How to safely dispose of paint products

Disposing of unused paint and paint tins in an environmentally responsible way can be tricky, so we’ve come up with a few tips to help you safely dispose of these items.

Looking to dispose of your unwanted paint products?

If you have recently finished a paint project and are looking at how to dispose of your paint products such as paint tins and solvents, there are a couple of ways to do so in an environmentally sound way. There are many benefits to correctly disposing of paints products which will help to keep our waterways clean, divert from landfill and increase recovery of resources. 

Estimate before you buy

Before you go ahead and purchase your paint make sure you estimate how much you need first. This will help to minimise any leftover paint at the end of your project. If you do have any paint left, consider how you can use it for future projects. For example, will you need some paint for future touch-ups or maybe you could use it to upcycle old furniture or decorate some pots?


Alternatively, Paintback is an initiative that diverts unwanted paint and paint packaging from ending up in landfill and our waterways. Currently there are more than 114 permanent collection sites across Australia. For more information on Paintback, their requirements and nearest site, check out their website.

Leftover paint

Sometimes you’ll have small amounts of paint leftover that won’t be quite enough to finish a new project. In this case, you can pour the paint on to some old newspapers, cloth or other absorbent material such as cardboard and then dispose of those products once the paint has dried.

Empty paint tins and materials

Make sure you check your local council’s preferences before deciding on how you will dispose of your paint products. Most empty paint tins can go in your normal garbage or recycle bins or be dropped off at a waste collection centre.

Bunnings team members at a paintback event

Paintback one-day drop off events in-store

Paintback will also be setting up one-day only drop off events at some Bunnings stores during 2019. Check your local Bunnings store page to find out if there’s an event near you. 

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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