Colorado Paint Recycling Centers

Recycled Paint


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Storing Paint

1. Cover the opened paint can with plastic wrap

With the can of paint opened, clean and cover the can with a plastic wrap.

2. Put the lid of the can back.

Be sure to seal the lid securely onto the can. You may want to use a small hammer to tap on the edge of the lid.

3. Label and place can upside down

Be sure the can is securely sealed. Write down the date. Then place the can upside down


Leftover Paint Disposal

Leftover Paint:
Six Ways to Deal With Your Leftover Paint

What do you do with your leftovers? At a restaurant, you probably bring them home in a doggie bag to enjoy again at another meal. At home, you carefully wrap your leftovers so you can keep them fresh for later. Did you know that what’s good for food is also good for paint? Many people don’t, because far too much perfectly good leftover paint ends up in our nation’s landfills. It doesn’t even need to be an issue for our environment at all, because leftover paint isn’t a waste product, and, when stored properly, it stays fresh for years.

That is why you should know about the National Paint and Coatings Association’s Six-Point Program for Leftover Paint. It helps the environment, and, it saves you money. What could be better? So, we hope you’ll join us in our commitment by following these six simple steps:

  1. When getting ready to paint, buy just the amount you need to do the job. When you avoid buying too much at the start — what’s called “source reduction”there’s less chance that leftovers land in the trash later.

  2. If you do have leftover paint, store it so it lasts for years. Just cover the opening with plastic wrap, and make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Then store the paint can upside down! This creates a tight seal, and keeps the paint fresh to use again.

  3. Use up all your leftover paint. It’s great for touch-up jobs and smaller projects. You can also blend and mix smaller quantities of similar colors of latex paint to use as a primer on larger jobs, or jobs where the final finish is not critical. Make sure you read and follow all label instructions when applying paint.

  4. After you use up the paint, what next? Always recycle the empty paint can, of course, following the can recycling procedures in your community. Plastic paint pails and containers may also be recycled in some areas, so check your community’s guidelines.

  5. If you just can’t use your leftover paint, donate it or exchange it. Community groups, theater groups, schools, churches and others can use your leftover paint, and you may even be able to take a tax deduction! And you can participate inor organizea neighbor-to-neighbor or community-wide paint exchange/paint swap. Some communities hold these as part of household waste collection events.

  6. As a last resort, if you need to dispose of your leftover paint, make sure you do it properly. Let your leftover latex paint air dry away from children and pets. One method is to pour the latex paint into a paper box or bag, and add absorbent material such as shredded newspaper and cat box filler to speed drying. Recycle the empty can, and then throw the dried paint away with your normal trash. (Note: If you live in California, Washington or Minnesota, your state may require special disposal considerations for latex-based paints, so be sure to check.) Air drying liquid solvent-based paint is generally not recommended, but if the paint has already solidified in a closed can, you can dispose of it in the regular trash. Liquid solvent-based paint should not be discarded with normal trash. Instead, save it for a special paint collection program or household hazardous waste program in your community.

Working together, we can make sure that leftover paint stays out of our landfills…and that’s good for our communities, our nation and our environment!

Information courtesy of the: National Paint And Coatings Association