Posted on July 31, 2018


Whether you accumulated it yourself over time, or inherited it when you moved to a new home – you are stuck with a bunch of leftover paint and need to get rid of it. Let these handy tips help:

Dispose of Paint Properly

Where it should go depends on what kind of paint you have. There are two basic types of paint: latex (most common) and oil-based. They have different ingredients and leftovers must be handled accordingly.

  1. Latex Paint: Latex paints are those that clean up with soap and water. They're very common for both interior and exterior painting. Latex or water-based paint is not hazardous, so you can throw it in the trash AFTER you solidify it. If you have a small amount of paint (an inch or two) in the can, let it air dry by pouring it on several layers of newspaper. Once solidified, wrap it up and throw it in your garbage, along with the can – lid off (leaving the lid off prevents the buildup of pressure in the can). If you have a larger volume of paint, stir in an equal amount of kitty litter, let it sit for an hour or two, and then throw it in the trash – with the lid off. 

    If you have usable Latex paint, it can be recycled for $1 per gallon at the Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-Off in Bondurant or at the Metro Northwest Drop-Off in Grimes.
  2. Oil-Based Paint: Oil-based paint will say "oil-based" or “alkyd” on the label and requires turpentine or other paint thinner for cleaning. These paints are flammable, toxic and contain harmful solvents, resins and pigments; very old oil-based paints (1978 and before) may also contain lead. Since oil-based paint is hazardous, it should NOT be disposed of in the trash. This type of paint is accepted free of charge (up to 75 lbs.) year-round at the Metro Hazardous Waste Drop-Off in Bondurant, or at the Metro Northwest Drop-Off in Grimes.

If you don't want to leave the house to get rid of your paint, try disposing of it through our houseside collection program. Here's more information