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 positivelygreen.com. 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.


Genoveva M.
Genoveva M M.3 years ago

Thanks for the tips!

Past Member
Dolly Navina L.4 years ago


Past Member
Dolly Navina L.4 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

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

Rita White
Rita White4 years ago

Thanks for the article

May Howie
may Howie5 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

James Kelsey
Jim Kelsey6 years ago

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 :)