Three Ways to Dispose of Unused Paint
Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home or furniture is a fast way to breathe new life into it and make it look like new. But, you usually don’t use all of the paint you buy, and you might not know how to dispose of it.
There are a few safe and sanitary ways to dispose of your leftover paint, and we’ll let you decide for yourself which one is best for your needs.
1. Reuse and Remix Latex-Based Paint
Latex-based paint is typically forgiving. If you have two or three different cans of this type of paint leftover from various projects, consider mixing them in one larger container. While they most likely won’t end up being a colour that you can use as a topcoat, they’re excellent base coats for other paint projects.
This can help to keep the paint out of your local landfills. Additionally, you can consider donating the remixed latex-based paint for community projects or to community centres and local schools.
2. Take Oil-Based Paints to a Hazardous Waste Facility
A lot of oil-based paints can’t be dried out and thrown away in the garbage due to their hazardous contents. You will typically dry them out first, and you can do this by adding equal parts oil-based paint and either cat litter, sawdust, or concrete powder into the can. Mix this up until you have a thick mixture. The sawdust, cat litter, or concrete powder will suck a lot of the moisture out of the paint, and it’ll start to harden.
Leave your paint mixture in a well-ventilated area or outside in a dry place for a few hours. The longer you leave it, the more it’ll dry out. When it’s dry, look up a hazardous waste facility near you. You can take the entire can of hardened oil-based paint there, and they’ll dispose of it safely.
3. Look for a Local Paint Take Back Program
If you’re not sure how to properly dispose of your unused paint, let the professionals handle it.
In Australia, the larger paint corporations run the Paintback program. Each Territory and State has a Paintback collection centre. You can bring your old or unused paint to them, and they’ll dispose of it in a safe and efficient manner or look for other ways to re-purpose it. The Paintback program is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, and it has been helping to safely dispose of Australia’s unused paint since 2016.
Don’t leave your garage, basement, shed, or home cluttered with unused paint cans. There are safe and effective ways to dispose of it that are good for the environment and safe for the waterways.