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  • Writer's pictureTara M Stewart

Space Saving Solution for Left Over Paint

Today I will walk you through how and where to store paint as well as what to do with paint that is no longer usable and needs to leave your home.


DISCLOSURE: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I MAY GET A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE USING LINKS PROVIDED. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO COST TO YOU. AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE, I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. VIEW THE FULL DISCLOSURE HERE


Storing large cans of paint can take up a lot of space. Sometimes you've painted a room that might have taken JUST over one can so you now have a second can that is almost full. Instead of storing it, transfer a small amount of paint for touch ups into a container, THEN donate the rest of the like-new paint!

Girl Pouring Paint

Transfer Small Amount of Usable Paint

Labeling the Touch Up Cup

I like to use Touch Up Cups * The label allows you to put all the paint information on the container. Each of these cups holds 13 oz and has a plastic mixing ball to prevent paint from clumping. In all honesty you probably won't even need 13 oz of paint.


Using a Sharpie, here are some of the things you might want to make note of:

  • Paint brand

  • Paint finish

  • Month/Year it was purchased

  • Color name and number

  • Room you put the paint in


Pro Tip: If you have mason jars lying around you can use those as well. However, I do like that these containers provide a mixing ball so I can easily shake the paint before using it.


Most touch up jobs will require a smaller paint brush and small amount of paint. In all reality, if the whole room needs "touched up" you are most likely going to want a complete fresh coat and probably in a new color.

How to Store Old Paint

How to Store It

  • Do not store paint in a garage. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can ruin paint.

    • Cold weather can cause latex paint to separate.

    • Oil-based could start a fire in extreme heat.

  • Moisture can rust paint cans so store it on a shelf.

  • If you don't have a basement, any hall closet would do, or laundry room shelf (if your laundry room doesn't get too hot due to the dryer).

Check out this video on Instagram where I walk you through how I transferred my own wall paint.


Donate GOOD Paint


Now that you have saved a small amount, you can donate the rest since it is still usable! Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts latex paint (NOT OIL-BASED). Click here, and scroll down to "Find your local Habitat Restore." Lexington Kentucky residents click here for Lexington's Restore donation information.


Another option is to check with local community centers, theaters, or school theater programs to see if they are in need of some free paint for any upcoming projects.


By transferring paint RIGHT AFTER you paint the room, you are saving space in your home and giving the left over paint away to someone who could use it today instead of waiting for it all to ruin after storing it for 20+ years.

Old Paint Cans

How to Dispose of Old Paint Safely


Have you ever moved into a house to find the previous three home owners have all left their old paint cans?! Then you are left trying to figure out what to do with all of it, and most of the cans aren’t even for current wall colors!


Oil-based paint is toxic and if not disposed of properly, dangerous to the environment. Most cities have specific drop off sites and/or hazardous waste disposals days. A quick google search of "how to dispose of hazardous waste.. (insert your city)" should send you in the right direction. Also Paint Care is a non-profit recycling organization for paint, unfortunately, only found in 11 states. Head to their site to see if your state is included, and let's hope other states start to get on board and start taking care of our planet!


Latex paint can be dried out with kitty litter or small amounts can be left open to dry and then you can put the empty cans in your normal garbage. However, you can also just take this paint to the hazardous waste disposal site as well to make it easier on you.


If you are a Lexington Kentucky resisdent you can you can dispose of your hazardous waste easily during one of the hazardous waste events. You just load it into your car and drive through. A list of what they accept and the next event date can be found here.


NEVER put liquid paint into the trash or pour it down the drain.


Keeping old paint for decades ends with YOU! Stop leaving old paint behind for the next home owner to deal with. When you are leaving it behind you are creating MORE work for them not less. Most individuals are going to make the space their own by painting it in the colors they want.

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