• Buy only what you need! An average of two gallons of household paint is sold for each person in the United States each year. Thousands of tax dollars are spent each year disposing of latex paint as hazardous waste when, in fact, it is not hazardous. Latex paint can be safely home managed. Home management is easy and saves you time and money.
• Store paint so it lasts for years. You don’t throw away a loaf of bread because you used a few slices. It’s the same with paint. Did you know that when properly stored, paint will last for years? Just cover the opening with plastic wrap and replace the lid, make sure the lid fits securely so the paint doesn’t leak. Then, and here’s the key: Store the paint can upside down. The paint will create a tight seal around the lid, keeping the paint fresh until you need it again.
• Use up all of your paint. Now that you know how to keep your leftover paint fresh for years, don’t forget about it. Leftover paint can be used on touch-up jobs and smaller projects. You can also mix smaller quantities of similar colors of latex paint to use on larger jobs, or as a primer on jobs where the final finish is not critical. (Always make sure you read and follow all label instructions when applying paint.)
• Donate or exchange your leftover paint. If you just can’t use your leftover paint, donate it to community groups, theatre groups, schools, churches and others who need or want it. Another good way to get rid of your unwanted leftover paint is to participate in, or organize, a neighbor-to-neighbor or community paint exchange/paint swap.
• Oil-based paints are toxic. They should be taken to the Jefferson County Moderate Risk Waste Facility, located in the Port of Port Townsend, right across from McDonald’s. Please donate it only during business hours, currently Fridays only, 10 am to 4:30 pm. The facility is closed for lunch from noon to 12:30 pm. NEVER leave materials if the facility isn’t open. Leaving materials outside the gate while the facility is closed is a violation of Jefferson County Ordinance #585, with a potential fine of $250.
As a Last Resort, Dispose Of Your Latex Paint Properly!
Everyone should be able to save, use up, donate or exchange leftover paint. If, as a last resort, you need to dispose of paint, please make sure you do it properly. Here’s how:
1. Leave your latex-based paints to air dry, away from children and pets.
2. Add absorbent; shredded newspapers, kitty litter, or a commercial quick-drying cement base product like Quikcrete©.
3. When the paint is completely dry, dispose of in your regular garbage can.