A Walk on the Dried Side
When we moved into our new house, we were left a gift by the previous owners; years-old, separated, rancid paints.
Now, I go through a lot of paint, myself, so I understand the drudgery of discarding the old stuff. I’m sure you all have leftover cans stacked somewhere, like me, because you know you’re not supposed to put uncured paint into the bin for the landfill–it’s not safe for the environment.
Dried paint, though, specifically latex (water-based) paint, is perfectly safe to discard in the trash bin! Here’s my tip for getting your old paints dry and safe, as quickly and easily as possible.
REMEMBER – this applies to latex paints ONLY. Do NOT discard oil-based paints into landfill garbage.
Kitty litter is your friend! Get the cheap stuff, it actually works better. Plain clay, non-clumping, store-brand cheap. This ginormous bag was about 4 bucks.
You’ll use the same amount of kitty litter as you do paint. Is that a 50/50 ratio? Hey, I’m an artist (kinda), not a math whiz.
I used a bucket larger than a gallon, because I needed the room to mix properly.
Pour the litter in, give it some serious stirring and mixing, and then set it aside for about an hour.
I dumped mine over into a box lined with a garbage bag, because I didn’t want to leave the dried paint glob in my multi-function bucket.
You may choose to do the same, or just leave the whole shebang right in the old can. When set, dump it right into the trash!
If you have a hugely large amount of old paint, or oil-based stuff, you can contact a local recycling location to deal with it. Here’s one for Atlanta-based folks like me:
For those of you elsewhere, a little Googling will help you find a place.
Now there’s no reason not to paint the town! When you’re done, you can safely dispose of the leftovers.