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How to Dispose of Paint


Recyling Paint

Recycling your old paint might be another option. Through partnership with the Product Stewardship Institute, some states have recently passed or are considering legislation to require paint manufacturers to collect left-over residential paint for post-consumer use. Even if this program hasn't reached your state, you can ask your local paint dealer to help you repurpose your excess paint. Start by filtering out solids like thickened paint and brush bristles. Then separate the cans into light colors and dark colors. With the help of your paint professional, light colored paints can be combined and re-tinted to a fresh, new color. Dark paints blend into a brown color. Empty paint cans are recyclable, too, just like food and drink cans.

If all else fails and you must dispose of your old latex paint, turn it into solid waste. If there's less than one-fourth of the paint in the can, take it outside, place it where kids and pets can't get to it, remove the lid and let the paint air dry. When the paint is hard, you can put the cans out with the rest of your trash. You may need to leave the lids off to show your trash collector that the can is safe for collection.

For larger quantities of paint, brush or roll the paint onto layers of newspaper or cardboard. When the paint dries, put the paper in the trash bin. Alternatively, you can pour the paint into a cardboard box and mix it with shredded newspaper, cat litter, or a commercial paint hardener to speed solidification. The box can go in the trash when the paint dries and the cans can be recycled.

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