How to Open a Paint Can The Right Way

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Paint cans are great for storing a variety of items, but what is the best way to open one? Following the proper safety precautions to open the cans will prevent injuries and allow you to get started on your projects. 

Tools & Materials

Paint can closing and opening tools are either manual or automatic, which both provide a proper closure of paint cans. To open a paint can, use an opening tool. This tool can be placed under the lid and push downwards to release the lid. Do this in a few locations to fully open the lid. Paint can tools and accessories allow you to complete your paint packaging needs. 

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Types of Paint Cans 

Paint cans are versatile containers for a variety of applications. These cans are offered in ¼ pint to 1 gallon.

Metal Paint Cans 

Metal paint cans are durable containers that can withstand extreme temperatures and are susceptible to damage during transportation and handling. Paint cans can be resealed which keeps the quality of the product last longer. These containers are ideal for paints, coatings, adhesives, mastics, and more. 

Metal paint can.Metal paint can.

Plastic Paint Cans 

Plastic paint cans are a great choice for storing water-based and latex products. Made of polypropylene, these durable plastic paint cans come in 1 pint, 1 quart, and 1 gallon. Plastic is easier to clean out and reuse, making it a great storage container. Although plastic is more likely to dent, it will never rust and affect the contents within it.

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Hybrid Paint Cans

Hybrid paint cans are made of black regrind recycled polypropylene combined with a coat of tin plate ring and plug. These cans are made for 1 gallon, 1 quart, 1 pint, and ½ pint cans. Use hybrid paint cans for coatings, adhesives and other viscous products.

Hybrid paint canHybrid paint can

Art-Style Paint Cans

Art-style paint cans are great for gifts, arts and crafts, or any other product you wish your customers to be able to see. These clear cans are a unique packaging solution that can store a variety of items thoughout many indutries.

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Opening a Paint Can

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Follow these steps to open a paint can:

Step 1: Inspect the can.

Step 2: Gather necessary tools that are needed to open the can.

Step 3: Safely Open a New Paint Can using a Screwdriver or Paint Can Opener. Wear protective equipment to avoid lid damage and paint spills.

Step 4: Remove the lid from the paint can. 

Closing a Paint Can

Once your project is complete, close your paint cans. Use one of these 3 tools to properly close your paint can. 


A mallet would have the lowest upfront cost, though it may be more economical to pay more for a method with more efficiency if you will be closing a large number of paint cans.

Manual Closer 

With manual closers, you don’t have to worry about the mess of potential splatters while enjoying the greater speed that comes with ease of operation. They are an excellent option for those who need to close paint cans with relative frequency and consistent quality.


Automatic Closer

An automatic paint can closer would guarantee you the ultimate efficiency in achieving an airtight seal with the least amount of effort. Automatic closures are the best option for those who need to close a large amount of paint cans with reliable speed and quality.

Safety Tips

It’s important to make sure you have the protective equipment and proper tools to open or close a paint can. Keep away from young children and pets when thinking about where to store your paint cans. When done, dispose of paint cans and materials properly.

Variety of paint cansVariety of paint cans


When a lid won’t open, use WD-40 to get it unstuck. This will loosen that dried up paint and allow you to open the lid. 

Open it Right!

Opening a paint can can be challenging. Follow these helpful tips to open a paint can and let us know if you have any questions! – Call 630.629-6600 or email us