As a hobby painter I seem to collect new paint for every diy project and have accumulated a lot of leftover and unusable paint. We never get just the right amount of paint. There is always extra and it’s not something you can throw away. Even if you use a rubber mallet to seal the paint can after use and store it in a dry place, it just doesn’t seem to last very long.
I recently came across a video about how to dry up leftover latex paint (water-based paint). The good news is there are lots of ways to harden a water-based type of paint so that you can throw it in your regular trash safely. I’ve listed those methods below if you prefer putting paint into your household trash.
My problem being a landlord is that I have SOOO much unused paint that I don’t want to take the time to treat all of it so that I can throw it away. I’m too lazy for that. In addition, drying methods don’t work for aerosol cans of spray paint. I want to take my remaining paint somewhere rather than taking extra steps for the drying process.
Instead, I like to take my excess paint somewhere for paint disposal. In most cases this will be a site that accepts hazardous materials and household chemicals. There are several options for this. The best way to deal with cans of paint is to take them to a local paint store. Most of them, including Sherwin Williams (and other paint manufacturers), accept cans of paint. They must not be leaking, be in the original container and have the original label. They accept all types of paint, including oil-based paint.
If your paint is rusted or it’s missing a label you still have options.
In Dallas there’s a governmental place where I can dispose of paint, both oil-based paint and leftover latex paint. There are hazardous waste collection programs like this in most major metro areas. Locations for the top 25 metro areas in the United States are listed below. It’s a good idea to check the links in the table below to determine the local regulations in your area. At my location, you weren’t even allowed to get out of your car and a driver’s license was required to prove you have a dallas zip code.
|City||Facility Name||What they accept||Physical Address|
|New York City, NY||NYC Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) Special Waste Drop-off Sites||latex paint, tires, motor oil, electronics||South Side White Containers, 30th Ave Between 120th &, 122nd St, Queens, NY 11354|
|Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program||paint, electronics, batteries, motor oil, pharmaceuticals||there are 7 locations in the LA area|
|Chicago, IL||Chicago Department of Public Health’s Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility||cleaners, oil-based paints, solvents, cell phones, fluorescent bulbs, computers||1150 N North Branch St, Chicago, IL 60642|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||City of Dallas’s Home Chemical Collection Center||paint, pool chemicals, batteries, fluorescent bulbs||11234 Plano Road, Dallas, TX 75243|
|Houston, TX||City of Houston’s Environmental Service Centers||paint, electronics, pool chemicals, household chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, cooking oil, motor oil, batteries, transmission fluid, tires||ESC South |
11500 S. Post Oak Rd., Houston, TX 77035
5614 Neches St Houston, TX 77026
|Washington, D.C.-Northern VA||Fairfax County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program or the District’s Department of Public Works||paint, automotive fluids, batteries, pesticides, poisons, pool chemicals||I-66 Transfer Station|
4618 West Ox Road
|Miami, FL||Miami-Dade County’s Home Chemical Collection Centers||oil based paint and latex paint in liquid form, computers, cell phones, printers, unbroken fluorescent bulbs, propane tanks, oxygen tanks||West Dade|
8801 NW 58 Street, Doral, FL. 33178
23707 SW 97th Ave, Homestead, FL. 33032
|Philadelphia, PA||City of Philadelphia’s Streets Department’s Hazardous Waste Events||latex and water based paint, spray paint, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, herbicides, insecticides, pool chemicals||drop off events at varied locations|
|Atlanta, GA||Keep Atlanta Beautiful Commission’s recycling centers||paint, cell phones, pool chemicals, household cleaners||1110 Hill St SE|
Atlanta, GA 30315
|Phoenix, AZ||Maricopa County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program||paint, flammable liquids, automotive waste, household cleaning products, computer scraps, batteries||2844 W Broadway Rd, Phoenix AZ 85041|
|Boston, MA||Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Hazardous Waste Collection Events||paints, stains, varnishes, and thinners that are in original containers||Events on Saturdays|
|San Francisco, CA||San Francisco’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility||batteries, cooking oil, medication, paint||501 Tunnel Avenue|
San Francisco, CA 94134
