I know this is a burning question in many of your minds, so I decided to figure out what the heck to do with old paint in the Triangle area!
For those of you that don’t know: you aren’t allowed to put paint cans in the trash in Wake County and other surrounding areas. I literally had about 40 gallons to get rid of, so I decided to figure out the responsible solution. (And yes, I will admit I have a color obsession and constantly change the wall colors in my house! Not to mention, I like trying new colors on a chair outside or a barstool inside or painting something metallic like a mirror!)
Over the years, my obsession with trying new paint colors has left a graveyard of old paint cans taking up valuable storage space, collecting dust, and cobwebs in my garage, so here are just a few of the options I found as alternatives to throwing away old buckets of paint in the curbside trash collection.
Disposing of Old Paint
If cans of paint are full, unopened, and not rusted, you can donate them to the various Triangle-area Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations (Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, and Wake Forest). This would have been a great option, but most of my cans didn’t fit that criteria. Here is a helpful link to items that ReStore will take if you happen to be doing lots of cleaning out in general: http://wakerestore.org/donate/donations-needed/. There are lots of advantages in donating, including helping your community and you may be able to get a charitable tax write off… be sure to consult your CPA.
Old, already opened cans of paint are considered household hazardous waste, so the South Wake Landfill is the place to go. The South Wake Landfill is located at 6130 Old Smithfield Road in Apex. For you North Raleigh folks, there is a location on your side of town at 9037 Deponie Drive in Raleigh, but the WakeGov Household Hazardous Waste website warns that the North Wake location is currently under construction and may have service delays (as of December 2015 – check again online before you plan a trip!
Other Ideas for Old Paint
If you’ve found a good amount of paint that might be reusable for future projects, don’t throw it away just yet! Household expert Bob Vila recommends combining colors you may not use again by themselves for other purposes, like “mixing leftovers of the same paint type (latex with latex, acrylic with acrylic, oil with oil) to use as an undercoat primer”.
Holding onto that paint for a while? Lowes.com recommends sealing the paint promptly and properly to avoid it drying up and storing in a cool, dry area to preserve it as long as possible for future projects – a basement is a great place – but make sure to put it on a shelf so any moisture on the floor doesn’t rust the can.
More “Ask Renee” Coming Soon!
Got other burning questions for my next “Ask Renee” post? Send me an email at Renee@HREGSells.com and I’ll tackle it ASAP here on the blog for you!