How Reuse, Recycle or Dispose of Used Paint

After you complete your painting project many people are left with excess paint here are six ways you can reuse, recycle or dispose of your excess paint.

1. Purchase the exact amount of paint necessary for the job
Figuring out the EXACT amount of paint you need for a job is nearly impossible. Some of the paint is lost by being absorbed into the rollers, brushes and tray as well as the bottom and sides of the can. While it is almost impossible to purchase the exact amount of paint you need you can measure the exact square footage of paintable space and purchase just enough paint to get close to the exact amount you need.
2. Store unused paint
When you finish your project put some Saran Wrap or painters plastic around the mouth of your can. Then seal the lid so that the plastic creates leak proof barrier between the lid and mouth of your paint can. Next wrap and tape the top of the paint can around the lid with painters plastic or Saran Wrap. When storing paint you do not want to place the paint in an area that becomes too hot or too cold. Storing paint in a basement is ideal.
3. Mix and reuse old paint
old primers and ceiling paints can be mixed together to save money on future projects as well as reduce waste. It is not recommended to mix paint for top coats unless it is the exact same paint in regards to sheen and type of paint.
4. Recycle empty paint cans
Empty paint cans can be great for arts and crafts, storage or even gardening. The possibility are endless but you must make sure that you thoroughly clean out both the inside and outside of the cans before using for creative projects.
5. Dispose of oil paints as hazardous waste
The best method for disposing of excess or old oil based paint is to contact your local Household Hazardous Waste facility. Some of these facilities offer year round pick ups or specific drop off days which can occur as few as once or twice a year. It is recommended to check your local hazardous waste facility to receive more information.
6. Toss latex paint in the trash
Latex paint can be tossed away with other trash it is not considered a hazardous material. It is recommended to dry the paint out with shredded paper or kitty litter so that the paint solidifies and is easier to dispose of.


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