Guides and Tips

How to Dispose of Paint Safely

July 14, 2022
How to Dispose of Paint Safely

When you’ve finished painting, you still have a minor task left to do if the paint can is not empty yet: dispose of it.

However, paint is a toxic substance, and it can be a danger to have around people, particularly children, and pets if they ingest or inhale it. Moreover, it can also damage the aesthetics of your home, make the ground slippery, and even cause a fire.

There’s a proper and sustainable way of disposing paint, whether that be latex or oil-based. Our guide today will teach you how to do that.

1) Dry out latex paint first before throwing it away

Dry out latex paint first before throwing it away

Don’t throw away wet paint since it can harm scavenger humans or pets as well as the environment by contributing to global warming.

Besides, even eco-caring waste removal companies won’t take leftover wet paint. You have to dry it first.

To dry the paint, simply leave it out in the sun—if there’s only a little left. If there’s slightly more, you can pour cat litter or put newspaper to soak and dry the wet paint in the container.

But if your paint is at least half full, then we suggest getting a paint hardener to deal with it. You can find one at your nearest hardware store.

Before you do that, however, you should check your local laws on paint disposal. Most likely they will allow you to throw dry paint along with your daily house garbage.

2) Rely on a professional

Alternatively, you can just let your painter, an environmental care group, or a disposal specialist handle the disposal of paint, which is far easier to do.

They will accept leftover wet paint and then store and recycle it. They aim to safeguard people and the environment in the process of doing so so you don’t have to worry about anything.

Or you can just drop off wet or dry paint at a hazardous drop-off facility. Find one in your area through

This will hasten the process of getting rid of the surplus paint safely.

3) Use up the paint for other things

Use up the paint for other things

With a little paint left, you might also just want to use it to refresh your dusty and drab bookshelf, cabinet, or chair.

In the end, you’ll be able to save time and effort because you’re already doing the extra paintwork while you’re at it. You don’t have to go to the trouble of preparing and cleaning up the area again soon.

4) Store the paint

You can also store the paint at a later time, but it has to be done properly.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that you should keep the paint in its original container with the label and add a date when you opened it.

To seal the paint can, put a durable plastic wrap over it such as the Saran Premium wrap. This will protect the paint from moisture and prevent its odors from coming out.

And if you notice the paint has become hard and scum-like accompanied by an unpleasant odor, it can’t be used anymore, and so, it should be disposed of promptly.

5) Donate the paint

Donate the paint

Lastly, if you won’t be using the paint anymore after the project, consider donating it. Then you won’t have to worry about disposing of it afterward.

The type and color of the paint you have might be needed by your neighbor or friend. Giving the paint to them will save them money and a trip to the home improvement store.

Otherwise, try asking a nearby school or community establishment that needs paint for making their signs or projects. Or look up organizations that accept the kinds of paint you want to get rid of and hand it to them.

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