Paint is considered a household hazardous waste substance, which means that it needs special attention when being discarded. Here are a few things you can do with leftover latex paint.
- Use the leftover paint on another project.
- Donate leftover paint to a local organization, school, church, charity or neighbor.
Store for Future Use
Tips for cleaning and storing:
- Remove as much excess paint from brushes, rollers and other tools into the paint can.
- Clean paint brushes, buckets and other paint tools in your sink.
- Cover the can with plastic wrap to create an additional seal before closing the lid.
- Leave the original label on the can to help with identification in the future.
- Store your paint in a cool, dry place.
If you can’t use or donate the leftover paint, you can set it at the curb with your regular trash but first you have to solidify it. You can follow the steps below to dispose of latex paint at home safely:
- Remove the lids from cans that are no more than half-full and set out in a well-ventilated area away from children and pets.
- To speed up the process, stir in an absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust, concrete mix, or even shredded newspaper. You can also purchase paint hardener at a local hardware store.
- Place cans with solidified paint at the curb with regular trash. Leave the lids off so waste haulers can see contents are completely dry and therefore acceptable.
Whatever you do, please DO NOT dump leftover, unwanted paint on the ground or down a storm drain. Paint can pollute our groundwater and harm fish and wildlife!
Have further questions? Contact our Solid Waste Management Coordinator: