Disposing of Paint Properly
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 12, 2022)
Why is it that after finishing a painting project, most people think that the proper way to dispose of any left over paint is to simply pour it down the drain? If not that, then another common method that is used is to simply through the can of unused paint into the garbage, and forget about it. Disposing of paint properly takes a little more effort than this though. While it may take some more effort, it really isn't all that difficult. In fact, there are three great methods that you can use to dispose of your excess paint properly.
- Dry it out. One of the more popular types of paint that is sold to homeowners today is latex paint, and this is a type of paint that is actually fairly easy to dispose of properly. In fact, the easiest method for disposing of this kind of paint is to let it dry out. While you can always simply remove the lid and set the open can on a shelf and let it dry out that way, but that isn't really a good idea. In fact, that particular method could in fact be considered an accident waiting to happen. Instead, simply remove the lid, and then pour some kitty litter, shredded paper, or paint hardener into the paint can. Allow it to dry, which should take no more than a few hours, and then remove the dried paint from the can. Throw the can, and the dried paint into the garbage and you are done.
- Recycle it. If you are dealing with oil paint you can't really use the same method for disposal. In fact, there really isn't anything that you can do with oil based paint except for recycling it. Contact your local recycling point (which should be easy to find in the phone book) and find out what their policies are. Unfortunately some places may not accept the oil paint, so you will need to check around to find one that does. In addition, you will also want to check to see what the hours of operation are so that you don't end up making a wasted trip.
- Sell it. Another effective method for disposing of paint properly is to sell it off. Often times people are looking for a discounted rate on materials when they are considering a renovation project. By offering the leftover paint that you have, at an appropriate price, can help solve many problems. Not only are you getting rid of something you don't want, you are helping someone else out in saving some money.
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