What to do with left over paint after you have finished!

What to do with left over paint after you have finished!

As paint users we should properly manage and if necessary dispose of any leftover paint properly (if you are not planning to use it any more). To minimise clutter, avoid spills or unsafe disposal practices, it is important to consider ways to limit your paint waste.

It is important to contact your local council or paint disposal and recycling authority/centre for guidance on disposal options if you are not currently clear on the procedures. Do not pour any paint down the drain or storm water/ sewer systems. Disposing of paint products in this manner may not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal methods of paint can pollute the environment potentially causing threats to natural resources, marine and wildlife and even human health.

In order to properly manage clean up and left over paint see the suggestions below.

  1. Buy the right amount of paint: Sounds logical right? Estimate the amount of paint required by measuring the area to be painted and calculate the litres required to be used for the job. Review the coverage area of the surface you require to be coated against the coverage section of the product datasheet. If in doubt you can try an online calculator or your friendly distributor/retailer can help you.
  2. Store the product properly once you have completed the job: Always read the labels and safety instructions. After you have finished your project, any leftover paint should be sealed and stored in an area that will protect it from damage, and extreme weather changes. Refer to the relevant product datasheet for correct temperature storage criteria. Make sure any leftover paint is also stored out of reach from children and pets. Never mix paint with any other liquid or solid substance, other than as directed on the label. Store leftover paint in the original container with the label intact, making sure you secure the lid of the paint container.
  3. Saving any leftover product for future use: Any left over paint can be used for touch ups or other projects. Confirm the shelf life of a product by checking the use by date on the can or product datasheet.
  4. Donate: If you do not require the paint anymore, pass it on! Donate the extra paint to family, friends, neighbours, schools or even charities that may be in need of any paint.
  5. Recycle: Contact your local paint recycling authority within your state. If you do not have recycling facilities within your area, contact your local council, The office of Environment & Heritage or Department of the Environment for further guidance. All will be able to correctly advise you on how to correctly recycle any leftover paint.
  6. Disposal: Never pour any leftover paint down the drain. Solvent based paints are especially ignitable and can contaminate groundwater endangering humans and potentially causing serious hazards for the environment and wildlife.

If you have accidentally spilled any paint on the floor – soak up with absorbent materials such as sand, kitty litter, newspaper or sawdust. Once absorbed, sweep up and dispose of correctly. Do not dispose absorbent items in the bin as they may be ignitable. Contact your local council, The Office of Environment & Heritage or Department of the Environment for further guidance.

This article is for informational purposes and should not be relied on as legal advice or guidance by anyone. For further information, contact your local council, The Office of Environment & Heritage or Department of the Environment for further guidance and for proper methods of disposal of paint and paint related material.

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