How to Dispose of Paint [3 Best Ways]

Wondering how to dispose of paint? Paint is a low-cost, simple solution to freshen up and add color to your house. Paint is such a versatile tool that it’s too easy to accumulate piles of it over time unintentionally.

Unfortunately, paint isn’t readily recyclable, so don’t just toss it in the trash for environmental reasons.

The good news is that you may safely and responsibly get rid of your developing collection of partially used paint cans and old paint in only a few simple steps.

If you don’t, you could end up harming the environment and yourself. This blog post will discuss how to dispose of paint safely and responsibly.

Can You Throw Away Paint?

Image Credit:

No—improperly disposing of paint can be inconvenient and unlawful in many circumstances. Paint is considered a home hazardous waste in some countries, such as the United States.

Paint thrown down the drain creates groundwater pollution, lake contamination, and river pollution, as well as affects your plumbing system and septic tank if you have one.

Furthermore, many garbage collection companies prohibit wet paint from entering trash cans.

How to Dispose of Paint?

The best approach to get rid of old paint depends on the type of paint. Oil, latex, and spray painting are three types of household DIY projects. It’s critical to determine the kind of paint before you trash it.

Determine Paint Type

The paint label is usually a reliable indicator of the type. However, if the label on the can isn’t clear enough to identify the paint type, there’s an easy test you may do.

Try rinsing a paintbrush in a cup of water after dipping it into latex paint. If the paintbrush comes clean, it’s latex. It’s oil-based if it doesn’t come off. An aerosol spray will contain spray paint.

How to Dispose of Latex Paint

Latex paints are not considered hazardous and can be thrown away in the trash if you follow a few guidelines.

  1. Remove the lid and allow the paint to dry before discarding it in separate trash. Rinse the paint off the top and allow it to dry before putting it in your recycle bin.
  2. Allow the rest of the paint to dry out in the can, then throw it away. Paint cans that are less than third full take days to cure. If the paint container is more than a third full, try pouring some of the paint into a cardboard box or another tiny container like a coffee can or ice cream bucket and allowing it to dry. Consider donating an almost-full paint container if you have one.

How to Dispose of Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints and stains are considered harmful since they include chemicals that may pollute soil and water. It is never acceptable to throw them in the garbage. It is prohibited in several states to do so.

These paints must be disposed of at a local household hazardous waste collection facility or hazardous waste collection events, wherever applicable. They can seep into the ground or contaminate septic systems if these paints are not properly disposed of.

How to Dispose of Spray Paint

Spray paint cans should not be thrown away with the regular trash. The laws for spray paint disposal vary from state to state, so it’s best to check with your local waste management authority for specific instructions.

Most often, you will need to take them to a household hazardous waste collection facility.

Dry out the can by spraying it until nothing comes out, then puncture the bottom of the can with a screwdriver or similar object and place it in your metal recycling bin. Be sure to put the lid on tight so that it doesn’t come off and cause injury.


Now that you know how to dispose of paint, there’s no excuse for not doing it properly! Improperly disposing of paint can be costly, harmful to the environment, and dangerous to your health.

So, follow the steps outlined in this blog post to ensure that you dispose of paint safely and responsibly.


Can I pour paint down the drain?

No, you should not pour paint down the drain. Paint creates groundwater pollution, lake contamination, and river pollution.

How do I know if my paint is oil-based or latex?

The easiest way to tell is by reading the label on the paint can.

Can I throw away spray paint cans?

No, you should not throw away spray paint cans with the regular trash.

What do I do with leftover paint?

You can allow the rest of the paint to dry out in the can and then throw it away.

Additional Contents

  1. How to Dispose of Cooking Oil [6 Best Ways]
  2. Free Hot Tub Removal Methods
  3. Free Exercise Equipment Removal: The Ultimate Guide
  4. Free Piano Removal: The Ultimate Guide
  5. 6 Places That Offer Free Appliance Removal