So, how do you organize paint supplies and why would you want to know this? Does this scenario sound familiar?…

You decide to touch up some scratches on your wall. Easy enough, right? You head on over to the garage for the leftover paint, but what you find is a room full of random paint cans. You have no idea which one you need. Some are not labeled, some are rusted shut, and some are dried out.

And you don’t even know the name of the color your looking for because you never wrote it down in the first place. That would be fine if you didn’t have 12 cans of different colored gray paint!

Then once you spend way more time then you intended just looking for the paint, you search for a paint brush. The search continues until you finally stumble upon a paint brush, but it’s hard as a rock! UGH!


Well, enough of that nonsense! All you wanted to do is fix some scratches! Let’s learn how to organize your paint supplies so you’ll know in an instant what you need, where to find it, and how to store it.

How to purge your paint and paint supplies

Okay, the first step to organize your paint supplies is to purge what you don’t need. I always say, “You can’t organize clutter!” So every good organizing project will start with purging unused items.

Want to learn all about decluttering? Read my post “How to declutter” for lots of tips and tricks.

Go thru your items one by one and purge anything that is no longer usable such as dried up paints, empty containers, and unusable brushes, as well as any other items that are no longer useful to anyone. (See disposal tips below.)

organizing paint supplies

How to dispose of unusable paint supplies

There are a few things you need to be aware of when you are purging your paint and paint solvents. You must practice safe disposal.

  • You cannot throw latex paint out with your regular trash unless it is fully dried. Take off the lid and let it dry in the sun, add kitty litter, or purchase a hardener (krud kutter) at the paint store. Once fully dry you can toss it in the trash.
  • Oil based paints are considered hazardous and you should not dispose of in the trash. Check with your local hazardous waste facility for instructions for disposing oil based paint.
  • To dispose of spray paint cans, first empty leftover paint by spraying onto some type of scrap material such as cardboard or fabric. When dry throw scrap and can in the trash. Some places allow you to recycle the can. Check your local area for instructions.
  • Paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirts, and other solvents must be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. Make sure all left over solvents are sealed tightly in their containers. Never pour these solvents down your drain! You can dispose of empty containers in your trash if they are completely dry. Dry out rags and seal in metal cans before disposing them at the facility.

Then you can sort thru items that you no longer want, but may be useful to someone else. If you’d rather not contribute to landfills or hazardous waste dumps then here is a list of places you could donate your usable paints and supplies.

Where to bring your unused paint supplies

  • Some paint stores or box stores, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, will accept left over paint.
  • Habitat for humanity Restore takes leftover paint and supplies.
  • Ask your local thrift store if they take donations of paint or paint supplies.
  • Check with your local schools. They may be able to use it for art projects or in the theater department.
  • Ask scout leaders if they could use some supplies.
  • Put a listing on yard sale sites like Facebook Marketplace or craigslist and see if someone could use it.
  • Ask friends and family. You never know if someone could use it for a craft project or furniture redo.

How to organize paint supplies

Now that you only have items left that are useful to you, lets organize them in a way that you will easily be able to find them, know exactly what they are, and even make the storage look great too. shows you how to make a DIY spray paint storage wall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.