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Paint Environmental Tips & Safe Disposal


1. Buy Only What You Need

Not only will this save you money, but you are also helping the environment by preventing waste from the start. This is called ‘Source Reduction’ and can be practiced every time you shop.

2. Use It All Up

Leftover paint can be used on variety of small projects or touch-up jobs or mix similar colored paints together to use as a primer for larger projects. Also, don’t forget that you can share. Check with neighbors, friends, local clubs, youth groups, churches, parks and schools to see if they might need your leftover paint for a community project.

3. Save It For Later Use

Oil-based paint can be good for up to 15 years and Latex paint should be good for up to 10 years old if it has been stored properly.


Paint Storage Tips

Proper storage will help your paint last longer.

1.  Cover the opening with plastic wrap and replace the lid, making sure that it fits securely on the can.

2.  Store your paint cans upside down. This creates a tight seal around the lid and minimizes evaporation.

3.  Store paint in a location that is not subject to freezing temperatures.

Is Old Paint Still Usable?

Old paint can still be used, if the paint will mix well when you stir it. You can also test to see if it is usable by brushing it on newspaper to see if it has any lumps. If there are no lumps, the paint is usable


Proper Disposal 

Oil-based paints and paint products, such as thinners, solvents & stains, are classified as hazardous waste. If you can’t use up these products, they need to be disposed of at your local Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Locations (there is a fee for disposal of household hazardous waste).

If you have paint manufactured prior to 1990 you should also dispose of it at your local Household Hazardous Drop Off Locations. Paint made prior to 1973 could contain lead and prior to 1990 could contain mercury.

Never dispose of any kind of paint or paint products by pouring them onto the ground or into the sewer.

Latex paints are water-based and are not considered hazardous. The latex paints can be dried* and disposed of in your regular trash. Look for clues on the label of your paint to see is it is latex-look for the words Latex, Vinyl, Water-Based or Will Clean-Up With Water.
*(See Paint Drying Instructions)


Drying Directions

If your Latex (water-based) paint is unusable, here is how to properly dispose of it:

1.  Remove the lid and discard it.

2.  If the can is more than 1/2 full, poor extra into another container, such as a coffee can for drying.

3.  Add Clay-Based Kitty Litter or store bought paint dryer to the liquid paint. Stir the mixture and keep adding kitty litter until it gets thick.

4.  Allow paint/kitty litter mixture to air dry until hard. This may take a couple of days. You should dry the paint in a well-ventilated area away form kids and pets.

5.  Once paint is completely dry, you may dispose of it in your regular trash.  Remember do not put the lid back on the can.

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