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How to Dispose of Old Paint

How to Dispose of Old Paint

How to Dispose of Old Paint is a great question!  Paint is a common leftover when it comes to household projects.  If you have unused paint that is in good condition, then donate it to schools, community organizations and churches for upcoming projects.  Also open and check the condition of paint prior to donating; and if the paint has a “sour” odor or texture, it can no longer be used.  Often times paint may have an expiration date so check that too.

How to Dispose of Old Paint

If you have paint that is no longer effective for sure you will want to dispose of it safely.  To do so mix unused paint into a large bucket with cat litter, saw dust or sand.  Mix thoroughly, do not cover and allow to dry; then dried paint can be scooped out and disposed through the normal garbage pick-up by leaving cans uncovered.  NOTE: Call city or county office to learn about local waste collection site; however small disposal fees may be assessed.  The reason that the buckets must be left uncovered is to “prove” that you completed the proper disposal steps.

Paint should never be disposed of through the drain as it will contaminate drinking water and other sources.  Empty paint cans can be thrown away when they are totally empty and dry. Again leave the lid off of the paint can so that it dries out thoroughly.   As you can see we had some empty paint cans above that we disposed of in addition to old leftover paint that was past its expiration.

As you can see we had several gallons of old paint that were no longer good to use and dear hubby mixed it with cat litter into the large 5 gallon bucket.  This was a great way to dispose of it safely versus trying to throw into the landfill as is.  You can also contact your local garbage pick up service to see if they have a set date or location for chemical drop off.

If you are consider a painting project at your home you may want to read our post on how to store a paint roller too.


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  1. Thanks! I’ve had a couple of cans sitting next to my porch for a while because I was unsure what to do with them.

  2. We have quite a few cans of old paint sitting in our garage. I know you can’t just throw them in the trash. Hopefully, we can donate a few cans, and now I know how to dispose of the rest safely. Thanks for the tips!

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