Monday, June 01, 2009

What Do I Do With Left Over Paint?

No matter how close you are in estimating your paint needs, it seems there is always some left over once the job is complete. But what do you do with it?

Pass it on:
You might find you can 'paint it forward' by finding a new home for your unneeded product. FREE is a word that is very effective when you are going the Craig's List route and need to get rid of something. Or maybe there is a small household project that needs spiffing up and your paint can be creatively used in a new way.

If you'd like to keep it for touch-up and future needs, here are a couple tricks:
1. Float a layer of plastic wrap (or even sturdy card stock) on top of the paint inside the bucket before resealing the lid. This keeps a skin from forming on top of the paint.

2. Take it one step further buy cleaning the inner rim of the bucket of any messy paint drips, then stretch plastic wrap across the opening and seal the lid well (pound it down, baby!). Then flip the can over so the top of the lid is now resting on the shelf. This creates a tight seal. Just make sure you have secured the lid firmly... or look out!

When you are ready to repaint again, make sure you remove the plastic. Paint stores usually happy to put your old can of paint on the shaker and remix it for you, by the way.

What if it's time to get rid of some paint?
We like this great product called Paint Hardener. This is amazing stuff. You take your bucket of LATEX paint, sprinkle in the packet of paint hardener, stir it in - and voila - it begins hardening before your eyes.

Once your latex paint is hardened, it is considered inert and you can throw it away in your regular garbage. Remember, it must be dry to toss it out. Leave the lid OFF so the truck drivers can see its dried paint.

If you have the space and patience, you may also leave the lid off your paint bucket and let it air dry. You can also mix in kitty litter to absorb the paint and help speed up the dry time, but paint hardener is especially beneficial when you'd like to be quick and get it GONE. I think of it as one of those miracle products.

You may dispose of OIL paint (also known as ALKYD) by bringing the remains to a hazardous waste collection facility. Again, if you have dried paint, you can throw it in your normal garbage.

Here are a few resources:
In King County, call King County Solid Waste
206-296-4466 or 1-800-325-6265, ext. 6-4466

Seattlites can call:


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