How to Dispose of Paint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Are you wondering what to do with leftover paint after a painting project? Approximately 64 million gallons of paint are wasted annually in the United States.

Dispose Of Paint

This blog offers essential information on how to correctly dispose of or recycle remnants of latex and oil-based paints, ensuring we reduce waste and help protect our environment.

Excited to do your part? Let’s dive in!

Proper Paint Storage

Seal your paint cans tightly to prevent leaks and spills.

Seal It

Always close paint cans when not in use. Push the lid down with a hammer or mallet. This keeps your paint fresh and stops it from drying out. Dry paint is hard to use again. A well-sealed can also help stop spills and leaks.


A good spot is key for paint storage. Cold or hot places are bad for paint cans. So, avoid barns, garages and sheds. A basement is a great choice if it’s dry. Also make sure the place has no kids or pets around.

Looking to get rid of old paint? Texans should check with their city, county, or waste provider first! There may be a special Waste Drop-Off Site near you. Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams also have spots where you can drop off your old paint safely.

Space Savers

Keep your paint cans in a tight spot to save space. Store them on their side on a shelf. This way, you can stack many together and use less room. You can even keep small cans inside bigger ones! Just make sure the lids are closed tight to stop spills or leaks.

Don’t forget, storing paint this way also helps you find the right color fast when you need it for touch-ups!

Related Article: Can You Paint Siding on a House?

Reopening a Can

To reopen a can of paint, start by checking the rim for any dried paint. If there is, scrape it off with a utility knife or screwdriver. Then, use a rubber mallet to gently tap around the lid to break the seal.

Once that’s done, twist the lid counterclockwise to open it. If you’re having trouble opening the can, try using a pair of pliers for extra leverage. Remember to wipe away any excess paint on the rim before closing it again tightly with a hammer or mallet.

Disposing of Latex Paint

One effective way to dispose of latex paint is by solidifying it with kitty litter or sawdust. Find out more about this eco-friendly method and other proper paint disposal techniques.

Solidifying With Kitty Litter or Sawdust

If you have leftover latex paint that you want to dispose of, you can solidify it using kitty litter or sawdust. Here’s how:

  1. Pour some kitty litter or sawdust into the paint can.
  2. Stir the mixture well until the paint is fully absorbed.
  3. Leave the can open in a well – ventilated area for a few days until the mixture solidifies.
  4. Once the paint has dried and solidified, you can throw away the can with your regular trash.

Throwing Away Dried Paint

To safely throw away dried paint, you can use an easy method. First, pour the leftover latex paint onto a newspaper-covered surface and let it dry completely. Once the paint is dry, you can simply throw away the newspaper and dried paint in your regular trash bin.

However, for hardened latex paint, it’s best to check with your local solid waste management entity to see if it’s okay to dispose of it in the trash. Remember that recycling the cans is still recommended for both types of paint.

By following these steps, you can easily and responsibly dispose of your dried paint without harming the environment or violating any regulations regarding paint disposal.

Disposing of Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paint can be more challenging to dispose of compared to latex paint. Here are some options for proper oil-based paint disposal:

  • Deliver it to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection: Check with your local solid waste management entity for information on where you can safely drop off your oil-based paint.
  • Look for special disposal events: Some communities host safe disposal events where you can bring hazardous waste like oil-based paint.
  • Contact local facilities: Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams may have paint disposal locations available in your area.
  • Follow regulations: Make sure to follow any specific regulations or instructions provided by your city, county, or waste provider for disposing of oil-based paint.

Recycling Options for Paint

Contact local waste providers to inquire about recycling options for paint. Recycle aerosol paint cans and empty paint containers at designated recycling centers.

Contacting local Waste Providers

For convenient and safe disposal of paint, it’s important to contact your local waste providers. They can provide you with information on the specific recycling options available in your area.

You can reach out to your city, county, or solid waste provider to inquire about how to recycle aerosol paint and empty paint containers. Additionally, they can guide you on the proper disposal methods for old paint and chemicals.

It’s always a good idea to check for local facilities that accept these materials for proper disposal near your location. By contacting your local waste providers, you can ensure that you dispose of paint in an environmentally friendly manner while complying with any regulations in place.

Recycling Aerosol Paint

Recycling aerosol paint is an important step in proper paint disposal. Instead of throwing away empty spray cans, you can recycle them to help protect the environment.

Contact your local waste provider or visit a nearby recycling center to find out how and where you can recycle aerosol paint in your area.

By recycling, you are preventing harmful chemicals from polluting our landfills and water sources. So, remember to do your part and recycle aerosol paint whenever possible!

Empty Paint Cans

Empty paint cans can be a challenge to dispose of, but there are options available. One option is to recycle them.

Many recycling centers and hardware stores, like Home Depot and Sherwin-Williams, have designated areas where you can drop off your empty paint cans for recycling.

Another option is to check with your local waste management entity or city/county office to see if they accept empty paint cans in their regular recycling program.

Properly disposing of empty paint cans is important for the environment and helps reduce waste that ends up in landfills.

So remember to recycle them whenever possible!


In conclusion, proper paint disposal is essential to protect our environment. Whether it’s solidifying latex paint with kitty litter or delivering oil-based paint to a hazardous waste collection site, there are safe and convenient options available.

Recycling aerosol paint and empty containers is also an environmentally friendly choice. By following these guidelines, amateur painters can do their part in responsibly disposing of old or unused paint.

Remember, small actions can make a big difference!


How do I dispose of paint properly?

To dispose of paint properly, let it dry completely by leaving the lid off or mixing it with a paint hardener. Once dry, you can safely throw it in the regular trash.

Can I pour paint down the drain or toilet?

No, you should never pour paint down the drain or toilet as it can pollute water sources and harm the environment. Follow proper disposal methods instead.

Where can I take my leftover paint for disposal?

Check with your local recycling center or hazardous waste facility to find out if they accept leftover paint for proper disposal. Some locations offer special collection events for paints and other chemicals.

What should I do with cans of dried-up and empty paint?

Empty cans that are completely dry can be thrown in the regular trash along with your other household waste. Make sure to remove any remaining residue from the cans.

Is there a limit on how much paint I can dispose of at once?

The limits on disposing of paint vary depending on local regulations and guidelines set by recycling centers or hazardous waste facilities. Contact your local authorities for specific information on quantity limits.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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