|Riverside-San Bernardino, CA||Riverside County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection |
San Bernardino Household Hazardous Waste
|paint, electronic waste, pool chlorine, fluorescent bulbs, pesticides||County Road Yard|
25315 Jefferson Avenue
Murrieta, CA 92562
Lamb Canyon Landfill
16411 Lamb Canyon Road
Beaumont, CA 92223
31125 Ironwood Avenue
Moreno Valley, CA 92555
Apple Valley HHW Facility
13450 Nomwaket Road
Apple Valley, CA, 92307
City Of Barstow Corporation Yard
900 South Avenue ‘H’
Barstow, CA 92311
Public Service Yard
42040 Garstin Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
|Detroit, MI||Detroit Department of Public Works’ Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Locations||paint, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, computer monitors, cell phones, gasoline, microwave, laptop, printer||2000 E. Ferry Street (near I-75 and I-94)|
|Seattle, WA||King County’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites||oil based paint, fire extinguishers, fertilizer, swimming pool chemicals, weed killer, automotive fluids and oils, fluorescent bulbs||North Seattle|
12550 Stone Ave N Seattle, WA 98133
8100 2nd Ave S Seattle, WA 98108
|Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||Hennepin County’s Hazardous Waste Collection Sites|
Ramsey County Household Hazardous Waste
|paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, cleaning products, drain cleaner||Bloomington|
1400 West 96th Street, Bloomington, MN 55431
8100 Jefferson Highway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
5 Empire Drive St. Paul, MN
|San Diego, CA||City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department’s Household Hazardous Waste Program||paint, motor oil and oil filters, propane gas cylinders||Miramar Landfill entrance (5161 Convoy Street, 92111, north of State Route 52).|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL||Pinellas County’s Household Electronics & Chemical Collection Center |
Hillsborough County’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program
|automotive products, paint, household chemicals, batteries, pool and spa products, lawn and garden chemicals|
2877 109th Avenue N. St. Petersburg, FL
9805 Sheldon Road
Tampa, FL 33635
13000 U.S. Highway 41
Gibsonton, FL 33534
6209 County Road 579
Seffner, FL 33584
|Denver, CO||City and County of Denver’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program||oil based paint, latex paint, spray paint, automotive fluids, fluorescent bulbs, auto batteries||call 1-800-449-7587 for pickup|
|Baltimore, MD||Baltimore City Department of Public Works’ Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program||oil based paint, automotive fluids, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, household cleaning products||Northwest Convenience Center|
2840 Sisson St.
Baltimore, MD 21211
|St. Louis, MO||City of St. Louis’s Household Hazardous Waste Program||oil based paint, craft and hobby paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, batteries||South HHW Facility|
291 E. Hoffmeister
St Louis MO 63125
North HHW Facility
4100 Seven Hills Dr.
Florissant, MO 63033
|Orlando, FL||Orange County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program |
Seminole County’s Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Program
|televisions, tablets, cell phones, paint, oil, batteries, pesticides, pool chemicals||5901 Young Pine Road Orlando, FL 32829|
1326 Good Homes Road
Orlando, FL 32818
1950 State Road 419
Longwood, FL 32750
|Charlotte, NC||Mecklenburg County’s Full Service Recycling Centers||batteries, computer equipment, automotive fluids, paint, lawn mowers, appliances, mattresses, household hazardous waste||140 Valleydale Road Charlotte, NC 28214|
17131 Lancaster Hwy, Charlotte, NC 28277
8007 Pence Rd., Charlotte NC 28215
12300 Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
|Portland, OR||Metro’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events||paint, batteries, electronics, motor oil||2001 Washington St, Oregon City, OR 97045 |
6161 NW 61st Ave, Portland, OR 97210
|San Antonio, TX||City of San Antonio’s Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites||paint, pool chemicals, batteries, fluorescent bulbs||7030 Culebra Road|
San Antonio, TX 78238
If you prefer the option of hardening your paint at home try one of these with your old paint cans. In most cases, these work best with small amounts of paint (I have too much paint for this).
- Add kitty litter to the paint and stir until it is solid. This is the most effective method and kitty litter is a very absorbent material.
- Add plaster of Paris into your paint and mix
- Add sawdust to the can of paint and stir
- Pour paint onto shredded newspaper
- If you have small amount of paint, less than an inch, let the can sit open. This works best in extreme heat.
The video I watched (linked here) tested all of these methods and the cat litter was the most effective.