Store and Dispose of Paint and Chemicals

Lots of do-it-yourself projects involve different paints and solvents. These can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store or dispose of them.

1. If you’re going to store a chemical that you know is toxic, keep it in its original container, or a container that is clearly labeled with the product name and a toxic sign. Seal it tightly and keep it out of the reach of curious children and pets.

2. If you’re done with some latex paint, you need to allow it to harden. To speed up the process, pour some kitty litter into it. Once the paint is hardened, you can throw it out in the regular garbage.

3. If you’re using oil based paint, it can never be put with garbage. Regulations governing disposal vary from state to state, so call your local hazardous waste disposal center for advice.

4. Paint thinner doesn’t have to be thrown away, it can be re-used (Make sure you only use paint thinner outside – the fumes are toxic). Put it in a clearly labeled glass or metal container, and seal it tightly. Paint particles will settle out, then you can pour off the clear liquid to be re-used. Just remember, you use paint thinner for oil based paints so don’t throw the paint particles in the garbage.