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How to dispose of paint?

With the extensive range of paints and finishes on the market, it's common for households to have an assortment of paint cans tucked away from past projects. If you've refreshed even just one room in your home, you probably have at least one or two leftover cans. Keeping this extra paint is beneficial, as it can be useful for touch-ups to cover scuffs or marks on walls, skirting boards, and more down the line. However if you're looking to responsibly dispose of old paint then read our advice below. 

Best ways to correctly get rid of unwanted paint?

So if you’re moving house, doing a clear out or simply need to make more space and you’re looking to dispose of paint we’re here to help with our tips on how to get rid of unwanted paint:

    • Ask family & friends - if you have tins of paint with enough left in them for someone else to make use of then it’s always useful to ask around family and friends if anyone could make use of the paint. One important point to highlight is that there is no expiry date on paint therefore it is recommended you check that the paint looks OK and also smells normal, you may need to stir the paint to fully examine.
    • Donate -  you could make use of Community RePaint, this is a UK wide network of over 80 schemes who collect surplus and leftover paint and make it easily available to individuals in social need and varying forms of community groups and charity. This could help to paint a new local community centre or be used in play parks or for community murals. 
    • Paint accessories or have a crafts day - leftover paint is great to use for decorative accents around the house, such as picture frames, mirrors, wreaths and christmas baubles.
    • Safe disposal - If you decide the only option is to dispose of the paint, you need to be aware of the fact that solvent based paints should be treated as hazardous waste, this also includes paint thinners and white spirits. To correctly dispose of these you must check with your local recycling centre. 

How to dispose of empty plastic paint tins?

  • If your paint tin is plastic then these cannot be recycled, however a local household waste recycling centre may accept these and will also help to ensure they are disposed of correctly and responsibly. 

How to dispose of empty metal paint tins?

  • Metal paint cans can be recycled - simply drop these at your local recycling centre, you may want to check with your local authority to get more details.