.

Replace The Lid With Spout

If you want a durable lid, the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) covers with built-in spout and gasket are capable of converting your 3.5- or 5-gallon buckets into spill-free. However, this sturdy plastic requires a rubber mallet when closing.

Click here to see this black lid with spout and gasket on Amazon.

How Much Can I Paint With A 5-gallon Bucket Of Paint?

Six-tone blue water color on the concrete floor

Before purchasing a paint bucket, you must initially determine whether it is enough to cover the target area. The paint coverage for every 5 gallons is around 1800 square feet or a single square room with 42.43 feet by 42.43 feet dimensions.

However, it can fluctuate because other surfaces or paint types may require more than two coats of paint. To be on the safe side, you can check the label of your chosen brand and follow the recommended use for primer. 

How To Remove The Lid of 5-gallon Paint?

To remove the lid of the 5-gallon bucket of paint, you can use various tools. You can use pliers, screwdrivers, or large bucket openers. Find the nudge or tab near the rim, then unhook it.  

Afterward, gently pull the tab. Lastly, lift the cap with your hands or devices until you snap the locks fully while placing one knee into the center.

Click here to see this large paint can opener on Amazon.

Is It Necessary To Stir Paint?

Hand is stirring paint in a bucket on messy background during painting wall

Whether you will brush or roll in, you should stir the 5-gallon paint thoroughly using an old plastic hanger, a manual paint mixer, or an electric one for 5 to 10 minutes. Continue it until the liquid becomes smooth and has no buildup. Do this repeatedly while painting.

Mixing it distributes ingredients that settled under and over the container because it is undisturbed for several months or years while in storage.

Moreover, oil-based coats are more prone to particle separations, unlike emulsion paints. Despite that, they still both need stirring.

Click here to see this helix paint mixer on Amazon.

What Happens If You Don't Stir Paint Enough?

If you do not mix the paint fully before application, you will notice dry sediment, dye traces, and bubbles. When the coating dries, they leave rough surfaces and odd shades. Likewise, the patches and blisters are vulnerable to peeling, leading to costly repainting.

How Do You Store Leftover Paint In A 5-Gallon Bucket?

To store a leftover paint bucket, wipe the traces around the rim with a damp rag. Then, cover the opening of the container with plastic wrap or sheet to ensure airtight moisture.

Next, hammer the lid gently using a rubber mallet and place it in a cool, dry place. Finally, remember to keep it away from fire hazards. Apart from the old tub, you can transfer the contents to a clean and sealed container if you lose, dirty, or damage the original one.

Aside from the clean rim and unbroken lid, this method will preserve the remaining product. 

Is It Better To Store Leftover Paint In Metal Or Plastic?

Metal and plastic tubs differ in many aspects: temperature resistance, chemical compatibility, durability, and weight. However, the most crucial element for paint storage is secured sealing.

How Long Can You Keep A 5-Gallon Paint?

The ideal period for storing a 5-gallon paint varies depending on its condition and type. The new enamel does not go rotten for 15 years, whereas the leftover is usable for 2 to 10 years.

Moreover, the chalk, milk, and pre-mixed option have a shorter shelf life than the oil-based and latex variants.

Meanwhile, to ease your decision-making simpler despite the wide selection of pigments, check this guide: 10 Best Paints For A House Foundation.

Can Use An Old Paint?

You can use the old pigments if it is still within the storage period or in good condition. Instead of buying a new tub, it is more practical when you need to coat small surfaces again. Old paints are handy for touchups and minor home projects.

You must stir it well upon application. Then, strain the mixture with an old pair of stockings or a cone-shaped paint filter made from thick paperboard. This process helps filter out the clumps and dried chips without bleeding through.

Click here to see this pack of paint filter screens on Amazon.

How to Tell If Paint Has Gone Bad?

Over time, the quality of old paint declines because of extreme temperatures and other factors. One of the clearest signs you have spoiled latex is when you smell a gross or sour odor. It reveals bacteria and mold growth within the mixture. Likewise, it may become lumpy or develop stiff skin.

If this happens to your paint, throw it out because you should not use it anymore.

Is It Cheaper To Buy A 5-Gallon Paint?

It is best to buy a 5-gallon paint for large projects because you can save bucks compared to multiple cans of smaller options. This quantity is also handy if you will need one shade.

For instance, the cost of Sherwin Williams' Cashmere interior acrylic latex per gallon is $66.49, whereas the 5-gallon container is $327.45 or $65.49. This price difference means you get a markdown of $5 if you opt for the 5-gallon one.

What Time Of The Year Does Paint Go On Sale?

Paint cans color palette

With the surging prices of products because of high inflation rates around the globe, it is cost-effective to shop gallons of paint when they go on sale. The best time to buy paint in the US is every Fourth of July, according to the Paint Quality Institute. 

In addition to seasonal sales, you can still avoid paying the full price by applying these tips.

  • Compute the amount of paint you need using online calculators of paint store websites.
  • Check if there are oops or returned buckets of paint in your local depot.
  • Find special deals or coupons from the manufacturers' social media accounts.
  • Compare prices online before checking out the item.
  • Ask for a discount if you buy in bulk.

Can You Reuse Paint Buckets? 

San Marzano tomato bucket brigade

Repurposing durable paint buckets are not only good for the environment but also for your pocket. Nonetheless, ensure the containers are clean before using them. For these reasons, we collected easy yet creative recycled bucket ideas.

  • Birdhouse
  • Children's swing
  • Compost bin 
  • Dog food dispenser
  • Hanging planters
  • Harvest picking vessel
  • Hydroponic pots
  • Mini pond
  • Off-grid toilet
  • Poultry feeder
  • Storage
  • Trash cans
  • Water pail
  • Windowsill

Final Thoughts

Painter man at work pour into the bucket color for painting the wall

Transferring the 5-gallon buckets of paint can be intimidating at first glance because of their size. Despite that, you do not need to sweat this stuff if you practice one or two of the techniques that we shared above.

Most importantly, they will not only keep your working area clean. Likewise, they ensure you put every drop of enamel to use. 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, explore these related articles on home painting projects:

Should You Paint Drywall Behind Cabinets?

Can You Paint Wires In A Basement Ceiling?

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