No matter how well you calculate the quantities of paint needed for a job it is inevitable you’ll have some surplus (there’s a handy paint calculator here by the way).
This may not be a problem if it’s a colour you can use elsewhere but with so many colours available it’s likely you’ll be left with half a tin full of some obscure colour you’ll never use again.
Rather than just storing this paint away in the vain hope it will come in handy for something later (which is very unlikely) you could take the paint to your local council recycling centre.
There are also a few schemes aimed at collecting odd tins of paint and putting them to good use – Community Repaint is perhaps the best known but there are probably similar organisations in your area.
If you take your old paint tins to a recycling centre you may wonder what happens to it?
In many cases water based emulsions can be filtered and re-processed into new paint; some other ingredients which can not be re-used in paint can used in the production process of some other material, such as cement or for fuel oil, so your old paint is very rarely wasted.
There are a few companies in the US who market recycled paint to consumers but in the UK there is, so far, only a couple of such enterprises.
Newlife Paints, based in West Sussex, supply a range of water based paints which are made from at least 50% recycled materials.
Green Farm Paints, based in Gillingham in Dorset, is a local eco project set up to recycle the waste paint left at recycling sites in the Dorset area.
If you know of any other enterprise please leave a comment below.