How to Safely Dispose Your Leftover Paint

As many of us agree, it’s better to have too much than not enough. When it comes to a painting project, this principle couldn’t be more apposite. However, this usually means that people end up with more paint than they need, leaving them in an inconvenient position. After all, you can’t just toss out fresh, liquid paint. Furthermore, oil-based paints are considered hazardous household waste, and require specialized steps for lawful and safe disposal.

If you have some semi-full or full cans of leftover paint that you have no room and no use for, continue reading to learn your options for safely disposing them in your town.

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Throwing Away Fresh Pain

As mentioned, oil-based paints are deemed hazardous, so they cannot be thrown away in the regular garbage. If you have leftover cans full of liquid, oil-based paint, contact your local government’s office for instructions on proper and acceptable procedures for your county. For all other types of paint, you can either let the paint harden, make the paint harden, or donate a fuller can to a resale store near you.

Let the Paint Harden

If you only have a tiny bit of paint left in the can, simply let the remainder dry by leaving it uncovered for 24 to 36 hours. Check that it is entirely dry by inserting a tooth pick or paint stirrer into the paint. If it comes out clean, the paint is dry enough. If it won’t puncture the surface, the paint is fully dry. Once the paint is entirely dry, you are safe to toss it in your own garage, but place them in a plastic bag first just to be safe from residual splatter.

Harden the Paint Yourself

If you have a little to moderate amount of liquid paint left in the can, you can implement a few strategies to expedite the hardening process. The most effective method is to use a waste paint hardener, which can be purchase online or at any local home improvement store. You just mix it in and wait for the paint to cure. You other option is to find your own solid debris and use it to thicken up the leftover paint, such as saw dust, newspaper, and similar absorbent materials.

Donate Full Paint Cans

There are several places that will accept your full cans of leftover paint. Check with local resale stores, or place a listing online for free paint. Ask your neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers to spread the word that you have free paint. Churches are another great consideration for donating leftover paint.

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