5 Ideas for Leftover Paint




Eight open paint cans with left over paint inside them.
Paint Colors (top, left to right): Platinum PPU26-11, Swiss Coffee 12, Adirondack Blue N480-3, Jojoba N390-3  
Paint Colors (bottom, left to right): Nano White HDC-MD-06, Creamy Mushroom PPU5-13, Dolphin Fin 790C-3, Cracked Pepper PPU18-01

You’ve put a bow on your latest paint project, and it turned out great. A color you love is now on the walls and the only thing left to do is stand back and admire your work. As you’re cleaning up, you notice a little unused paint left in the bottom of the can.

Knowing paint is hazardous to pour down the drain, what are the options to dispose of it? Here are a few guilt-free ideas:


You want to keep your new wall color as pristine as the day you rolled it! However, life happens, and smudges can appear. Save some paint in an air-tight container for touch-ups later.

A person touching up paint on the wall.
 Wall: Creamy Mushroom PPU5-13, Trim: Swiss Coffee 12
A person touching up paint on floor.
Floor: Jojoba N390-3


Left over paint is perfect for transformations. Below are some thought-starters:

Upcycle an old piece of furniture       

Four chairs, each painted in a different color; blue, white, gray, green hues.
Chairs (left to right): Adirondack Blue N480-5, Dolphin Fin 790C-03, Cracked Pepper PPU18-01, Jojoba N390-3  
An edge of a pool with two chairs placed next to it, they are painted in a muted blue hue.
Chairs: Adirondack Blue N480-5

Add a pop of color to brighten up the room

A fireplace painted in a vibrant yellow color.
Wall: Painter’s White PPU18-08, Trim: Ultra Pure White®, Accent: Charismatic PPU6-14

A console table sitting in front of a wall with the bottom half painted in a bold purple color and top painted in a soft white lavender.
Top Wall: White Lavender M550-1, Bottom Wall: King’s Court P560-7

Turn something basic into something decorative

A wood step stool with the top part painted white. Flowers are placed on the steps of the stool.
Wall: Cracked Pepper PPU18-01, Top of Step Stool: Nano White HDC-MD-06
A room with fpucs on the door that is painted in a pink hue with black slashes going up and down in a pattern.
Wall: Doeskin Gray N200-2, Trim: Polar Bear 75, Door: Seaside Villa S190-1, Dashes: Cracked Pepper PPU18-01


Before throwing it out, dry it out. A small amount of paint in the bucket will dry in the sun. For larger amounts, mix with equal parts kitty litter or some newspaper and let it dry solid. This only works for latex paint. Oil-based products need to go to the recycling center.

Two young children painting. One of them is holding a piece of paper showing a painted recycle sign; green arrows going in a circle.
Wall: Platinum PPU26-11


For larger amounts of paint that won’t be used, paint can be donated to companies like Habitat for Humanity. Schools and shelters often take paint as well.

A group of people painting a wood fence.
Fence:  Swiss Coffee 12       


Most neighborhoods have recycling centers that take left over paint. Here is a link to find the closest in your area https://earth911.com/

A girl holding her painted hands in a heart shape in front of her face.

On to the next project!

Colorfully yours,


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