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What to Do with Old Paint

What to Do with Old Paint?

Do you have buckets of leftover paint that you simply do not know what to do with? Not to worry! Follow along for some tips from My Arlington Painter for what to do with your old paint.

Test If the Paint is Still Good

Paint does have a shelf life. For latex based paints, it is around 10-years and for solvent based paints you have 15-years. Other factors may come into play when it comes to the life of unused paint as well. Such as, being exposed to freezing temperatures or the lid not being sealed properly. You can test your paint by stirring it. Obviously if you cannot stir it, it is no good. However, even if there is a thin skin on the surface that you can remove but you can still stir the paint well, that paint can still be used. Another quality check you can perform is after you have given it a stir, swipe a layer onto some newspaper. If there are lumps, the paint is no good.

Decide What is Worth Keeping

After you have determined what is good and not, next you will want to decide what you want to keep around. If you have leftovers from colors that are still on your walls, obviously those are handy to keep around for touch ups. Whatever you decide to keep, make sure the lids are sealed properly. And if you have the information, it may be wise to write the date you purchased the paint on the can.

Keep for Primers

Even if you have decided on some colors you are sure you will not go back to, consider keeping some on hand to use as undercoat primers. You can even mix paints together if they are the same type (acrylic with acrylic and latex with latex).

Donate Unwanted Paint

Paint that is still good to use but that you do not want, you can donate. Ask family or friends if they may want them. Some paint contractors may also appreciate your donation. Charities that participate in renovation type work may also be open to taking your paint as a donation.

Dispose of the Rest

The proper way to dispose of paint will differ from community to community, but it is important that you follow the proper procedure to not cause any pollution. After all, paints are potent, and one gallon of paint can pollute and cause harm to thousands of gallons of water.

Many places allow you to throw out solidified latex and acrylic paint along with your household trash. You can solidify the paint by mixing clay-based kitty litter into the can or you can use specialized paint solidifiers such as XSORB’s Rock Solid, which can be purchased off Amazon. Whatever you do, make sure to go through the process in a well-ventilated area that is safe from kids and pets.

Oil based paints and other toxic substances, like paint removers, may require an extra step. Check with your local Department of Environmental Conservation or landfill to see what options for disposal are available to you.

The next time you have a painting project, be sure to call My Arlington Painter! We handle everything from the beginning to the end. And we are always sure to respect your space by properly preparing the project area beforehand and by handling all the cleanup afterwards.

By My Arlington Painter 5-7-2020