START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Disposing of Old Paint

Disposing of Old Paint

One of the best ways to give your home and your spirits a lift is to repaint your space and with all of the low and no-VOC paint options, as well as natural clay plasters, this little pick-me-up is more environmentally friendly than ever.

But almost everyone has paint left over. You have three main options for this extra paint. First, keep it for touching up when you have scratches and spots that don’t come clean. Make sure that you seal the lid completely so that the paint doesn’t dry out. Second, give the paint to a friend, a church or another not-for-profit. They can typically use whatever donations they receive. And third, if neither of the first two solutions works for you, you can dispose of your leftover paint.

Of the most common types of paint, latex paint is the easiest to dispose of as it is not considered toxic. You can let your leftover paint dry, remove it from the can and include it in your trash that is land filled. Then, you can recycle the paint can.

Oil based paints are less simple. You need to take them to your local government hazardous household waste drop-off. From here, a hazardous waste facility picks up your oil based paint. The paint is either used as a fuel additive for manufacturing processes, or it is burned with other garbage to create electricity, or it is mixed with cement or lime and than landfilled, or it is mixed with other oil based paint and used by local governments for projects like covering graffiti.

So the best choice is to use what you have or donate it and always buy clay or latex based paint instead of oil based paint.

For more information or to subscribe at the introductory price of $10 a year, go to Positively Green magazine launched in 2008 as a quarterly women’s magazine that covers every aspect of green from eco-friendly vacations to green fashion to green health. With articles that don’t just explain the problems, they outline solutions for busy people who want to make the change but don’t have the time to research solutions.

Read more: Home, Green Home Decor, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Kelly Magill

Kelly Magill is founder and publisher of Positively Green, a quarterly women's magazine that covers every aspect of green from eco-friendly vacations to green fashion to green health.


+ add your own
11:41AM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

Thanks for the tips!

9:25AM PDT on Sep 22, 2012


9:23AM PDT on Sep 22, 2012


12:29AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thanks for sharing

4:16AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:58PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Invaluable. I got a lot to dispose of and have been waiting until I knew the best way to do it.

7:19AM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Thanks for the article

4:38PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011


5:41AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

Thank you

2:23PM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

Thanks for the idea. I'm moving tomorrow and have been busy painting/decorating my new flat and have wondered what i shouild do with the leftover paint :)

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I try to be vegan as much as possible

Staying positive is crucial. Optimism is the essence of every fighter: the belief that no matter wh…

Creativity is the spice of life, the results are often enduring and will bring joy to those that sha…

Valentina R - fully concur with your comment. I've never understand dogs kept as house pets being d…

Thanks for sharing :")


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.