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How to make the most of leftover paint

Learn how to dispose of leftover paint safely – the eco-friendly way.

  1. Before you start painting, calculate how much paint you actually need to finish your project. Using less paint will not only help you save money, you’ll be playing a part in protecting the planet.


  2. If you do end up with leftover paint, can you re-use it? Storing leftover paint is easy as long as you keep the tins away from direct sunlight and in a frost-free environment. If you only have a small amount remaining, pour the leftover paint into old jam jars and store in a safe, dry place. Tip: Leftover whites? Mix them together and use a base coat next time you decorate.


  3. Can someone else use it? You could pass it on to neighbours or friends, or perhaps a local theatre group, school or community centre could use it. Community repaint projects, such as Community RePaint, is also a great option. Coordinated by the not-for-profit environmental consultancy Resource Futures, Community RePaint collects 'half-tins' of leftover paint from donation points at numerous Local Authorities’ Household Waste Recycling Centres and Civic Amenity sites. To donate paint, simply visit to find your nearest Paint Donation Facility.


  4. It’s important to remember that you can’t tip paint down the sink or your drains, or put it out with your normal rubbish. For responsible disposal, call your local council and ask for assistance. They should be able to direct you to a special facility for disposing of paint without harming the environment.