Can I use 44 year old paint if it is still usable?


I live in a warm, dry climate (So Calif).
I will be doing interior painting for baseboard and molding in one average-sized room.

In looking in my “painting cupboard”, I came across an unopened quart of exterior paint (Ameritone). I wrote on the can “1966” (!). Yes, I know my Q may seem a bit wacky but … the can is in good shape, the paint has been keep air-tight. Can I use this paint for interior undercoating in preparation of putting a water-based paint over it? Again, I fully realize my Q is “out in left field”. However, this paint is oil-based by a reputable paint company and I would be covering it with a 2010 water-based paint. The home is a quality-based home, the wood on which the paint goes is 90-year old quality oak wood.

If I’m foolish to even think of using a 44-year old paint, don’t hesitate to say so. The reason I am asking is I am assuming an oil paint is superior to a water-based primer, even if that is an
exterior primer. But I don’t know.

Last Q: Is Zinzer 1-2-3 as good a water-
based primer there is? (cost is no object). I ask this Q because I’m told it is the best primer there is.

(oil-based paints are OK to use in Calif from existing stocks but no new oil-based paint is being sold.) If the oil-based paint I have is not recommended by you for use, I’ll properly bring it to a disposable sight.

Sorry for being so long-winded but it was the best I could do.

3 Responses

  1. I wouldn't use the paint. Here why;

    1- After 44 years I doubt if it is any good.

    2- Old paint, 44 year old paint, probably has lead as a component. Lead is a poison and paint with lead shouldn't be used.

    3- Oil base paint can't be used as an undercoater for latex/acrylic paint. Water based paint won't stick well to oil base paint, it doesn't matter who makes the paint or what claims they make. Why risk it.

    Zinsser 123 primer is good but it isn't the best in my opinion. My favorite manufacture is XIM and there primers are great. Only problem their primers are twice the cost. I use a lot of Zinsser primers including 123 and I also like them.

    If cost isn't an issue I would use XIM UMA water reducible primer, it sticks to everything.

  2. Karl, many thanks for the courtesy of answering my query. I will not use that Ameritone 44-year old can of primer.

    Cost is not an object, quality paint is. I see XIM UMA white primer runs about $41 from XIM company. I see it is available on the Internet for about $15 for what I assume to be a gallon can (instead of stating volume, it say the can weighs 24 lbs). That seems high for a gallon can and seems low for a 5-gallon plastic can. XIM stresses its paint bonds and sticks to hard to paint surfaces. My surfaces are in a living room with high quality oak wood that has been painstakingly sanded and is ready for painting, i.e., not a hard to paint surface. Otherwise I'd go with the Zinsser 1-2-3. Again, cost is not a factor.

    The local paint store has plenty of oil-based Zinsser 1-2-3. Would you prefer to use oil over using water-based Zinsser, everything else equal?

    Again, many thanks for your courtesy. Too bad you don't live in my area so I could hire you to do the work!

  3. The $15 must be for a quart or they are low balling the price and trying to make up for it through the shipping. At $15 for a gallon it is way under wholesale.

    You're correct that this primer is over kill, it sticks to glass and tile and everything else it touches. I like the oil base primers for a couple of reasons; adhesion is good and it dries to a nice sandable surface. With the oil base primer, if allowed to fully dry, you can lightly sand with a fine sanding sponge to remove any brush marks, etc, vacuum off the dust and have a super smooth surface for painting.

    I would use the oil base. Make sure to ventilate the room during and right after application for good drying.

    PS- Thanks for the possible job. If was closer I would be glad to do it for you.

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