Lighten Up! Tips for Letting Go in 2024 – Paint

An artist's palette, a female memoji kissing her fingers. Lighten Up! Tips for Letting Go in 2024 – Paint

As we enter the middle of this first month of 2024, we continue our series on “Lightening up” with a conversation about paint.

Paint is one building supply that I find in (almost) every home. There are many reasons why we accumulate paint:

  • It was left by the previous homeowner.
  • We have cans from previous projects.
  • We have small/sample sized paint we bought when selecting colors.
  • We have paint leftover from craft projects.

Some of the paint we hold onto is in good shape and matches the colors we currently have. These cans are worth keeping for touchups and future reference. However, often people have cans and cans of paint tucked away in their basement, garage, shed, and crawlspace that they will never use. In fact, it is quite common to have no idea what is inside the various cans of paint. The whole jumble feels like a big headache.

Fortunately, the options for disposing of paint are better than ever.

In many states in the US, you can drop off your old paint at a PaintCare collection facility. This might be either your local transfer station or a retailer. It is a good idea to contact your participating retailer as some of them have a daily limit for how many cans you can drop off.

Here is a video about PaintCare to give you an idea of what they do:

Not all paint-related products are eligible for PaintCare recycling. You can see the details of exactly which products are and are not accepted (e.g., spray paint) here.

If you don’t live in an area where paint recycling is available, you can save it and drop it off on your town’s annual Household Hazardous Waste pickup day. (Read more about this day on Day 11 of this challenge).

If you don’t have the time to wait, or if you simply want to get rid of the paint safely now, there is another option. You can open the cans of paint and add kitty litter to the cans to absorb the paint. Once the paint has “dried” into the kitty litter, the entire thing can be put into the trash.

You can watch this segment from the Rachael Ray show to see exactly how to do this.

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Raise your hand if you have cans of paint in your house that you probably are not going to use. Today is a great day to taking a step toward getting them up and out.

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