Latex Paint Disposal

Water-based paints/stains, “latex paints,” are not hazardous to humans but should not be poured down any drain.

How to dispose of Latex Paint

  • Full cans of useable paint may be accepted at used building material stores or donated to theater, churches or other groups.
  • Otherwise, unwanted latex can be thickened with absorbent to a non-running consistency and placed with the paint can lid removed in the regular trash. (Curbside trash service customers are asked not to exceed 45 pounds per 32-gallon can.)
  1. Mix unwanted latex paints with equal parts absorbent such as kitty litter, mechanics floor sweep, woodstove fuel pellets, or dry sawdust.
  2. Add enough absorbent to reach an oatmeal-like consistency, then let sit for one hour.
  3. After one hour, check consistency to ensure it is no longer a running liquid, leave any lids off the latex paint cans, and dispose of as regular household trash.

King County’s ‘How To’ video

Is your paint water-based or oil-based?  A “Flammable” or “Combustible” label warning indicates oil-based.  ‘Clean up with soap and water’ indicates water-based paints.

Oil-based paints are combustible and should be taken to the Jefferson County HHW Facility.