How To Dispose of Paint Properly

How to Dispose of Paint Properly

how to properly dispose of paint

When we were preparing for our move we wanted to purge everything we knew wouldn’t be making the trip. When we got to the garage we knew we had to do something with our paint “collection.” The movers won’t take paint and well we had a lot of paint. Over the past three years we’ve built up quite a supply of paint that we now had to figure out how to get rid of.

We were left wondering how to properly dispose of paint. We knew we couldn’t just toss it in the trash.

There are several options.

1. Recycle: Did you know that you can use lighter paint colors as a primer base to cover darker walls? Reuse those light colors as primers. Give to friends! Ask around, your neighbor or friend could use just the colors you are ditching.

2. Find a drop off location: Did you know that some local paint stores will take your used cans of paint? They remix and reuse the paint, isn’t that awesome? Find one near you using (limited states) or

3. Dry it out and toss (Latex and water based paint only): If you have a few days you can leave your paint open and it will dry up. After it’s dry you can then toss it in the trash. How To Dispose of Paint-5

If you are in a rush you can add something to your paint to help it harden quickly. We had some sawdust left over from various projects. Add a handful of sawdust to your paint, close the lid and shake up. It will dry up immediately.

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If you don’t have sawdust available – fear not, you can purchase waste paint hardener to quickly dry up your paint. I picked up this at Home Depot for just a few bucks. Following the directions on the package, it hardened the paint in minutes.
How To Dispose of Paint-2

Do you have any tips on how to dispose of paint properly?

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  1. Who knew! Paint is so expensive here in Japan that I wish when we PCS we can take it with us. Would it be best to dry it out before taking it to the recycle center? Or do you think they want it in the liquid form so they can mix and reuse it? I think this was on a episode of Rehab Addict where she suggested doing that. I can’t remember… #tiredmomproblems

    1. Definitely leave it liquid for recycling at a drop off location. They will mix and reuse! We ended up dropping off quite a few gallons that were half full but just ditched these small samples because there wasn’t much paint left in there anyway!

  2. I’ve been wondering that too! Thanks for the links to find the drop off locations!