Household Hazardous Waste Household Disposal Locations Wastemobile Business Hazardous Waste Waste Directory "Yellow Book" Industrial Materials Exchange (IMEX) Financial Help Report a Violator
Hazardous & Toxic Chemicals Natural Landscaping & Pesticides Environmental Justice Network EnviroStars Product Stewardship Young Children & Families Choose Safer Household Products Resources for Schools
Library Publications Translated Materials
About Us Staff Directory Governance and Program Structure Funding and Fees FAQs on proposed new business/multi-family rate structure The Program's Work


Home >> Household Hazardous Waste >> How to Dispose of Latex Paint

How to Dispose of Latex Paint

Watch a video that shows how to dispose of latex paint.

You can dispose of latex paint in the garbage if you dry it out it first. Here’s how.

  1. Add equal parts kitty litter to latex paint in the can (one part paint to one part kitty litter). If you have more than a half a can, you can also pour the paint into a lined cardboard box then pour in cat litter.
  2. Stir the cat litter into the paint until it has an oatmeal-like consistency that will not spill out.
  3. Allow the paint and cat litter mixture to sit for one hour.
  4. Throw the dried paint in the can in the garbage with the lid off.

Instead of cat litter, you can use a commercial paint hardener. Follow the instructions on the label.

For very small amounts, you can paint on cardboard or newspaper and discard the newspaper/cardboard in the garbage when dry.

Oil-based paint is hazardous and must be disposed of at one of our household hazardous waste collection sites

Paint Calculator

Know how much paint you need before you go to the paintstore. Painting projects require about one gallon of paint to cover 400 square feet of smooth surface. You can save money and avoid waste by getting the right amount of paint for your project.

Room Calculator

Use this calculator to find how much paint you need for a RECTANGULAR room. Enter the height of the room and the lengths of the shorter and longer walls. Click Calculate to see how much paint to buy.

Wall height (in feet):

Length of longer wall (in feet):

Length of shorter wall (in feet):

Include the ceiling too?

Number of windows in the room
Number of doors in the room

Square feet of surface:

Gallons of paint needed:

Project Calculator

Use this calculator to find how much paint you need for an entire project. One by one, enter the height and length of the surfaces you want to paint. Click the Add to Project button after you enter the dimensions of each surface. The calculator keeps a running total of the surface area for your entire project.

Surface height (in feet):

Surface length (in feet):

Number of windows in this surface
Number of doors in this surface

Square feet of surface:

Gallons of paint needed:

NOTE: A rough-textured surface will require more paint than a smooth surface, so if you're on the margin, you may want to buy more.