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.)
- Mix unwanted latex paints with equal parts absorbent such as kitty litter, mechanics floor sweep, woodstove fuel pellets, or dry sawdust.
- Add enough absorbent to reach an oatmeal-like consistency, then let sit for one hour.
- 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.