You’ve just wrapped up. You’re cleaning up your supplies, throwing out dirty tarps, and reveling in the feeling of a job well done. But there’s one thing… you have some leftover paint, but no other projects on the horizon. You don’t want it to just sit on a dusty shelf until the DIY-er in you comes out again, so what should you do with it?
Here’s what you need to know about paint disposal.
Wet latex paint left unattended can be dangerous. If you only have a tiny bit leftover – think an inch or so at the bottom of the can – simply leaving it outside in the sun will normally dry up any residue and you can essentially let Mother Nature do the job for you. If you have more leftovers on your hands, you’ll need to find another way to dry it up.
One popular method might seem unconventional, but it does get the job done. Pour the leftover paint into a box of cat litter. The litter acts as a sort of sponge and immediately takes care of any excess. Once you’ve taken care of any wet paint leftover, most communities allow you to throw the dried-out can away with your regular trash.
There are also facilities that can take care of this process for you. In Colorado, there are a lot of different paint recycling locations that will recycle leftover paint for you at no cost. Companies and organizations with a nationwide presence like Habitat for Humanity are among those that help facilitate this process, so even if you’re not based in Denver – or even Colorado – there will more than likely be a facility near you.
It’s important to remember that oil-based and latex-based paint do have slightly different disposal processes – just reach out to your local waste management company and they can walk you through it. Since they’re experts in hazardous waste disposal, they’re more than equipped.
There are also less formal drop-off spots. Certain paint stores and individual retailers will take unwanted paint from those looking to recycle it. They will either make use of it as a makeshift base coat for personal projects or dispose of it in a way that keeps both the community and the environment in mind.
If you don’t want to dump your leftovers at all, ask around. More often than not, you’ll be able to find a friend who been putting off fixing up those old bar stools and just needs some paint to get the job done.
To avoid this completely, let the professionals handle your next painting project. When you work with Ireland’s Finest, we’ll take care of everything from the prep to the cleanup.