• Old Paint Cans
Are you unsure about what to do about the old paint cans that are cluttering your garage or basement? If you follow our plan of action to either dispose of or condense the surplus of paint, you can gain back some valuable shelf space and floor space.

How to Dispose of Paint in Indianapolis

Leftover containers of house paint are not easy to get rid of. It’s not a simple throw away like other garbage and recyclables without the risk of getting fined or causing more pollution.

  1. Is the paint still in good condition? There is a 15-year shelf life for solvent-based paints. If the paint can still be stirred, it’s possible that it’s okay to use (even if there is a layer of “skin” on top of the paint’s surface). Latex-based paints normally have a shelf life of 10 years. If it has been through harsh conditions and freezing temperatures, it’s more than likely not usable. You can test the paint by stirring and brushing it onto old newspaper. If there are visible lumps, the paint is no longer usable.
  2. Choose which paints you can keep. If the paints are colors that were used for your interior or exterior, it’s logical to hold on to these. They will eventually be useful for repainting and any touch-ups that may be needed. If the lids on the containers are loose, they should be sealed carefully and transferred by small amounts into other paint containers. The containers should be labeled with the name of the color and when they were purchased.
  3. Different ways to use leftover paint. If it’s a paint color that you’re sure you won’t use again, it can still be used by mixing the same paint types (oil with oil, latex with latex, acrylic with acrylic) and then used as a primer for your next painting project.
  4. Donate unwanted paints. If the paint is still good but you cannot use it, offer it to neighbors, friends, or family. There are also some non-profit organizations that would be glad to take it off your hands.
  5. Throw away paints that cannot be used or given away. There are specific ways to dispose of certain types of paint. It’s important that it’s done in a way that doesn’t pollute waterways or drinking water. A single gallon of paint can cause severe water contamination and harm aquatic life. Here are the best ways to dispose of paint the right way.

Acrylic and Latex Paints

There are certain municipalities that allow solidifying paints to dispose of them in your household trash. One option is to mix in clay-based kitty litter and should be done in a well-ventilated area away from pets and children. Another option is to use some type of additive that will turn old latex paint into a solid within an hour.

Alkyd and Oil-based Paints

Often, your local home waste collection has certain days that will do special pick-ups. Check with your town hall to see if there is a specific drop-off location to properly dispose of any unwanted paint, solvents, herbicides, and pesticides. It’s best to check all local resources to find the proper procedure for disposing of paint.


Refresh your home for 2017 by getting a new paint job! Give Flora Brothers in Indianapolis, IN a call at (317) 447-5227. We’re looking forward to speaking with you.

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