How To Store Paintballs – Practical Methods

Paintballs are gelatin capsules filled with non-toxic, water-soluble paint for use in recreational paintball markers. When not in use, proper storage is important to maintain paint quality and prevent breakage.

How To Store Paintballs At Home

As a paintball enthusiast, having a reliable stock of quality paintballs ready for your next intense match is essential. When storing paint at home between events, following proper storage methods prevents waste and maintains ball freshness.

Here are some tips for effectively storing paintballs using items readily available in a residential setting:

Keep Them Cool And Dry

Ideal conditions for stored paintballs are temperatures between 50 and 60°F and low humidity. Exposure to heat can melt the gelatin or expand the fill, causing ball breakage in the loader. For players looking for a lower-impact experience, low-impact paintballs are a good option.

These specialized paintballs use a water-soluble shell and non-toxic, biodegradable fill materials. When they hit the target, low-impact paintballs burst much more gently compared to standard paintballs.

This reduces the potential for injury, making low-impact paintballs ideal for younger players or more casual recreational games. Just be sure to store them properly to avoid early breaking in the loader and ruining your low-impact experience.

Moisture also degrades shells over time. Store paint in an interior closet, basement, or temperature controlled shed. Avoid attics, garages, or exterior storage buildings prone to humidity and temperature swings.

Use The Original Packaging 

Keep paintballs in their original factory packaging, which is designed for efficient storage. Foam sleeves prevent balls from rubbing together, while cardboard boxes keep light exposure low to prevent fading and sun damage. Only open packages as needed when loading hoppers for games. Reseal opened sleeves to maximize shelf life.

Place Boxes On Racks Or Shelves

To allow air circulation and prevent compression flattening, store paintball boxes on shelves, racks, or pallets. Stacking heavy items on top can rupture balls in the bottom boxes. Racks should be sturdy and attached to the wall for safety.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Exposure to extreme cold or heat ruins paintballs. Temperatures below freezing cause shells to become brittle and crack, while heat above 70°F melts fill prematurely. Avoid keeping paint in uninsulated structures subject to seasonal temperature swings. Check storage areas with a thermometer.

Use Desiccant Packs

To control humidity, use desiccant moisture absorber packs in storage containers. Silica gel or clay desiccants prevent moisture buildup from condensation that damages shells. Monitor and replace desiccant packs periodically as they saturate.

Rotate Older Stock

Adhere to first-in, first-out principles when accessing stored paint. Use up older production batches first before opening fresher cases. Check for expiration dates on boxes, as most factory paint has a 1-2 year shelf life. Discard any balls that appear misshapen, dimpled, or faded.

Avoid Prolonged Light Exposure

While brief light exposure during games is fine, extended direct sunlight or UV exposure degrades paintball fill and fades the shell color over time. Use opaque storage bins or cover shelving with curtains to block light. Never store paint outside.

Handle With Care

Avoid drops, crushing forces, or harsh impacts, which can fracture a paintball’s shell. Transport boxes gently in vehicles and handle them carefully when accessing them during play. Return partially used sleeves carefully to prevent breakage.

By following these proper storage methods, players can maintain the quality and reliability of their bulk paint supply between intense paintball adventures. Take steps to control the climate, handle gently, and keep moisture out for the best results.

With care, paint will shoot as brightly across the battlefield as the day it was purchased.

Science Behind Paintball Storage

Why are ideal storage conditions so important for paintballs? The science comes down to the materials used:

  1. Gelatin This biological polymer makes up the outer shell. Moisture causes hydrolysis, while heat melts the structure. Keeping the gelatin sphere cool and dry preserves its integrity.
  1. Fill Dye Sunlight and UV degrade the water-soluble dye over time, fading its brightness. Opaque packaging blocks light exposure.
  1. Expansion Heated fill expands, stressing the gelatin shell. Low, consistent temperatures prevent pressure buildup.

What Happens to Paintballs If They Are Not Stored Properly?

Improper storage quickly ruins paintball quality and reliability:

  • Heat Temperatures over 70°F melt and warp gelatin shells while expanding liquid fill causes ruptures. Balls jam and break on loaders.
  • Freezing Low temperatures make brittle shells prone to cracking from any impact. Accuracy also suffers.
  • Humidity Moisture degrades gelatin shells, leading to dimples and imperfections. Balls curve in flight or split on firing.
  • Light Exposure UV rays fade shell color and fill dye over time. Balls lose brightness and marking ability.
  • Impacts Drops, crushing force, or shaking break compromised shells. Damaged balls jam gear.

With science-based storage methods, players can maintain pristine paintballs that shoot cleanly in markers for the most vivid splatter effects on the battlefield.

How To Keep The Paintballs Good In Between Games

When playing a full day of intense paintball competitions, you’ll go through hundreds or thousands of paintballs blasting opponents. Maintaining fresh, high-quality paint throughout a long day of games requires proper interim storage as balls sit loaded between matches. Here are tips for keeping your stock tournament-ready:

Use Insulated Coolers

Store loaded hoppers and extra paint in an insulated cooler kept in a shaded spot when off the field. Surrounding balls with ice packs maintains interior temperatures around 50–60 °F to prevent heat damage. Mark hoppers filled with different paint brands to avoid mixing.

Re-Bag Opened Sleeves

After initial use, reseal any opened foam sleeves by folding them over and taping the plastic ends. This limits humidity exposure compared to leaving sleeves fully open. Place re-bagged paint in the cooler with unused stock.

Keep in the Shade

Never leave paint boxes or filled hoppers baking in direct sunlight between games when staged in pit areas. Intense ultraviolet rays degrade quality. Keep all paint in a covered, shaded pit spot. Pop-up tents are ideal for blocking the sun on open fields.

Check Fill Levels

Inspect loader fill levels periodically and top them off until they are completely full. Partial loads increase ball movement and friction, which degrade quality over hours of play. Refilling to full capacity minimizes damage. Carry extra paint to top it off before big games.

Swap Out Old Paint 

Adhere to first-in, first-out principles by using up older, opened sleeves before newer, unopened cases during play. Try to start each day with fresh paint batches and minimize leftover partial boxes sitting overnight for reuse.

Replace Disfigured Balls 

Inspect loaded paint periodically for obvious splits, dimples, or major shell flaws. Pick these out and replace them immediately to avoid barrel breaks or inconsistent trajectories.

Follow a system to maintain cool, protected storage when paintballs sit in between intense tournament games. With care, you’ll have reliable performance all day long into the finals match, avoiding frustrating breaks or ball chopping when accuracy matters most.


Proper paintball storage between matches requires some diligence but pays off in reliable feed performance when games are on the line. Take time to actively monitor conditions, maintain ideal temperatures, and reuse opened paint judiciously.

Invest in quality storage accessories like coolers, racks, and desiccants tailored for your local climate. Handle paint gently to avoid premature breakage. While paintballs are designed for rugged play once chambered in markers, they remain sensitive to heat, humidity, and impact during storage.

With responsible care, your paintball supply will deliver vivid splatter and trusted accuracy throughout a long day of intense matches.

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