Even if you buy the recommended amount of paint, you might still have some left over. You should have some left over so that you can touch up any damage to the paint. However, if you’re moving or de-cluttering, it’s time to toss out that old paint. So, what can you do with old paint? Can you just toss it in the trash? Well, it depends.
Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste; therefore, it can go in the trash. However, you don’t want it in the trash in its liquid form. Liquid paint runs and will stain everything it touches. The best way to dispose of latex paint is by letting it dry. You can let it dry simply by opening the can and letting it sit. Be sure to keep that out of reach of pets and children. However, if you don’t have time, there are options as well.
You need something to soak up the paint. A good option is filling a cardboard box or some other disposable box with shredded paper or kitty litter. Then, pour the paint into the box. The paper or litter will soak up the paint and prevent it from running.
Oil paint is considered hazardous waste in most places. To dispose of it, you need to take it to a proper recycling facility. That’s easiest in a state that has a recycling program. If you don’t live in a state with a recycling program, you should visit a paint store and ask them how to get rid of it; after all, they dispose of a lot of paint every day.
Storing Old Paint
Storing your old paint is also an option. You can recycle it simply by using it again. Mixing several half-empty cans of paint will save you some space. It might result in some funky colors, but if you’re just suing the paint for function or as a base coat, it will work. There are several colors that obviously will work well together. You should attempt to mix those first. For example, mix red and blue to make purple instead of red and green, which will just make brown. You can also go darker in the future, and you can always mix paints to make brown.
Cover the paint cans in plastic wrap and reseal them. If they’re not full, store them upside down. They should be leak-proof and should last indefinitely.
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