After a painting project, there always seems to be a little paint leftover. If stored properly, the leftovers can be kept for future touch-ups or the leftover color can be applied to other items to tie the color scheme together. But sometimes you just want or need to get rid of the leftover paint and that can be a little tricky because you can’t just toss it in the trash. Use these ideas for getting rid of leftover paint after your next home improvement project.
Check into local non-profit organizations that might could put the leftover paint to good use. A local theater group might welcome small amounts of various colored paints for use in creating stage props. A church or community group that does small home repair projects for the elderly or disabled could put the paint to use in some of their outreach projects. Schools may also have a use for the paint.
Oil Based Paint
If you can’t find someone to donate the paint to, then it must be properly discarded. Oil based paint is considered hazardous and can’t be discarded in household trash. Contact your local waste management department to find out how to properly discard of leftover oil based paint. Some communities have a specific collection site for items like this, while others may offer certain days of the week when paint can be dropped off.
Water Based Paint
This is the easy type of paint to discard when you can’t find give it away. Water-based or latex paint is not hazardous, so just let the remnant paint dry into a solid form and discard it in the household trash. Place the paint-stirring stick in the paint can to form a handle, then leave the lid of the can until the paint turns into a solid. The process will take a few days on its own, but you can speed up the drying process by mixing in some kitty litter or saw dust. When the leftover paint has dried into a solid, lift it out of the can by the stirring stick and toss in the trash. Discard of the can and lid separately. If the paint container is plastic, it too should be discarded separately.