How To Dispose Of Paint In The UK

June 19th, 2024

What should you do with left over paint? Paint cannot be disposed of in your normal bin and it definitely should not be washed down the drain, follow our useful guide for more details on how to dispose of paint responsibly.

Ways To Dispose Paint Responsibly:

1. Touch Ups

Label the tin with which room it was used in and then store it in a cool, dry place. 

If you only have a small amount left, transfer the paint into a jar and label it up. You’ll then be able to use it for those all-important touch ups in the future!

2. Donate

Talk to local community groups, schools and causes to see whether they have any need for it for craft projects, murals etc.  

You could also check with your local household waste recycling centre whether they have a paint donation scheme. Bear in mind this is probably only appropriate for emulsions.

At Brewers, we often donate mis-tinted and unwanted paint to community groups across the UK every year.

3. Get Crafty

Paint can come in handy for many craft projects! We love upcycling with paint and using left over colours you've used for your schemes on unloved furniture or home accessories can be a great way to do this in a cohesive way. 

You can also use them to decorate baubles, paint canvases or other craft projects - simply transfer the paint into smaller pots...don't forget to label them!

4. Dispose Safely

If you cannot find a way to use up all the paint then you will need to dispose of it responsibly. Liquid paint cannot be accepted by refuse centres, they will only accept it in a dried form.  You can dry out your left over paint by adding sawdust or paint hardener to it and letting it dry.  

Top tip – check it is fully hardened by piercing the dried paint.

Please note: paints that are solvent based should be treated as hazardous waste, this also includes other decorating materials such as paint thinners and white spirit.  Check with your local recycling centre for local disposal options.