How to get rid of Old Paint? – Get Your Answer Here

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 stuck with cans of old paint and not sure what to do with them? This is a common predicament for many amateur painters.

Get Rid Of Old Paint

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the various methods for proper paint disposal, keeping in mind local regulations and environmental safety.

Keep reading to learn how to responsibly get rid of your unwanted paint!

Proper Paint Storage

Seal cans tightly to prevent air from entering and causing the paint to dry out. Store paint in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures that can affect its consistency.

Seal cans tightly

Make sure to shut your paint cans well after use. A tight seal keeps the paint fresh for a long time.

The lid must be flat on the can and not let air in or out. Use a rubber mallet, not a hammer, to close it right.

A hammer could dent the can or damage the lid. This is key for keeping your left-over paint good for future use.

Store in a cool, dry place

Paint cans love cool, dry places. This is the best spot for proper paint storage.

Heat and cold can ruin paint. Too hot or too cold temperatures can change the color of your paint over time.

It’s good to keep it safe from light as well.

Avoid storing your paint in an area that gets a lot of sun or near items that get hot like heaters or stoves.

Basements are great choices for keeping your old paint fresh until you need to use it again.

This way, your stored old paints won’t cause any harm.

Avoid extreme temperatures

Heat or cold can ruin your paint. Don’t store the cans in places that get very hot or chilly. This includes garages, sheds, and outdoor spots. The best place is a cool and dry place inside your house.

This will keep the paint good for a long time. It’s key in proper paint storage.

Paint Disposal

Check local regulations for proper paint disposal. Look for paint recycling programs in your area and make sure to dry out the paint before disposing of it.

Check local regulations

Before disposing of old paint, it’s important to check your local regulations. Different areas may have specific rules and guidelines for how to properly dispose of paint.

This could include restrictions on certain types of paint or requirements for drying out the paint before disposal.

By checking your local regulations, you can ensure that you’re following the correct procedures and being environmentally responsible.

Look for paint recycling programs

Paint recycling programs are a great way to dispose of old paint responsibly.

Many cities and counties have these programs in place, so it’s worth checking with your local government or solid waste provider to see if they offer paint recycling services.

Dry out the paint before disposal

To properly dispose of old paint, it’s important to dry it out first. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Leave the lid off the paint can and let the paint harden naturally.
  • Speed up the hardening process by adding kitty litter, sand, or shredded paper to the can.
  • Once the paint has hardened completely, check your local regulations to find out how to dispose of it properly.

Recycling Aerosol Paint and Empty Containers

Contact your city, county, or solid waste provider for information on how to recycle aerosol paint and empty containers. Don’t miss out on this important step towards proper paint disposal!

Contact city, county, or solid waste provider

To properly dispose of your old paint, it’s important to contact your local city, county, or solid waste provider.

They can provide you with information on the specific regulations and guidelines for paint disposal in your area.

Reach out to them to find out about any paint recycling programs that may be available.

They can also advise you on how to safely dispose of other household hazardous waste items like cleaning products, batteries, light bulbs, pesticides, and motor oil.

By contacting these authorities, you can ensure that you are disposing of your paint and other hazardous materials responsibly and in an environmentally friendly manner.

Find local recycling options

To find local recycling options for old paint, follow these steps:

  1. Check with your city, county, or solid waste provider to see if they offer paint recycling programs.
  2. Contact nearby hardware stores or home improvement centers like Home Depot or Lowe’s to inquire about their paint recycling services.
  3. Visit the website of paint retailers such as Sherwin – Williams or Benjamin Moore, as they may have information on paint disposal and recycling in your area.
  4. Reach out to local environmental organizations or community centers to see if they have any recommendations for where you can recycle your old paint.
  5. Use online resources such as, which provides a search tool to find nearby recycling centers and programs.

Hazardous Waste Collection

Take advantage of your local household hazardous waste collection service for free paint recycling options.

Take advantage of household hazardous waste collection service

One great way to safely dispose of your old paint is by taking advantage of a household hazardous waste collection service.

These services are often provided by your local government or solid waste provider.

They offer free paint recycling options, making it easy for you to get rid of unwanted paint without harming the environment.

Instead of throwing it in the trash or pouring it down the drain, you can simply drop off your old paint at a designated collection site.

It’s an eco-friendly solution that ensures your paint is disposed of properly and prevents any potential harm to our water supply or landfills.

So instead of letting that old paint pile up in your garage, take advantage of this convenient service and do your part in keeping our environment clean and safe!

Free paint recycling options

If you have old paint that you need to get rid of, there are some free options for recycling it. Here are a few ways you can dispose of your paint responsibly:

  1. Community Events: Many cities and towns hold special events where you can drop off your unwanted paint for free. These events are usually organized by local government or community organizations.
  2. Retailer Take-Back Programs: Some home improvement stores and paint retailers offer free paint recycling services. They may have designated areas in their stores where you can drop off your old paint cans.
  3. Household Hazardous Waste Collection: Your local waste management facility may have regular collection days for household hazardous waste, including paint. Check their website or contact them to find out when and where these collection events take place.
  4. Paint Swaps: Look for opportunities to swap your old paint with others who may be interested in using it. Some communities organize paint swaps where people can exchange unused paint with each other.


In conclusion, getting rid of old paint doesn’t have to be difficult. By properly storing paint and checking local regulations for disposal options, you can help protect the environment.

Donating or recycling unwanted paint is a responsible choice that benefits both the community and the planet.

Remember, always dispose of household hazardous waste safely to keep our surroundings clean and safe for everyone.


How can I get rid of old paint?

You can get rid of old paint by using methods like scraping, sanding, or applying a chemical paint stripper.

Can I throw away old paint in the regular trash?

No, it is not safe to throw away old paint in the regular trash. Paint is considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly at a local recycling or hazardous waste facility.

Are there any eco-friendly ways to dispose of old paint?

Yes, you can consider donating unused paint to community organizations or using eco-friendly methods such as mixing with kitty litter to solidify before disposal.

What precautions should I take when removing old lead-based paint?

When removing old lead-based paint, it’s important to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles, work in a well-ventilated area, and properly dispose of any debris containing lead-based paint.

Can I reuse or recycle leftover latex (water-based) paints?

In some cases, latex (water-based) paints that are still usable can be donated for reuse or recycled through designated programs provided by local municipalities or recycling centers

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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