How to properly and safely get rid of paint residue?

Have you just finished painting your home? You slowly start cleaning the brushes and other tools you used to help yourself during the work, removing the protection that may have covered the furniture or other surfaces on which you did not want to get any stains during painting (interior or exterior) wall surfaces and are satisfied looking towards refurbished or refreshed surfaces. However, you notice that you have some paint left… What to do with the rest of the paint?

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In order to avoid as much paint residue as possible after finishing painting, it is first recommended that we try to calculate as accurately as possible how much paint we need for the walls we want to paint. It is also important to know whether only one layer is needed or whether several more layers will have to be applied to the surface. The number of coats depends mainly on whether you have any stains or other paint on the surface you are going to paint (stronger shades of paint usually require a coat or two more than usual).

Under no circumstances should any paint residue be poured into sewers or the ground, as such substances pollute the environment as well as groundwater.

 

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Use of paint scraps for other creative projects

The rest of the color is a great opportunity to embark on a variety of creative projects that you might would not otherwise. One way to use the rest of the paint is to buy or make custom stencils with which you can make interesting patterns on the wall and thus spice up the space. The procedure is best done with a round brush of a smaller size. Apply the paint to the wall with a light tap, taking care not to apply too much paint on the brush, as the latter can spill over the wall.

 

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Instead of using stencils, you can also create geometric patterns on the wall with the help of protective tape. In doing so, you must make sure that the protective tape is firmly attached to the wall so that it does not fall off while filling the sample with paint. When coating smooth surfaces, a single coat of paint will suffice, regardless of whether you use a stencil or a protective tape in the project.

If you do not have a protective tape or stencil on hand, you can also use chalk or an ordinary pencil with which you can lightly draw the desired pattern, which you can easily repaint with the rest of the paint as you imagined.

 

Storage of paint residues

Remnants of paint can be stored in a room where they will not freeze. Most paints can be stored in a dry place where the temperature does not fall below 5°C and does not exceed 35°C. At the same time, the product should not be exposed to direct sunlight. If you reopen the packaging with some residue of paint after a while, mix it well before use.

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Recycling of paint residues

As already mentioned, improper disposal of paint residues can be problematic, especially from an ecological point of view, as they are classified as dangerous waste for the environment. Many landfills do not accept paints, as they do not have adequate storage and subsequent recycling facilities. Information on suitable collection or recycling points for recycling paint residues can also be found at points of sale where paints are sold.

However, if you want to get rid of the rest of the paint yourself, it is important to find out what type of paint it is or on what basis it is made. The easiest way to find out is to read the label on the packaging.

 

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Latex or acrylic-based paint should not be thrown in a regular trash can until it is completely dry and hardens (this process can take several days, depending on temperature and humidity). For faster drying and hardening of the paint, store it in a warm or well-ventilated place. When this type of paint hardens, remove the dried material from the packaging and throw it in the trash, and recycle the empty packaging or can of paint accordingly.

Oil and alkyd paints, including some enamels and varnishes, are hazardous wastes subject to stricter disposal rules and instructions. Never allow the latter paint to dry, as you can with latex or acrylic paints, as they can emit harmful fumes and contain chemicals that can contaminate the soil and consequently groundwater, septic tanks and watercourses. To avoid unwanted problems, we advise you to consult a specialized store where you bought the paint or contact a hazardous waste center, where they will give you information about a suitable collection point or landfill for this type of waste.

 

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Return of paint residues to the point of sale

You will find information on the correct and safe handling of paint residues in most paint shops. Many points of sale also organize the removal and recycling of excess paint to specialized places or plants.

 

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Donation of paint

If the amount of paint you have left is larger, you can also donate it to charities or non-profit organizations, which will definitely come in handy. Some of these organizations are involved, for example, in providing housing for the homeless, socially disadvantaged families, renovating youth centers, kindergartens and educational institutions. Your rest of the colors would definitely come in handy for a room renovation or refreshment project.

 

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