What to Do with Leftover Paint

They’re a staple in many garages and basements—old cans of paint with labels so faded you can’t even read them. No one wants to throw out perfectly good paint, but no one ever seems to know what to do with these old cans.  

Donate Your Leftover Paint

Instead of collecting dust on a rickety lawn shed shelf, give your leftover paint to someone who actually needs it. Many organizations and charities accept paint donations, especially those that build or remodel homes such as Habitat for Humanity. You can also try calling around to local schools, community centers or churches to see if they could use it.

Another route is to check out local resale shops that take paint. A lot of upcycling or salvage stores will often take used paint cans. Whatever you decide, you can rest easy knowing the paint won’t be taking up room in your garage and is getting used by someone who really needs it.

Upcycle or Repurpose Your Paint

Just because the intended project is done, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to use your leftover paint. If you have lighter colors, these can be mixed together to create a DIY primer for your next paint job. You can also use leftover paint to add a pop of color to old furniture, window frames, or other accents. Finally, if you’re feeling really creative, you can buy some canvas and make your very own works of art that will definitely go with your walls!

If you are planning to repurpose your paint, always store it in the original can with its proper label. A piece of plastic wrap or cellophane over the top of the can will keep it from drying out. Always make sure your paint is stored properly and safely—away from children, pets and open flames.

Dispose of Paint the Proper Way

When there are no more reasons to hang onto leftover paint, make sure you dispose of it the right way. If you’re leaving paint for curbside pick-up, keep in mind that some paints can be hazardous to  people, plants and the environment. Allow your paint to harden before taking it out. You can speed up this process by adding some kitty litter to the paint, or by purchasing paint hardener.

If you don’t feel comfortable putting it out for pickup, try calling an organization that specializes in removing paint or a disposal center. They’ll take care of preparing the paint for you.

Start and Finish Your Next Project with Ace Paints

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