Disposing of Paint
After you’re done with painting a room, it’s likely that you are going to have leftover paint. However, you shouldn’t just throw it out. Here are some tips on how to properly dispose of your leftover paint.
Try to donate it
Before throwing away your leftover paint, think about whether you can donate it. Ask a friend if they need any paint. Do you have any home improvement projects that you want to complete? Schools may accept paint if they have art projects coming up or green building companies may also accept the extra.
Do you need to toss it?
If sealed correctly, paint can last a long time. Latex paint can last up to ten years and oil-based paint can last up to fifteen. To properly seal the can, place plastic wrap over the paint lid and hammer it down. Store the can in a cool, dry place that’s away from sunlight. An ideal place would be in the basement. However, if you are storing it in the basement, make sure to keep it on a shelf. Add the date you opened the can and what room it corresponds to on the can. When re-opening, use a specially-designed key made for opening paint cans. Avoid using a screwdriver. A screwdriver can warp the lid and make it difficult to close. If the paint is hard and lumpy, it has probably gone bad and should be disposed of.
Dry it out
Wet latex paint is hazardous. If there’s a small amount of paint left in your can, leaving it in the sun should dry it out. If there’s more, add kitty litter or newspaper to speed up the drying process. To dry larger amounts of paint, purchase a paint hardener at a home improvement store. Finally, check your local laws to see whether you can throw away dried-out paint with the rest of your normal household trash.
Find a disposal location
If you are not able to dispose of the paint with your trash, search for a place that can take the leftover paint off your hands. Companies like Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s accept leftover paint. There are also websites where you can search for a hazardous waste drop-off facility.
In the future
Before starting a new project, get an estimate about how much to buy ahead of time. This way, you won’t end up with a lot of leftover paint.