When purchasing the paint, get only the amount you need and use it up  thoroughly. But still, sometimes you see that there is a lot of leftover paint in your buckets that you don’t know how to store or dispose of. 

Dumping the leftover paint in storm sewers, drains, or on the ground can be hazardous for the environment and humans too. You can donate the extra paint to your relatives, recreation departments, or community service organizations.  

In some areas, recycling programs are available that accept leftover paint. You can also store latex or oil-based paint in your basement by drying them out. Or you can mix them with cat litter, sawdust, sand, or other absorbent materials and let them dry.


Store and disposing of the paint is essential, while most of the paint is considered hazardous waste. Storing those paints is really easy, which we describe below, but disposing of paint is a very critical thing. 

Dispose of Acrylic Paint like draining them in the sink can be dangerous for the environment. You can contact the waste center nearby to take them. Despite that, you can donate those leftover paints to others or recycle latex paint if you have extra. 

When you have half a can of paint, you can dry them and properly store them. After a specific time, you can reuse those paints. Here we’ve given all the procedures in detail on how to store and dispose of paint properly. Read thoroughly and get the proper process- 


Here are some processes that you can follow with your leftover paint to store them safely- 

●     SEAL IT UP: 

Seal the extra paint before you store it; this can save the paint from drying up. If there is paint on the edge of the cane, then clean all the paint first. 

Tap the lid properly using a rubber mallet. You will have a hard time sealing the lid if you use a hammer for this task.


Use a shelf when you store the paint in your basement. Using a shelf can save the paint from moisture which can rust on your can. Choose the darkest, coolest location for it. 

The hot or cool temperature can destroy your paint. Like when you store latex paint, the hot temperature can dry it out. Along with the cold weather can make it separate as they are made of chemicals. 

When you want to store oil-based paint, it can trigger a fire in hot weather. A cabinet or closet is a good place to store your paint if you don’t have a basement.


If you have a bucket with halfway paint, or almost empty, you can transfer them into quart cans or large ones. 

Then label them with paper, writing the brand and paint name expiration date. You can also drop a small dollop of the color on the top of the lid, which will help you find out the paint easily.

If you have wall paint and trim in the different cans, you can mix them up and store them together.


Don’t use a screwdriver when you open the lid of your paint after a long time. This can cause the lid to be warped as well as it’ll be hard to use the lid again. 

There are some keys that are specially designed for opening cans; you can try these. Some popular brands also offer it with the paint purchase.


Latex or water-based paint has a validity period of 10 years, and solvent or oil-based has 15 years. There are multiple tests that you can do to check the paint if they are still good or not- 


■     If the paint smells rancid, then this is not good. 

■     If the paint separated like a thin layer of paint on the top and a layer of liquid underneath, you could take a chance. Remove the top layer and stir the rest of the stain to mix it. If they blend together, it’ll appear like the original color. You can use this paint without any concern. 

■     Still, if you’re not sure about it, then use newspaper and try a coat of paint on it. If you see the paint is coming out rough and lumpy, then you have to dispose of the paint. 


Oil-based paint is not as tough as latex one. If you seal it properly in the coolest area, then it won’t get worse. When you want to use it, just remove the top layer out before painting and stir the rest of the paint smoothly. Then you’re ready to use it.


If you don’t dispose of the paint currently, it can be harmful and toxic to the environment. However, different areas have different rules and restrictions, so, better if you know the regulations of your areas. Here are some widespread steps for disposing of the paint which you no longer need and also the procedures too;


Here we’ve given the step-by-step procedure that you can follow-


If you don’t want to give your leftover paint to the recycling center, you can follow this procedure. You can add equal proportions of cat litter to the latex paint. While you have more than half a can of paint, pour it in the trash can and then add cat litter. 


Now stir the mixture of the cat litter and the latex paint evenly. Then let it sit and wait for an hour.


After an hour, the paint will dry up completely. Now you can throw it in the garbage, but before that, remove the bucket’s lid.


This type of paint is considered hazardous waste for the environment. If you want to dispose of oil-based paint, you have to do this appropriately. Check with your local authority office for instructions on how to dispose of paint properly. You can also send it to the drop-off center.


Measuring the need for your paint basically saves you money. You don’t have to dispose of the paint when you don’t have an extra amount on your bucket. 

There are several paint calculators from the paint brands available that you can use to estimate the proper amount of paint you require. You just need the shape of the walls, but here we’ve given a few guidelines that you can follow- 

●     One gallon of paint can cover 350 to 400 square feet

●     The average door size is 20 square feet

●     The window size is 15 square feet

●     Most of the rooms in your house require two coats of paint.


Hope you become a pro when it comes to storing and disposing of paint properly. After reading this article, you get all the information to tackle the pile of paint that you don’t need for this time. You can donate the paint or save it for reuse. 

Thus disposing of the paint in the proper way can save your time and protect the environment as well. You can do any of these, but the essential thing is not to pour the leftover paint in the drain or garbage.

Guest Contributor: Bernita Fregoso

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