Paint: Oil-Based, Latex, Spray

What should I do with leftover paint?  

Try to only buy the amount you need to avoid waste. One gallon covers about 400 square feet.  If you’re unsure how much you need, use the estimating calculator below.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil based (alkyd) paint and stains that are still liquid contain hazardous solvents. They may be brought to a Household Hazardous Waste Event.
The following towns accept these from their own residents only either regularly or monthly:  

Cohasset Duxbury Middleboro Norwell Weymouth

Latex Paint

Latex paint is messy, but not hazardous.

If it is usable, you can bring it to Recolor Paint (fka The Paint Exchange) in Hanover for a small fee. Hingham and Middleborough also accept usable latex paint and stain from its residents at the Transfer Station/Landfill in non-winter months.

If it’s not fit for another wall or ceiling, or recycling isn’t otherwise practical, absorb the  liquid with cat litter to keep your street or transfer station paint-free, and dispose of the open cans in a bag with household trash.

Paint should never be poured down any drain, unless you want an excuse to call your plumber.

What is considered ‘usable’ paint?

“If you would use it, we can use it.”

  • Liquid latex paint
  • Original container and label
  • Stored indoors (never frozen)

Check that the following have not occurred:

  • Mold, mildew growth or a foul odor
  • Solidification or skinning
  • Curdling (semi solid lumps of paint)

If any of these things have occurred, stir in some kitty litter, leave the lid off, put it in a bag and dispose with your trash.

Spray Paint

Spray contained flammable propellents and solvents and is considered hazardous waste. Please bring your spray paint to one of the household hazardous waste events.

How to calculate the amount of paint you need for your project: 

One gallon covers about 400 square feet.

Measure the rooms you need to paint, including the door and window size.  All measurements should be in FEET. Insert your figures into the following calculations to measure interior and exterior square footage:

A. Walls
Width of all walls added together___  x height of walls___ =  A  (square feet) total wall surface

B. Windows
Height of window___  x width of window ____  x number of windows___=  B (square feet) total window surface

C. Doors
Height of door __  x width of door ___  x number of doors___ = C (square feet) total door surface

D. Gables
Height __   x  width ___  divided by 2 = D (square feet)

E.  Eaves
Width of  overhang  __ x length ___ = E (square feet)

A + D + E – (B + C) divided by 400 square feet per gallon = number of gallons you need.

Recolor Paint (fka The Paint Exchange) strains, batches, processes and repackages high quality, beautifully colored ‘reColor’ paints.

The product is available for sale at just over half the price of ‘virgin’ paint at The Welch Company and Simply Vintage by the Sea in Scituate, and area Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Recolor accepts usable paint at its Hanover facility for a charge of $2/can. Visit their website, call 339-214-8462, or email for more information.

Recolor Paint has helped our Member Towns divert 7,000 gallons of good paint from the incinerator through 2019, saving them thousands in disposal costs.

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