Dulux Visualiser

Instantly visualise this colour on your walls

How to Make the Most of Leftover Paint

Working out how many paint tins you need for a big decorating job can be difficult. The good news is that there are loads of creative ways to use up that leftover paint, and once you’re done painting, you can easily donate or recycle those tins you no longer need. To find out more, check our ideas and top tips below.


What to Do with Leftover Paint

Wondering how to use leftover paint? Before you start painting, calculate how much paint you actually need to finish your project. Using less paint will not only help you save money, but you’ll also be playing a part in protecting the planet.

Here are just a few creative ways to use up your leftover paint around the home. If you have various different paint tins left over, why not mix them up to create a unique colour? Check out our top tips on how to mix your own paint shades at home, then see how you can apply them in different ways below.


Refresh Your Furniture


Colours: Black chair, Denim Drift wall, Rock Salt trim (Left); Minted Glory 1 wall and trim (Right)

You can give old wooden chairs an instant refresh by painting them with a modern, dip-dye effect. Simply follow this easy, step-by-step for painting a wooden chair. Or why not give your cabinets a makeover with a fresh lick of paint? Painting them in the same colour as your walls can make a real statement, especially if you play around with replacing handles and drawer knobs. Read our useful guide on transforming tired furniture to get started.  


Revamp Your Planters


Colours: Lemon Punch basket, Tranquil Dawn wall

Make your plants stand out by giving their pots a little love. You can add colourful accents and patterns to wicker baskets – simply use the dipping method to coat the lower half in a vibrant shade, add stylish stripes or get crafty with stencils to create shapes and patterns. Similarly, you can use masking tape to refresh terracotta pots with different patterns.


Paint Shapes on a Wall


Colours: Sapphire Salute wall

With just a little paint, you can make a big impact, simply by painting different shapes on the wall. Bring personality to a kids’ bedroom by painting circles in a mix of colours and sizes – check out our easy step-by-step on how to paint a circle – or create an interesting focal point by painting angled stripes around a point of interest. 


Create a Feature Point


Colours: Copper BlushCrumpled Linen 3 and Sunny Savannah 5 (Left); Banana SplitWhite CottonDusted Fondant and Pebble Shore (Right)

Leftover paint allows you to add colourful features to your space, and it doesn’t have to involve painting a feature wall. Think about your closets and cupboards. Why not add a shelf that can act as a desk to the inside of a closet (hello, pop-up office!) and give it a colourful backdrop? Or turn that cupboard-under-the-stairs into a fun hideaway for the kids. Follow our step-by-step on how to create an under-the-stairs playroom in just 48 hours.


How to Store Leftover Paint

Want to know how to keep leftover paint from drying out? Storing leftover paint is easy as long as you keep the tins away from direct sunlight and in a frost-free environment. If you only have a small amount remaining, pour it into old jam jars and store it in a safe, dry place.

Tip: Leftover whites? Mix them together and use a base coat next time you decorate.


How long does leftover paint last?

If stored correctly, leftover paint should last for up to two years.


How to Donate Leftover Paint to a Worthy Cause 


Before disposing of your leftover paint, consider whether someone else can use it. You could pass it on to neighbours or friends, or perhaps a local theatre group, school or community centre could use it.

Wondering where to take leftover paint? Community projects, such as Community RePaint, are a great option. They will collect ‘half tins’ of leftover paint from donation points across the UK. To donate your paint, simply head to communityrepaint.org.uk to find your nearest Paint Donation Facility. 


How to Dispose of Leftover Paint Responsibly


Before you dispose of any leftover paint, check that you definitely won’t need it again in the future. If you do decide to dispose of your leftover paint, just make sure you don’t tip it down the sink, down your drains, or put it out with your normal rubbish. For responsible disposal, call your local council and ask for assistance. They should be able to direct you to a special facility for disposing of paint in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.

Ready to put your leftover paint to good use? Check out the rest of the Dulux blogs for plenty more design inspiration. 

Easy and safe payment Paypal visa master card maestro ideal cb
Fetching the data, please wait...