What can I store in the garage?

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Forum topic by leeko posted 01-02-2012 09:47 PM 9148 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2050 days

01-02-2012 09:47 PM

Hi all,

I finally gave in, and moved the majority of my tools from the basement to the garage – dust was becoming too much of an issue, and a dust collection system isn’t practical right now.

Anyway, I’d like to move the rest of my stuff to the garage, so it’s all in one place. The question I have, though, is:

Is it ok to store all of my wood finishes and solvents in the unheated garage over the winter? I know that glue shouldn’t be allowed to freeze, and cold weather affects drying/flashing/curing time of various products, but is it ok to store everything (except the glue) in the cold garage? I’d plan to bring things inside as needed for temp-sensitive things like glue-ups etc.

Here are the products I’m talking about:

Lacquer, lacquer thinner, shellac, denatured alcohol, naphtha, mineral spirits, mineral oil, wood stains, polyurethane, paste wax, boiled linseed oil, tung oil, teak oil, danish oil.

Most of the cans don’t mention cold weather being a problem, but I just wanted to check. I live in Chicago. It’s been mild so far this winter (above freezing), but it’ll likely get down to the single digits over the next couple of months.

Thanks in advance,


11 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17880 posts in 1990 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 12:10 AM

I store everything in my unheated shop except glue, water stones, and water based poly.

Edit: I should have mention my plan is to find a small refrigerator or freezer or something similar and stick a light bulb or two in it. The bulb will keep everything from freezing. (two is just in case one blows and I don’t notice). I used to do this in my old shop and it worked well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View StumpyNubs's profile


6830 posts in 2223 days

#2 posted 01-03-2012 01:23 AM

The manufacturers say not to let paint and stains freeze. I always though an oil based product wouldn’t freeze, but that’s what they say…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2392 days

#3 posted 01-03-2012 03:28 AM

Someone had a post on here a week or two ago about the same thing, he got round the problem by making a cabinet with a light bulb in it, left on the whole time.

View willie's profile


533 posts in 1877 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 04:41 AM

You might want to bring in any spray cans. Some don’t seem to work well after freezing. Anything latex or water based. I only heat my shop when I’m working in it. Any finishes or chemicals I plan on using, I’ll bring in the house the night before to warm up. Keep an eye on your tools for rust. Humidity levels aren’t as stabile in the garage.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View leeko's profile


15 posts in 2050 days

#5 posted 01-03-2012 05:15 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I think I’ll just keep most of it inside for the moment. I need the exercise anyway…

Happy New Year!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5107 posts in 2617 days

#6 posted 01-03-2012 05:41 AM

In an unheated garage, the best way to store your products is to build a cabinet to keep them in.The idea about the light bulb would be a little shakey to me, for fear of a possible fire starting in the cabinet…not saying it would happen, but why chance it? Just take an old quilt or blanket and cover the cabinet. the combo of the two should keep them from freezing, even in an unheated garage…’re not going to be having the door open, and a garage does get cold, but not as cold as outside, naturally…...

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


19140 posts in 2098 days

#7 posted 01-03-2012 05:47 AM

The idea of a light on in a cabinet with combustible liquids/vapors seems like an accident waiting to happen. Would heat tape used to prevent pipes from freezing be a viable alternative?? Perhaps there would be a way to connect it to a thermostat. Just a thought!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View jumbojack's profile


1667 posts in 2047 days

#8 posted 01-03-2012 05:58 AM

Paint, glue, stain heck water for that matter DOES NOT FREEZE

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View jumbojack's profile


1667 posts in 2047 days

#9 posted 01-03-2012 05:58 AM

in the Sacramento valley

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Tootles's profile


780 posts in 1924 days

#10 posted 01-03-2012 04:04 PM

I had a problem with the batteries for my cordless tools when kept in my shed. In my case, the issue is more one of heat, but I’m sure cold could be just as bad. As a result, my cordless drills now live inside the house.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2374 days

#11 posted 01-03-2012 04:15 PM

Just buy a bunch of beer coozies for your glue and spray cans. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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