How to Dispose of Paint

Home Improvement By Dominique Molter |

Painting is an easy way to update a room, but more often then not, afterward you end up with half of an unused can. Since leftover paint can be hazardous, as it contains materials that can leak into the ground, cause physical injury to sanitation workers, or contaminate septic tanks, you have to be careful when throwing it away. Here’s what you need to know, and to think about, before disposing of paint.

If you want to throw it out, you’ll want to dry it out first.

Wet latex paint can be hazardous, so dry it up. If there’s only a small amount of paint in the bottom of your can, leaving it out in the sun should do the trick. If there’s a bit more than the sun can handle, try adding kitty litter or newspaper to help soak up the paint and speed the drying process. For larger amounts of paint, purchase a paint hardener, like Homax 3535 3 Pack Waste-Away Paint Hardener ($5, amazon.com) at a home improvement store for just a few dollars. Check your local laws, but in many locations, you can throw away dried-out paint with the rest of your household trash.

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