DIY painting projects are a great way to change up a room’s look, but more often than not, you’re left with a lot of unused paint.
Cleaning up after a project can be tedious. It would just be easier to take everything in a box and dump them wherever it’s most convenient, but don’t– especially with the case of leftover paint! Dumping paint down the drain can cause accidents and contaminate septic tanks. So before you toss out your leftover paint, here are some guidelines on how to properly dispose of them:
- Check before you toss.
If sealed and stored properly, certain paints can last 5-10 years, which can serve you well for future projects. If you plan on storing paint, it will help to label the can with the date you opened it. Also, it’s best to keep it in its original can. Experts recommend sealing the can by placing plastic wrap over the paint lid and hammering it down. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
- Dry it out.
If there’s only a small amount of paint left, it’s best to leave it out in the sun to dry out. For more substantial amounts, pick up some paint hardener at your hardware store. When it dries out, you can already throw out the dried-out paint.
- Try to donate.
Not using the leftovers in the near future? Ask around for someone who might need it. You may have a friend or colleague who has an upcoming DIY project and you could save them the trouble of having to buy a new can.
- Find a proper disposal location.
When you can’t find a place to get rid of your leftover paint, ask professionals. You can also ask around if there are hazardous waste drop-off facilities in your area.