How to dispose of paint

In this article we are going to talk about what to do with old paint or how to dispose of paint. If you spend any time remodeling or doing really any kind of basic maintenance in your home you’re going to end up with extra cans of paint.

You cannot throw the leftover paint anywhere just to get rid of them. You have to know the paint disposal method and will have to dispose of paint properly.

So, the biggest concern with disposing of paint is that if you do it in the wrong way it can pollute surface water and groundwater. And since we all like to drink water and we all like to have clean rivers. So, it’s important to dispose of paint in the right way.

You can also read out step by step (How to) guides on other paint related topics like How to paint skirting boards or how to remove paint from walls etc.

Now before we talk about disposing of paint you should really do your best to reuse old paint if you can. If the paint is still good and maybe you have a closet needs to be painted. Or there’s a little project that you have that you want to use that paint for that. It is the best thing to do.

Recycle it

There are also some options in recycling paint. It really hard to find some places of recycle paint. But there some schools who takes donations you know for plays and things like that local communities will take donations of paint.

It’s actually kind of hard to find and not every area has the ability to recycle paint or donate paint.

What not to do with old paint

So let’s talk first about the don’ts. Again a lot of the don’ts are related to polluting groundwater or surface water. So first you shouldn’t dump wet paint or liquid paint on the ground.

You also shouldn’t dump it down storm drains because it will get into the water supply. You also want to avoid dumping liquid paint into the garbage can directly. Because again if it’s not dried that will go to a landfill and runoff from a landfill can and will also pollute groundwater.

And then lastly you want to make sure that you don’t dump it down the drain. If you’re washing a water-based paint like the brushes or things like that at the sink it’s okay if some of that paint does go down the drain just as you’re washing it, But you certainly don’t want to dump in you know full cans of paint down the drain.

Which type of paint you want to dispose

Different types of paint

 Now, first of all you have to know that there are two main categories of paint there’s water-based paint and there’s oil-based paint both of which are named after their main ingredient.

There is different method for both type of paint to dispose. We will discuss the both one by one.

How to dispose of Latex paint

 For water-based paint the key is to make sure that it’s dry. So there are a few options, you can just open up the paint can and let it dry over time and put it in regular trash of home after dry. But this method works better if you have a small amount of paint to dispose.

 Additionally, you can take an old cardboard box and just dump it out a layer at the time let that dry dump a new layer but again that takes time.

 The easiest way for large amount to paint to dispose is to use a hardener. You can also use kitty litter if you have it but they also sell paint hardeners at the hardware store. You can buy them for really cheap and they’re great at drying up that old paint. So just throw it in the trash.

Putting paint hadners in paint can

So with these hardeners all that you need to do is just open up the paint can dump a little bit of it . you can follow the directions to see exactly  how much you need to dump in and then just stir it around and leave it until the paint dries up.

Stiring the latex paint with piece of wood

Once that paint is completely dry you can just throw the paint cans in the trash. If you do throw the dried paint into the trash I do recommend that you leave the paint can lid off of it so that the people picking up the trash will know that it has been dried.

How to dispose of oil based paint

Oil-based paints are a little bit different, you really can’t dispose of them in the same way. In fact in most places oil-based paints and finishes and other things like that are considered hazardous waste materials. So you’ll need to check in your own region your own city your own town what the rules are what the requirements are for disposing of it.

In many Countries, there’s actually a county run waste disposal for hazardous materials including old oil-based paints or varnishes or other things like that. You’ll need to take it there and have them dispose of it for you. Some jurisdictions will charge a fee.

So any of these oil-based paints you’ll have to take into them to get them to recycle them or destroy them or do whatever it is that they do with them.

 But really the best thing to do with old paint is to reuse it if you can. If you can’t try and donate it try to get it recycled. As last resource you know throw it in the trash for a water-based paints or ticket to a hazardous waste recycling plant for the oil-based.

Why it is necessary to proper dispose of old paints properly

You already know that paint is a mixture of additives, solvents, oils and resins.

Oil-based paint is flammable and releases large amounts of volatile organic compounds. They contribute to air pollution and cause a large number of kidney damage and liver diseases after long-term exposure.

Water based paints are those types of paints are not considered hazardous .If you handle them properly; water-based paints are not harmful to human health or the environment.

So, it is very necessary to dispose of paint properly so it can avoid environment to get polluted and cannot cause a harmful impacts on human health.


Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, you can put dried paint in garbage. But make sure the paint is fully dried,

Yes you can use paint hardeners like kitty liter. Just add little amount of hardener in paint can and stir it well and leave it sun light for dry.

You should not dispose of paint in sink. You can only dispose of little amount of latex paint in sink but it is not g good practice. Instead of this You should implement on proper paint disposal method to dispose of paint.

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