What to Do With Leftover Paint from Prior Years

What to Do With Leftover Paint from Prior Years

Often times when you complete a painting project, you will find that there is extra paint. You may decide to keep this in case there is a need for touch ups along the way which means you need to know how to properly store it. If you do have extra paint leftover from prior years, understanding how long you can keep it and what you need to do in order to dispose of it can be essential. This will let you know everything about storing and disposing of your old paint.

After you have painted and you realize that you have extra paint, you can store it in case you need to patch up a spot or two. Be sure that you seal up the can properly, cleaning up any paint in the grooves of the cover so that you can get a better seal on it. Using a rubber mallet, tap the edges of the top of the paint can around the entire lid. If you use a hammer, you run the risk of distorting the lid, which can prevent you from getting a good seal. Ideally, you will want to store the paint in a dark and cool area of the home like a basement. Different types of paint have a different shelf life to it. If you are storing a latex or water-based paint, you can expect a shelf-life of around 10 years. However, if you open it and it smells funky, it is best to dispose of it. Oil-based paints can last up to around 15 years. This generally will be fine as long as you get rid of the layer of film on the top.

As far as disposing of the paint, you do need to be very careful with how you dispose of it. It can be both dangerous to the environment and toxic for people when it is disposed of improperly. You can wait for hazardous waste pick up in the area but you could also put equal parts cat litter to paint in the paint can to absorb the latex paint. Stir it up and wait an hour. After this, the paint should be dry enough to just throw out. If you do not have that much paint in can, you can leave it in a safe location to dry out and then dump out the can. You do need to get rid of any oil-based paints at a recycling center or by hazardous waste pick up. You could also donate your oil paint to an organization that may need it.

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