How to Store Leftover Paint

What’s the best way to store leftover paint?

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Three words we all heard growing up and three words we always see on plastic bottles. Luckily, now is your chance to do your part for the planet, and creatively at that! Whether you were painting your home, refinishing your cabinets or working on your next Van Gogh, we have the perfect ways for you to store your leftover paint so you can reduce your waste, reuse your talents and recycle as needed.

Reduce Waste: How to Store Paint

Leftover paint is like an avocado. As soon as you open it up and use what you need, the leftovers seem to go bad in seconds. Instead of simply putting the lid on your paint can, walking away, and returning to a dried up can of glop, use these techniques to store paint:

From Goodbye House, Hello Home: Buy mason jars or canning jars for cheap at your local store and attach these printouts from Just Something I Made to your jar lids. Not only will this protect your paint from drying up, they’ll look super cute and put together as well, I mean, if that sort of thing matters to you.

If removing paint and pouring into something else sounds like a hassle to you, we have a solution for you as well. Household-tips offers a way to store paint with the least amount of air as possible:

  1. Clean the paint out of the sealing rim of the can for a tight fit
  2. Ensure a tighter fit by using a layer of plastic wrap between the can and lid
  3. Store paint cans upside down (paint creates an airtight seal against the lid)
  4. Use a rubber mallet (not a hammer!) to seal the rim and keep air out.

We have one more clever way for you to store paint, brought to you by lifehacker. All you need is a plastic water bottle and some marbles. “Simply match the size of the bottle with the amount of leftover paint that you have. A roll of masking tape keeps the bottle from tipping and a paper towel will catch any drips. If the paint has a lot of loose debris, you may want to put a paint filter inside the funnel. Once the paint is in the bottle, remove the funnel and drop about six marbles into the paint.” When you’re ready to use it again, shake it up and the marbles will mix it up for you. Voila!

Recycle (or Dispose) Paint

Sometimes, paint is straight up unusable, and that’s ok. Here is the proper way to recycle or dispose of your paint. Howstuffworks suggests first determining the type of paint you have:

  • Oil-based paints must be taken to disposal facilitiesthat accept Hazardous Household Waste.
  • Latex and water-based paint: Dry it out first and place it out on trash day (you may need to leave the lid off to let your garbage man know that it’s ready for disposal)

Creatively Reuse Paint

Paint can be reused SO many ways! Too many to name here but we’ll name a few anyways:

  • Add contrast to an old piece of furniture
  • Spruce up a vintage piece with some color to match your décor
  • Add personality to something normal around the house like a toaster or a fan

How do you use your leftover paint? Do you have any tips to recycle it? We would love to know! Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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