Paint Disposal, the dreaded messy task, tips for easy disposal

Latex paint disposal by drying


Paint Disposal
Paint can be beautiful looking but toxic to the environment and unsafe on the roads.

Paint disposal can be tedious especially if you have more than you can transport in your vehicle at a time.   Current California law prohibits motorists from transporting more than 10 gallons of liquid paint without a hazardous waste license.

Luckily, it is perfectly fine to dry out the latex paint and dispose of it as you would your trash.  There are a few ways to do this:


Paint is always messy.  Yes we said it.  Spills happen, especially when you are multi tasking and happen to be wearing those brand new shoes you just purchased.  For this reason, we suggest you always wear old clothing, old shoes or work boots,a tarp, latex gloves and eye protection.

The first method

Simply leave the can open until the remaining latex paint dries.  This method works but takes the longest due to the limited surface area exposed to air.  The length of time it will take for the paint to dry depends on many factors including amount of left and environmental factors such as humidity and temperature.


The second method

The easiest way is to pour into a shallow aluminum pan.  This will allow the latex paint to dry up and you can easily dispose of.  This doesn’t take nearly as long as the first method.


The third disposal method


  1. Mix equal parts kitty litter and unwanted paint
  2. Allow mixture to dry for approximately 10 minutes
  3. Finalize disposal by throwing it in the trash


This method combines the affordability and is as accessible as a trip to the corner store.


There are a few commercial products on the market specifically for latex paint disposal. The commercial products we encountered are Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Potassium Alumina Silicate based and claim to solidify paint in 3 minutes.  In our opinion, standard absorbent (kitty litter) does a great job at a great price.


Recycling Latex Paint

If you feel you would rather have your paint recycled there are a lot of drop off sites where you can drop off your latex and non latex paints.  Latex paint is remixed and recycled.

Check for your closest drop off locations

Disposal of paint has been made a lot easier in California thanks to the aforementioned website.

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