The best ways to manage latex, acrylic, and water-based paints and stains are to
- Dry it up!
- Use it up!!
- Pass it on!
- Recycle It!
In addition, dried out latex paint may be safely disposed of in your regular household trash.
Paints and stains must be dried up before being placed into the trash. Please be sure that your paint is completely solidified (dried up). Liquid paints and stains can spill while awaiting collection or during the collection process; paint leaking into trucks, compactors and onto roadways poses tremendous cleanup challenges.
Dry it up!
- Bad unusable paint can be hardened or dried
- Remove lids from cans, and put both lids and dried out paint cans into a plastic trash bag along with your regular household trash.
Cans 1/4 or less full
- Simply remove the lid and place can in a safe, well-ventilated area.
- Cans 1/4 or less will dry in a few days.
Cans more than 1/4 full
Kitty Litter, mulch, oil dry or shredded paper may also be used as a bulking/drying agent. Protect your work surface by lining it with old newspaper.
- Add kitty litter, mulch, oil dry or shredded paper to the can bad unusable paint. Stir and mix thoroughly.
- Set aside for 30 minutes. At the end of that time, paint will have a tacky, oatmeal-like consistency, but will not spill out.
- Your paint is now ready for disposal.
Use it up!
1.Good usable paint can be mixed with like colors or bulked together and used as a primer coat or on other jobs.
2.Avoid creating waste at the start. Buy only what you need. One gallon of paint will cover between 250 and 350 square feet, depending on the porosity of the surface to be covered. A gallon of paint will cover closer to 250 square feet of surfaces that are more porous.
Pass it on!
Donate unopened cans of paint or stain or mixed buckets of latex paint. Many schools, religious groups, community groups,highway departments and theater groups will accept unopened cans of paint or good paint especially white, beige and primary colored paint. Even a neighbor may need some extra paint. Also, check your paint store's policy on returning unopened cans of paint
If you have more usable latex paint than you can manage to mix, use or donate for someone else to use, then it can be recycled through your county's Solid Waste Department either on a daily basis or at the annual Household Hazardous Waste Event. Contact your county's Solid Waste Department for more information on Paint Recycling.