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Proper Paint Disposal Practices

Proper Paint Disposal Practices

If you look hard enough, I bet you can find some leftover paint in your home. According to the EPA, there are around 69 MILLION gallons of leftover paint each year in the U.S. How does this happen? The simple answer is that most folks tend to have at least some leftovers after numerous house painting jobs. While you may want to hold onto some paint for touchups, if you are still drowning in paint cans you may want to look at getting rid of some of the excess. Below, we will go over the unique methods of disposal for the two major types of paint and some ideas on how to keep your leftovers from going to waste.


Latex Paint

Latex paint is fairly easy to dispose of. The trick is to make sure you have completely emptied the can of paint. There are a few ways to go about this. Local hardware stores from Newport to Charlestown will carry specialized paint hardeners, or you can look around your home for other acceptable methods. Placing shredded paper or even cat litter in a paint can and allowing the paint to dry works just as well. Once all the paint has dried, throw away the dried paint with the rest of your trash and recycle the can itself.


Oil-based Paint

If at all possible try to use the entirety of oil based paint. If this simply is not an option, you will need to contact your local recycling or hazardous waste station. One of the few ways for disposal is through incinerating the paint. This practice of incineration is in and of itself not that great for the environment, thus it is recommended to find a way to use any leftover oil based paints.

NOTE: If your paint was made before 1978 it could be Lead based. If it was made before 1991 it could contain Mercury.  If you are concerned about this, contact your local municipality to get contact info for your local waste facility for proper disposal. You can visit Earth911 to get information on local disposal centers.



This is an avenue many don’t think to go down, but donation is a great way to get rid of your excess paints.  There are many schools, churches, and countless other organizations that will gladly accept paint and put it to use in their own painting projects. Speak with your local recycling center to see if any establishments are accepting paint donations. Once again you can utilize sources such as Earth911 for local paint recycling centers.


At DMP, not only can we help ensure the perfect executions of your various house painting projects, but our painting service professionals can help you plan how much paint you’ll need to get the job done without having to worry about excess waste. Contact our paint contractors online or by phone at (401) 789-2181 for a free consultation.