Here’s What No One Tells You About How To Dispose Of Paint.

How to dispose of paint – the legal and the right way! As the pandemic situation gave most of us enough time on our hands to finish off pending household tasks, it also made us more responsible for ourselves and our society. With an increasing trend in paint sales since the pandemic, there is an increasing curiosity in the question of how to dispose of paints – the legal and the right way! Do you have leftover paint too? In this article, we will cover how to dispose of paint.

Types of Paints

Before we could begin with how to dispose of paint, let’s discuss types of paints. Since the process of disposing of paint entirely depends on the type of paint you have. Here is a quick comparison.

Oil-based PaintsLatex Paint
It is HazardousIt is Non-Hazardous
It must be disposed of at a local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).Do not throw it in the trash.It can be disposed of at a local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW).Do not throw it in the trash.Use alternative methods.
 It is commonly used on metals, wood, and for paintings/arts.It is used for interiors of homes and on enormous surfaces.
It can not easily be stained. But it gets yellow over time and gets cracked too.It can easily be stained. Over time, it does not peel or crack.

How to dispose of oil based paints

Oil based paints are easily stained and are declared hazardous because of their chemical compositions that contaminate soil and water. Oil based paints should never be thrown in the trash as is. It is recommended to dispose of oil based paints at a local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection site or HHW collection events. If these oil based paints are disposed of incorrectly, they may contaminate septic tanks. Can’t find HHW drop-off facilities nearby your areas? Just visit Earth 911 paint disposal at or connect with your local country or city Waste management authorities.

How to dispose of Latex paints

As mentioned earlier, Latex paints are not hazardous, and they do not necessarily need to be disposed of at Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection sites or HHW collection events. You can throw them in the trash but we do not recommend that! We recommend using alternative options to dispose of latex paints.

Trash Method: If you have an empty paint can, remove the lid and toss it in the trash. If you are involved in curbside recycling, pour the remaining paint into a cardboard box and place the empty can in your recycling bin. Pro tip: Mixing kitty litter into the paint can help it dry quicker. 

How to dispose of paint:Points to remember:

Keep these points in mind:

1. Paint should never be poured down a drain. In addition to damaging your pipes, it is bad for your water supply as well.

2. Paint should not be poured into the ground. Soil contamination is a danger.

3. You may want to consider purchasing waste paint if you need to get rid of a lot of latex paint hardener. When mixed with paint, this powder will harden it up within hours.

4. If the bottom of the can has at least an inch of dried paint left in it, throw the whole can away.

5. Paint cans that have less than 1 inch of paint left should be recycled. You can recycle the empty paint cans after they have dried completely.

6. The lid should be removed and the paint should be allowed to air dry in the can. You can speed up the process by adding an absorbent material, such as clay kitty litter, sawdust, or leftover concrete mix.

7. Oil paint should never be poured down the drain or on the ground. It carries a danger.

This method of disposal is illegal.

8. It is not recommended to air-dry liquid alkyd or oil-based paints.

Additional ways to how to dispose of paint

Here are some pointers for how to dispose of paint.


You may want to connect with your local community center, art centers, or holy congregational places because they might be working on projects with a limited budget. You may be of any help! 

Connect with local hardware stores

Local hardware stores normally have take-back or paint recycling programs available. Or even encourage discount offers for leftover paints!

Store it

You never know when a project/opportunity will bang your doors. Latex paint may last up to ten years if properly sealed! Oil-based paint has the potential to endure much longer! That’s all about how to dispose of paint.

How to dispose of paint spray cans

As mentioned earlier, WWH or waste management companies are your go-to escape. Remove the contents and dispose of hazardous trash, then recycle the empty container. This option reduces the quantity of hazardous trash that your company must dispose of.

How to dispose of paint thinner

You must have a nearby vehicle repair and service center or gas station. They have a tank for unclean, old oil, and automotive fluids and get compensated when a reclamation firm comes to take it up to convert it into usable oil.

How to dispose of empty paint cans

Following are some key factors to consider before disposing of empty paint cans:

Paint is completely dried

It is necessary to make sure that the paint has completely dried off. If there is still paint left, dry it in a ventilated area. It doesn’t take much time; hardly 2-3 hours only. Or you can make use of a paint hardener.

Trash it

You can simply throw the can in the trash. In the case of oil based paints, check with your local authorities if it is allowed. 

Recycle it

Another option is to recycle the latex paint cans. Many localities have their own rules and regulations regarding recycling, connect with your nearest one and follow their instructions.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Dispose of Leftover Paint – the Right Way?

The right way to dispose of paint is to connect with a local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection site.

How to Dispose of Latex Paint?

Trash them using the above guide or follow alternative options.


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