How to dispose of old paint cans

So you have had a very successful spring cleaning. You’ve cleaned out your home and gotten rid of things you no longer want, or need. Emptied out your closet of clothes you no longer wear, gotten rid of old condiments you accidentally hid in the back of your kitchen cabinets, organized your basement storage area, and now you are left with old paint cans.

If you have recently painted your home it’s advised to keep some of the paint for any minor touch-ups that might need to be done in the future. You want to keep your paint stored in a cool, dim area away from any heat. You also want to make sure it’s above the ground, and away from small children or pets.

If you notice that the paint you are trying to dispose of is clumpy and smells odd, even after you have removed the “skin” on top of the paint and stirred it; It’s safer to throw it out. This is a sign that the paint is no longer good.

Now, getting back to making more room in your basement. If the paint is still good  but there is not much left of it, you can move it to a smaller container. Just keep in mind, you would need a container that has a tight seal, and will keep air out. When you are ready to finally get rid of those cans, consider if   the paint is a latex paint, the first thing you would have to do is dry out the remaining paint. If you have relocated the paint and it’s an empty can, then you can just leave it to dry out for a day and you should be good. If you no longer want the paint and there is more than a quarter left; You can buy products in your hardware store that will dry out the paint.  Once the paint is dry you can place the can in the garbage.

Oil-based paints are bit trickier to dispose of. They are considered hazardous waste, and the only way to dispose of them is by taking them to a hazardous waste collection site. You can find locations online.

If you don’t have much time to dry out the paint to properly dispose of old Latex-based paint, you can always contact you local paint store and see if they can recycle them for you. Keep in mind that they must be in their original container and some stores have stricter policies and will only take certain ones. If you ask they might also be able to point you as to where you can drop off the oil-based paint you may have.  Which can save you some research time. Leave us a comment is you have any questions.

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