Whether you’re looking to clear away old paint from the shed or you’re on clean-up for a current DIY project, it’s crucial to dispose of paint safely. Getting rid of leftover paint isn’t a matter of throwing it out with your weekly rubbish collection and paint should never be poured down household or stormwater drains to find its way into waterways.
Clear out the paint cans
Are you keeping paint for touch-ups or just in case? Make sure you store it properly. “Paint can last for longer than five years if it’s stored correctly in a cool area, with the lid on tight,” says Resene paint expert Jay Sharples.
If you want to know if paint is well and truly past its use-by date, use your nose when you open a pail or can. “You’ll know straight away if it’s off because it smells horrendous.
If it smells a bit funny and doesn’t smell like paint, I wouldn’t suggest using it. If you’re not sure, take it into a Resene ColorShop and ask the staff there,” Jay advises.
Recycle paint that’s still usable
If your paint appears to still be okay, it can be recycled in the Resene PaintWise programme. Select Resene ColorShops are designated as Resene PaintWise collection centres. Unwanted paint and paint containers of any brand can be dropped off for Resene ColorShop staff to check before acceptance, with non-Resene paint incurring a small fee to offset the cost of the programme.
There are times when Resene PaintWise can’t accept your old paint. Government regulations limit how much recycled paint can be held in one location. Lids need to be easily removable and the paint label needs to be legible and match the contents.
“The can needs to have labelling on it so we can see what’s in it. If it’s been under the house for the past 15-20 years and the snails have been eating the label, chances are you won’t be able to return it to the Resene PaintWise programme, because they won’t know what’s in it. Cans and pails also can’t have any rubbish or old roller sleeves or paint strainers in there. It’s surprising what’s left in cans when people bring them back,” Jay says.
Resene donates recycled paint to community groups and cans and pails also get recycled.