Springtime means home improvement projects – and often includes painting. But what should be done with unwanted leftover paint? Just in time for Earth Month, Dunn-Edwards Paints has a short video, How to Properly Dispose of Paint , that every do-it-yourselfer should view.
Host of the video, professional painter Cole Schaefer, points out that “you cannot dump it” and it is illegal to do so. You can’t put it on or into the ground, or in any body of water or storm drain. There are even regulations about how and where to rinse off brushes and rollers coated with paint. For example, it’s okay to rinse brushes in the sink, since that water ends up in a municipal water treatment plant. But you can’t hose them off in the gutter, where the paint would run into a storm drain, which leads straight into rivers, streams and oceans.
Empty or nearly empty cans of water-based paint, if you let them dry out completely, can be put into your household trash — but don’t do this with cans that contain oil-based paint or any combustible or flammable liquid. Those need to be taken to a household waste recycling event or facility. Search online to find one in your neighborhood.
Want to make sure you’re buying the right amount of paint for your needs and reduce the leftover? Another new video, How Much Paint to Buy , is helpful in determining the quantity of paint required for any project. If you do buy too much, consider donating it to a non-profit organization.
“We get a lot of questions at the stores and on our Facebook page about what to do with leftover paint,” said Robert Wendoll, director of environmental affairs. “This video is a quick reminder about how to deal responsibly with disposal of paint and wash water from cleaning brushes.