Paint Storage and Disposal


Safely store and dispose of leftover paint with these tips

Paint Storage and Disposal

Storing leftover paint is a good idea for more than a couple of reasons: You can use it to touch up scuffs and scratches, or paint new accents in the future. And most of all — you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run.

The tips in this guide will help you keep your leftover paint for years to come. Or, in the case that your paint simply isn’t usable anymore, you’ll learn how to properly dispose of it.


Transfer paint to smaller can
Transfer paint smaller can - Paint Storage Disposal

If there is less than 1 quart of paint left, transfer it to a clean, empty quart can.

Remove paint from rim
Remove paint from rim - Paint Storage Disposal

If you are keeping the original can, wipe up paint inside the rim with a small screwdriver wrapped in cloth.

Tap lid until secure
Tap lid until secure - Paint Storage Disposal

Tap the lid down evenly with a block of wood and a hammer.

Apply dab of paint onto lid
Apply dab paint lid - Paint Storage Disposal

Paint a dab of leftover paint on the lid with a cotton swab. This will help identify the color.

Write key info on lid
Write key on lid - Paint Storage Disposal

Use a permanent marker to write important information such as dates, color and in which room the paint was used.

Paint disposal tips:
• It’s against the law to toss out liquid paints and solvents with the trash. You'll need to consider other options. Leftover paint is almost always welcome at nonprofit organizations or charities.
• Otherwise, the paint will need to be evaporated and solidified before collection by your local waste management authority. Call 1-800-CLEANUP for information on disposal regulations.
• To speed up the paint’s solidification, find an open area where it can dry out.
• Adding hardener, vermiculite or cat litter to the cans is perfectly acceptable.