Have you just finished decorating a room in your home, or finished a project and have tins and tubes of leftover paint?
If so, you may be puzzled about how you can dispose of it. Because paint can be hazardous waste and as such, it is not the easiest stuff to dispose of. So where on earth does it leave you? Enviroco, an eco-friendly hazardous waste management company has come up with a few efficient, responsible ways to dispose of your leftover paint.
1 – Buy sensibly
If you’ve got too much paint left over, you’re probably cursing yourself for buying too much in the first place. If you buy the right amount of paint in the first place, you won’t need to store or dispose or recycle leftover paint – helping you to save money. Speak to your friendly paint shop and ask them to calculate your paint requirements next time, based on the measurements you provide. Most paint pots also provide coverage guidelines on their labels. When you finish your painting project take a look inside the can – if there’s only a small quantity of paint left, then use it up.
2 – Store it right
If you’ve completed your project or piece of artwork and still have some paint left, then you could always store it properly for future use. Storing paint so it can be used again can also save you money if you need to touch up a room for example, so storing it in the right place is crucial. Pick somewhere you know is safely out of the reach of children or animals, that isn’t too cold so as it could freeze. Cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap (so it won’t dry out) and securely seal the lid.
3 – Reuse it
Believe it or not there are many ways you can re-use leftover paint around your home. You could add depth to the back of a bookcase, while wall stencils are a great way to add highlights to a room. You could think about creating an accent wall in your spare room – it doesn’t take much to just paint one wall and it instantly creates a focal feature and talking point! Other ideas include refinishing shelving, giving a new lease of life to a table lamp, bringing out the features of your fireplace mantel or touching up your skirting boards. Think creatively and that splash of colour will bring out the best in your room.
4 – Recycle it
If you don’t fancy any of these ideas, or storing your paint for future use for things like touch-ups, you could always think about donating it (if you have a sizeable amount left over of course!). There’s bound to be a community group, theater company, church association or homeless shelter near you which would love to take your paint. Alternatively, we’ve seen new homeowners advertise free paint in their local stores!
If using up your paint yourself or donating is not an option, recycling or proper disposal is the next step. Never ever dispose of paint by pouring it down your drain, or putting paint containers or tubes in trashcans. Check with your local authority when it comes to recycling empty paint containers. The chances are good that these can be handed in at your local waste station. If your paint containers cannot be recycled, dispose of them responsibly as general household waste.
5 – Dispose properly
If there is not a paint recycling program in your area, you may need to dry and dispose of the paint yourself. Only latex-based paint can be solidified and disposed of in this way, oil-based paints cannot. If you only have a small amount of paint left (less than 1/2 inch) in the bottom of a paint can, it is easily dried out by leaving the lid off. Open it up to fresh air (in a safe place) and allow it to dry naturally. For larger amounts, pour some absorbent powder into the paint and give it a stir. After a few hours it should turn into a thick dough that won’t spill or run – it’s in a safe state to throw away with your regular trash.