Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2001

Disposal of House Paint

Q. I'm having difficulty finding the correct site to ask this question and hope you can help me. I need to dispose of several cans of laytex house paint and several cans of paint stain. I live in Beavercreek, Ohio. How can I safely dispose of these cans of paint? Thanks for any help you can provide.

A. Most cities have programs by which home owners can dispose of "hazardous waste" such as the paints and stains you described. Generally, house paints are not hazardous, but you would need to call the paint vendor, such as Sherwin Williams, Kelly Moore, etc., to make that determination. If they confirm to you in writing that the specific paint or stain you purchased is not hazardous, then you can leave the lid off the can and allow the paint to dry into a solid. Thereafter, you can dispose of the paint can as trash.

Do NOT pour the wet paint onto the soil around your house, because you do not want to contaminate the ground water.

If you want to play it safe, call your local municipality and ask them if they have a disposal site where you can take your paints and other waste chemicals. That is exactly what I do. I never dispose of the paints and related products into the trash can regardless of whether I think they might be hazardous or not.

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