When you think of sprucing up your home, how to dispose of paint is probably the last thing on your mind. Painting a room is probably much easier than buying the right amount of paint. How many times have you been left with a half-empty unused can of paint? You could either save the paint for future use or dispose of it. However, you can’t just throw paint away, so you must know the right way of how to dispose of paint.
How can you dispose of paint?
Depending on the type of paint, you may need to use different ways of disposing paint. Essentially, there are two types of paints – water-based latex paint and oil-based alkyd paints. Here’s how you may dispose of them:
- Water-based latex paint
Before you discard water-based latex paint, remember to dry it off completely. You can add kitty litter or newspaper to the paint to speed up the drying process. If it is just a small amount of paint at the bottom of the can, you can just leave it out in the sun to dry.
If you have a large amount of latex paint that you need to dispose of, you may need to purchase a paint hardener. Paint hardeners are quite easily available at home improvement stores and online. However, before you dispose of your latex paint, check your city regulations. Some municipalities may accept dried latex paint for curbside pickup, while others may not.
- Oil-based paint
Oil-based paints should never be thrown in the trash and must only be disposed of at the household hazardous waste facility. Many cities hold local household hazardous waste drop-off events annually. You may take advantage of such an event to dispose of your oil-based paint.
To dispose of your leftover paint, you can check your nearest drop-off sites here.
What are some other ways of disposing paint?
Instead of disposing paint, donating it to families or charities can be a great way of putting it to use. If you have bought more paint than you require, consider donating the leftover paint to those in need.
Paint can not just be used to spruce up a home or outdoors, but also can protect surfaces from rust, mold, or other hazards.
You can donate your paint to several organizations like:
Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit organization that works in the US and 70 other countries of the world. The organization operates several independently owned reuse stores that accept donations and sell home improvement items at a fraction of the original price. The paint you donate to Habitat for Humanity would be sold at a much lower price, allowing even those on a tight budget to brighten up their homes.
Global Paint for Charity is the largest sustainable paint waste management organization in the world. It provides latex paint to communities in need all around the world. The paint you donate to this organization will be donated to struggling homes, schools, hospitals, and other organizations in need around the world.
- Drama clubs
Many drama clubs have very tight budgets but big ideas. Members of such drama clubs often scrimp and save for their plays and musicals, but buying paint to dress up their sets can be expensive. When you donate your leftover paint to high school or community drama clubs, you give them the freedom to paint their sets with abandon.
- Homeless shelters
Homeless shelters often run short of resources for basic amenities that they do not have the time to worry about buying paint. You can donate your leftover can of paint to your nearest shelter so that they can brighten up the place. You can put your paint to good use instead of letting it sit on your garage shelf.
- Scouting Groups
Scouting groups work on many community projects, and often, they buy things out of their own pocket. The paint you donate could be very helpful in one of their community projects where they paint a needy’s home or a park bench. What may be a waste for you could be a boon for someone else.
- Charities for children
Many charities that work for children would be happy to accept your paint donation for craft projects.
When should you consider disposing paint?
When paint goes bad, you need to know the right way of disposing of paint safely and responsibly. Paint, whether it is water-based latex paint or oil-based paint, typically has a long shelf life. They can easily last up to 10 to 15 years if kept well sealed with minimum temperature fluctuation in the storage area. Despite storing paint the right way, there may be times when paint can go bad.
Here’s how you can know if your paint has gone bad:
- You have had it for a very long time.
If you have held on to that can of paint for more than a decade, the chances are that it has gone bad. Water-based paint lasts for about 10 years, while oil or solvent-based paints last longer, around 15 years, provided the cans have been properly sealed. If your can of paint has been around for longer, you may need to think about how to dispose of paint.
- Your paint smells offensive.
You may smell your latex paint to find out if it has gone bad. If it emits an offensive, pungent smell instead of the typical paint smell, it has gone bad.
- Your paint has hardened or become rubbery.
Another way to find out if the paint has gone bad is by stirring it. If it is hard on the bottom or on the sides of the can after stirring, it has gone bad. You can even try painting on a small surface, and if it begins to peel off, you need to think of how to dispose of paint. You may also need to think about disposal if your paint looks thick or rubbery in appearance.
Even after planning well, there may be several occasions when you are left with some amount of unused paint. If you carefully store the leftover paint, you can always use it in your future projects while saving money; however, if you must dispose of it, go through the above points on how to dispose of paint before discarding your leftover paint. Donating your paint is always a good way to brighten up the homes of the less fortunate.
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