Knowing how to store wood finish will help it last longer. Nothing destroys finish like temperature and oxygen. Temperature can cause the finish to gel or break down, and oxygen can cause it to begin drying. There are a couple things you can do to make sure you get the most life from the money spent on finishing products.
Store your finish indoors. The single biggest improvement you can make in the life of a finish is storing it inside. The garage is typically where wood finish ends up living. Unfortunately, the temperature swings widely. This has a negative effect on wood finishes, and reduces their effective lifespans.
The garage in the summer can be brutal. I live in Arizona, so my garage can be well over a hundred degrees for 18 hours or more a day. This intense heat breaks down the finish mixture, and reduces the life.
Also, areas that get cold snowy winters can benefit by not storing their finishes in the garage. Freezing temperatures will run a finish. It will also ruin wood glue.
The best place to store wood finish indoors will depend on your living situation. Houses with kids and pets will need to make special arrangements so that the finishes are not accidentally ingested. I have a young son and a dog, so my finishes are stored in a room, high up, and the room is locked. These barriers help prevent small hands and furry paws from getting into dangerous chemicals.
How to store wood finish well involves maintaining an even temperature in the storage area, and keeping oxygen away from finishes.
Oxygen is another thing that reduces the lifespan of a finish. Learning how to store wood finish involves learning how to deal with oxygen. Any finish that dries through solvent evaporation (essentially everything but reactive finishes) will degrade and dry in the presence of oxygen. A couple things can be done to reduce this effect.
For finishes in plastic bottles, squeeze the bottle until the liquid level is right at the top, then screw on the cap. This reduces the overall amount of oxygen contacting the finish. The drying effect is reduced, and the finish will last longer. For finishes in a can, try out an oxygen displacing product. Bloxygen is a product that is dispensed into the top area of the can. It is heavier than oxygen, and drives it out before the can is sealed.
My 10 Step Guide to Wood Finishing explains how to use hand applied finishes. It will make an expert out of anyone, and is easy to follow. If you have any questions on how to store wood finish, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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