Painters in Kansas City – whether DIY painters or pro’s – all have the same challenge at the end of a job: how to get rid of old or leftover paint. There are the environmentally responsible options and then the legally questionable options. Let’s take a look at both.
A certain environmental agency may construe your donation to be disposal and suddenly your kind gesture is seen as dumping rather than donation
It’s never a bad idea to hang on to a small amount of your current paint color. Just an easy and quick way to cover dents and dings from everyday usage. But any quantities beyond a gallon or two present a problem. You can keep it in your basement, yes – but sooner or later you’ll have to deal with it. Sooner is always better.
Get Rid of the Rest
The best way to dispose of old paint is to take the paint to a city or county recycling center. Whether oil or latex paint, stain, varnish, etc., you’ll avoid any legal liability or environmental consequences. After that, you’re looking at the Less Than Ideal Solutions.
- Give leftover paint to a friend or relative to paint a dog house, treehouse or dollhouse. But best to not donate it to a theater group, scout troop, etc. A certain environmental agency may construe your donation to be disposal and suddenly your kind gesture is seen as dumping rather than donation.
- Old oil paint should be mixed and poured onto a cookie sheet (or similar) so it can dry. If you leave it in the can it will skin over leaving liquid under the dried layer – so no one will take it. I’ve heard of people pouring oil paint on old carpet to dry and then disposing of the carpet. Perfectly legal, if not a bit improvised.
- For latex paint you can mix in kitty litter right in the paint can – it absorbs the liquid and dries pretty quickly. Then dispose with household trash when dry.
Whatever you do, don’t dispose of old paint down the drain, in a vacant lot or anywhere else that you know just isn’t right. If you get cought at the time you’ll be in a big pile of trouble. If it is traced back to you after the fact you’ll be on the evening news.