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Paint Shelf Life
August 8th, 2013 by Radcliffe Painting

Have you ever found yourself out in the garage; staring at that old can of pink paint you used to decorate your newborn daughter’s room; when the realization hits you that your daughter will be starting high school next week? You’re not the only one. While household paint will last for many years if stored properly, it’s usable life can only last so long, and after that time has passed, it’s important to dispose of your expired paints properly. In the US alone, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that most people have between 3 and 4 buckets of unused paint in their homes - 10% of which ends up in landfills. All too often, other cans of paint that don’t make it in the trash end up being poured down the drain - a frightening thought when you consider that many older paints contained lead or mercury. To properly dispose of old paints, you must first identify the type of paint you have - either latex or oil. This is important information to have, as different bases require different disposal solutions. A paint’s type can usually be found on the can’s label and you can only hope it’s still in a decipherable condition. Once you have identified the type of paint you’re dealing with, follow the simple instructions below:   OIL-BASED PAINTS: Paints with an oil base are considered to be hazardous waste, and as such, they must be taken to a proper facility where they can be processed in a safe, environmentally-friendly manner. The reason for this classification is due to the array of toxic and often flammable pigmentations, solvents, and resins that help give these paints their attractive colors and textures. Unlike latex-based paints, air drying oil-based ones in not a healthy or safe way to dispose of the unusable product. To find a paint disposal facility in your area, you can contact your local disposal service provider, search for one at www.Earth911.com, or call 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687).   LATEX-BASED PAINTS: While oil-based paints are viewed as being hazardous, this is not the case with latex. These types of paints can be disposed of by first finding a safe place (away from children and pets) where you can leave the top off the can so it can air dry. Other options include adding kitty litter and/or shredded newspaper can also be helpful in the drying process. You can also use one of the environmentally-friendly hardening agents (available in hardware stores) which make it inexpensive and easy to properly dispose of old latex paint. Once you’ve successfully changed the liquid paint into a solid, it may then be disposed of with the remainder of your household trash. Call Radcliffe Painting for all your commercial and residential painting needs at 775-219-5012

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