How To Correctly Dispose Of Leftover Paint

Painting a room in your home is a great way to update its décor on the cheap. However, when the project is complete, it’s common to find yourself with leftover paint.

What should you do with it? How do you dispose of it? Disposing of leftover paint incorrectly can be dangerous to humans and the environment, so it’s important that you know how to get rid of it properly. You actually have several options for getting rid of your excess paint, so keep reading to find the one that works best for you.

Save It For Later
If you end up with a good deal of paint left after finishing your project, you might want to save it for later use. You never know when one of your precious angels will decide to turn a wall into a canvas or when a piece of furniture will need a touch-up.

To save excess paint, always leave it in its original container and label it with the date you opened it and which room it was used. Latex paint lasts up to 10 years and oil-based paint lasts up to 15, so there’s a good chance it will still be good the next time you want to use it. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the can, pound the lid into place, and store it in a cool, dry, dark closet out of the way of small children and pets.

Donate It
If you don’t plan to ever use the paint again, but you feel bad just tossing it out, try to find someone who might use it. Another option is to post your paint online to see if anyone in your local area can use it.

Dry It Out To Throw It Out
You cannot just simply throw out paint.  This is because it contains toxic materials that can leach into the soil, contaminate septic tanks, and potentially harm sanitation workers. You can maybe throw away dried paint with your regular household garbage. It’s always wise to check the laws in your neck of the woods first before throwing out any type of paint.

If only a little bit of paint remains in the can at the end of your project, you can dry it out by placing it in the sun. If there’s too much left to go this route, head to your local home improvement store for a paint hardener.

Let The Pros Do It If You’re Not Sure
If you just aren’t sure of the proper way to dispose of your leftover paint, you can let the professionals do it for you. Many home improvement stores will take your leftover paint and dispose of it properly. You can also head to to see if they have a drop-off site near you where you can take your unwanted paint.

Estimate How Much Paint You’ll Need
For future paint projects, you can get an accurate estimate of how much paint you’ll need by heading to just about any brand-name paint website. Many of these sites have paint estimators that let you know how much paint to buy so there is very little left over. By using these estimators, you waste less money and contribute to a healthier environment for all.

Painting is a great way to add a fresh spin on any room’s décor, but when all is said and done, it’s how you get rid of the leftover paint that really matters. Hopefully, the tips above have given you at least one option for disposing of leftover paint where you live.