Nobody wants to waste house paint, it would be like throwing money in the garbage. Yet surprisingly many people are unaware of some simple steps to insure your paint is stored properly.
Even more surprising are the amount of people who don’t know how to properly dispose of paint after it’s no longer usable. In this article we take a look at some ways to store house paint and to get rid of it when it’s no longer of use.
How to Store Paint
Making Sure Paint is Sealed Properly
Paint that isn’t sealed properly can dry up quickly. Before you put the lid on, make sure the grooves of the paint can have been wiped clean. This will insure that you get a tight seal on the paint can.
When putting the lid on, try to use a rubber mallet and not a regular hammer. If you use a regular hammer you can dent and wrap the lid which can cause the seal to be compromised.
When you’re ready to remove the lid, especially if it’s been sealed for a long time, don’t use a screwdriver. You should use a paint key, which can be purchased at any home improvement store.
Where to Store House Paint
When you are choosing a place to store your house paint, there are a few things to keep in mind. Properly storing your paint can save you a ton of money on touch ups.
You’ll want to store your paint in a cool, dark and dry location. If the paint gets too cold, it can cause separation and make the paint unusable. You never want your paint to freeze. Should the paint get too warm, it can dry out. When it gets too hot it can even become flammable, especially with oil based paints.
If you have several cans of paint of the same color, you should transfer one can into the other to save space. This can potentially save you a ton of shelf storage space. You should also remember to put a dot of paint on the top of the lid so you can remember what color is inside the can.
How to Dispose of Paint
There are a couple of totally safe ways to get rid of unwanted paint. There may also be an alternative to throwing it out. We’ll take a look at both.
Throwing Out House Paint
If you don’t have a lot of paint left you can simply let it dry out. Simply leave the lid off and let nature runs its course. Leaving it in the hot sun it will dry the paint out quicker.
You may have quite a bit of paint left in your cans and if you don’t plan on storing it there is a solution. You can use cat litter to absorb and dry out the paint. The general rule is a 1:1 ratio of cat litter to paint. Just add the cat litter and wait until it is all absorbed and dry.
There is also a product you can buy at most hardware stores called a paint hardener, like Homax 3535 3 Pack Waste-Away Paint Hardener that can quicken the drying process if you’re in a hurry.
If you don’t want the hassle you can always take your paint to companies like Habitat for Humanity and PaintCare . These companies will take your leftover paint and recycle it for you. You can also contact Earth911.com and search for a hazardous waste drop off near you.
Paint Disposal Alternatives
There are a few places you can take your paint if you feel bad just throwing it out. You can call a friend to see if they could use it, or your local school or church to see if they want it.
There are also plenty of non-profit organizations that may want your unused paint. Habitat for Humanity was mentioned earlier, or any number of green building companies might accept your extra paint. You could also list it for sale on FreeCycle.org and see if you have any takers.
There’s always the option to save it for later, and we covered proper storage earlier, if you have the room. Properly stored paint can be kept for quite awhile so don’t hesitate to keep it on hand.
Before reusing stored paint make sure to mix it up well with a stir stick as well as strain the paint. This will ensure the paint is clean and ready for use.
If you have any questions, please call us at 541-699-2940 and we’ll answer any questions you might have about paint disposal and storage.