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How to Dispose of Old Paint

I recently read an article in a trade magazine that talked about ways of getting rid of old paint and it reminded me that this is a question we get a lot from our customers. How you get rid of it depends on the kind of paint, so I wanted to share some guidelines on how to dispose of leftover paint once you’ve finished your painting project.

Latex Paint

Believe it or not, but dry latex paint can be thrown away in your weekly trash or a dumpster because it is isn’t considered hazardous waste in Massachusetts. You can’t just toss wet paint in the trash or pour the paint down the drain, but fully dried paint is okay to put in with trash.

It isn’t safe to remove the lid to let the paint air dry – especially if you have children and pets, but you can buy paint hardeners to dry out the paint. A quick search also pulls up some DIY tips on how to dry latex paint if you don’t want to buy a hardener.

Oil-based Paint

Oil based paint is another story. Even if you only have a small amount of paint left, it’s considered a hazardous material and can’t be thrown away or put in a waste recycling bin. You’ll want to check with your town to learn how to dispose of your paint.

Where to Throw Out Old Paint

If you have oil-based paint left , chances are that your town has regular household hazardous waste recycling programs. Click on your town’s name below to find out when yours is.

Need it gone sooner? NEDT’s collection centers in Sutton and Westfield accept hazardous goods drop off. Or, you can contact your local Lowes or Home Depot to see if they have paint disposal programs.

If you are thinking about disposing of old paint, then chances are you are planning an entire garage, basement or home clean out. So you may want to rent a dumpster. That is by far the easiest way to purge all your old junk at once. Before setting up your dumpster rental, you want to give yourself enough time to dry out that old paint because you can’t put wet paint into your trash or dumpster. If you only have a little in the bottom of a can, you can just leave the lid off and throw some kitty litter in it. If you have more that 1/4 of a can you can lay out a thin plastic sheet with a drop cloth on top. Slowly spread the paint in a thin layer onto your drop cloth and let sit until dry. The plastic will ensure that the paint doesn’t leak through and damage your driveway or garage floor. It is best to do this outside on a dry, breezy, sunny day. It will dry much quicker in those weather conditions.

We hope you found this blog informative and insightful. We have many eco-friendly ideas for your family, and we offer excellent customer service for recycling and dumpster rentals at competitive prices. We are a small family owned business based in Shrewsbury, MA. We hope to help you with your next home improvement or clean out project!