What Do I Do With Leftover Paint?

What to do with leftover paint!  That is a question I get more often than ever before.  So that is a good question.  This needs to be a twofold answer.

One, when you paint your home try to estimate the paint to be used as close as possible.  That is a good cost-saving process.  But as a contractor, the circumstances are a little different.  The calculating quantity of paint needs to be in excess enough that we do not run out and have to stop everything to get a few more gallons of paint.  The back problem is when you go back to the store and discover this supplier is out of that paint until next week or the color is not consistent with the color you are currently using.  These are some of the production dilemmas that face a contractor trying to finish a project.  So the contractor may have a few gallons left over from the job.

I am an Arizona Painting Contractor and have accomplished thousands of jobs and leftover paint is not a big issue.   One caveat, a full unopened leftover gallon of paint will store for years without drying up or deteriorating.  This gallon will be the color of the latest paint job and be able to touch up areas of the project without having to find the paint store, the correct product, and the color.

Two, leftover paint in a half-filled can needs to be poured down into, let’s say, two-quart cans filled to the top of each.  If the paint has been poured back into the original can from rollers or brushes used on the job, this paint may be contaminated and might create mold in the quart can.  So you can put a teaspoon of bleach in each leftover can and put the lid on top and then shake it up to thoroughly mix the paint.

You can buy ‘lined’ quart cans at most paint stores.  Also, try to take off the label from the original can that probably has the formula on it and tape this label to the new quart touchup can, by doing this you will preserve the paint information necessary to buy more in the future.

Other states have recycled centers for paint.  Arizona I do not believe has such a facility but ‘Habit for Humanity‘ does take leftover paint.  I believe this is a wonderful and useful organization that benefits from this service.

If you would like to learn more information from other states in the US, you can click on this link.    Recycling leftover paint is an easy way to show your environmental stripes.
This is a blog from the PDCA a national contractor website.

You also can also visit www.RogerMerrill.com