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Thread: Shelf life of Minwax oil stain

  1. #1
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    Shelf life of Minwax oil stain

    I have just acquired 8 quarts of various Minwax stains that are unopened, seldom moved from their spot in the cabinet and 6 to 10 years old. I have not opened any of them, but the outside of the cans look like new. What do you think? Dispose of them, use them? I know--open one and see what they are like. But do I test them on each different type of wood I might use them on or if they look good and test good once use them?
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  2. #2
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    I think I'd leave them closed to keep air out. When you have a need for some, test it on a sample. I think the most likely problem would be not drying. If it works OK, you're good to go. Depending on the value of your project, it might not be worth the risk.
    Bob

  3. #3
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    just test em on one type of wood
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I just used some that were about that old, all seemed to be fine, just stirred them up to get them mixed well again and used them. I've had some of the varnishes (poly) get clumpy. Ended up straining them through a paint strainer and they worked fine as well, they usually just get a skim over them that hardens.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    when the LOML and I first got together, we moved a LOT of tools, paints and stains into a storage unit up in New Jersey. The material was stored for almost 2 years, while we worked 2 jobs each to save up for our first home. When we FINALLY got the tools, paints etc out of storage, I had about 6 opened cans of Minwax in the stash. I remember using a can that was at least 3 years old, and only half full. I had no issues with it.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys. I'll test it and see what happens.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
    I have a cabinet full of partial used Minwax. I have nexer had a problem using old minwax. Over time the pigments settle to the bottom and have to be stirred up (but have also bought new and had to stir).

    I would say you have a scored a stash of stains that you can use whenever you need them and to not worry about shelf life.

    Not long ago I did a repair job on a stained project I did over 20 years ago, used the old can of leftover stain and had complete success.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    I have a cabinet full of partial used Minwax. I have nexer had a problem using old minwax. Over time the pigments settle to the bottom and have to be stirred up (but have also bought new and had to stir).

    I would say you have a scored a stash of stains that you can use whenever you need them and to not worry about shelf life.

    Not long ago I did a repair job on a stained project I did over 20 years ago, used the old can of leftover stain and had complete success.
    Thanks Bill! Sounds like I'm going to be fine.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

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