When you’re finished with an interior or exterior paint project, you might be left with several half-used cans of paint to get rid of. Painting is always an easy way to update an old room, but what do you do with a lot left overs?
Clients often ask…how long should I keep old paint? Good quality paints will last a very long time…I have seen properly sealed paint stay good for over 20 years. Cheaper paint goes bad quiclky though …I have opened cans reminiscent of the Tombs of Egypt! But I still recommend keeping old cans with notes as to where they were used, so a match can be purchased in case of touch ups being necessary.
If you are storing old paint, keep it is a tightly sealed container up off the floor so that the can will not rust.
You can store mix, and reuse latex based paints for a later project. It may not be the exact color you need, but it’s useful to use as a base coat or you can use it to paint interior surfaces that won’t be visible to people.
Most paint stores in California will accept old paints if they are in their original containers with original label. Giving paint away is also also possible with Habitat for Humanity …if it is in its unopened used condition.
If you don’t have any future projects to reuse the leftover paint and can’t find a suitable paint recycle program, you can dispose of water based paint waste by rendering dry. You do this by adding a desiccator available at the paint store…we often use one made by KrudKutter. Oil based paints must be dropped at the paint store recycle center and desiccators do not work with oils