Ideas for Using Left Over Paint

You have just finished painting and there is paint left in the can. It is not a lot, but you cannot bear to throw it away. What can you do with left over paint? Let the ideas below inspire you to waste not and, in the process, create some lovely new pieces and decor for your home.

Touch Ups

It is always a good idea to keep a small amount of the original wall paint color on hand for touch ups. It is inevitable that nicks and bumps will happen and scratches will need to be painted over. Having a small amount of the original paint stored in air tight container is ideal for fixing the walls without having to buy a new gallon.

New Life

Apply some natural citrus paint remover to those old wooden chairs, wipe them off, and repaint them for a brand new look. If your home is eclectic, consider painting the dining room chairs different colors. The blue from the bathroom, the tan from the living room and the sunny yellow from the front porch will all look great around the white dining room table. Giving new life to old furniture is a great way to really transform a room. Old mirrors and picture frames can also get a face-lift with a coat of fresh paint. Since they are relatively small, the amount of paint needed is not a lot which makes it a perfect project for left over paint.

All in the Details

Use small amounts of paint to create unique details around your home. Add tiny flowers to the edges of the coffee table or around the woodwork of the built in bookcase. You can also create small details, like a frog along the baseboard or a butterfly by a light switch, in children’s rooms to create fun and whimsy. The child’s room can turn into something like a seek and find where they are able to search for things like the small fairy above the window or the turtle peeking out over the baseboard.

Mini Murals

Instead of worrying about a wall decor, create your own with small murals using left over paint. A small landscape outlined in painted bricks would look charming in a rustic, Italian style kitchen. Paint a bowl of fruit on the kitchen back splash or rubber ducks on bathroom tiles. Green paint is perfect for painting grass along the bottom of a child’s bedroom wall, while yellow and black could create a buzzing bee meandering across the ceiling.

Not only is it a waste of perfectly good material, but it is also environmentally irresponsible to throw left over paint in the garbage. Most towns and municipalities have hazardous waste collection days where they will take your old paint and dispose of it properly. Another option is to give it away to school theater departments, after school programs for teenagers and community intervention services. Often, these types of organizations will have little funding available, so any donations from the community are much appreciated. Put that old paint to good use and start creating or donating!


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