Guide to household paint waste

Help our planet by treating paint waste in an environmentally responsible way and maintaining paint equipment properly. Estimate the need for paint in advance and properly disposing of unnecessary paint products. This guide helps you to get rid of unnecessary paint properly and guides you on how to wash your paint brushes and rollers. 

How much paint do I need?

In order to be left with no or only a small amount of left over paint, calculate the need before you start painting. How much paint is needed is dependent on the surface to be treated, its condition, its roughness, its color and of course, the size of the surface. Measure the area to be painted and check the product coverage on the package. Then calculate the paint requirement using the formula below.

Total area to be painted m2 / coverage on paint can m2 / l = amount of paint needed l.


The living area has a wall area of ​​25m². The coverage of the interior wall paint is 7 m² / l. The required amount of paint for two applications is 50 m² / 7 m² / l = about 7 l, i.e. 1 x 9 l paint can.

Teknos painting guides contain tips for different painting projects and formulas for estimating the amount of paint on different surfaces. High-quality paint and careful, well-done work often mean fewer layers and less paint.

How do I prevent ending up with paint waste / left over paint?

Sometimes, even after calculating the needed amount of paint you end up with paint waste. Therefore, when starting off a new project and buying paint, think in advance what you would do with any paint left over. Perhaps you could use the paint left over in another home project or offer it to friends or family? If you end up with excess paint, you already have a plan in place.

It is easy and fun to brighten up the look of your home with different effect walls or by upgrading furniture and small decorations to new colors.

What should I do with leftover paint?

Are you wondering how to dispose left over paint? There are some guidelines you should follow:

Wet left over paint

Wet paints, varnishes, fillers and thinners, as well as washing water for paint tools, are all classified as hazardous waste. Please take these to your local or regional collection point for paints where it will be disposed of as chemical waste or being forwarded for recycling.

It is important that wet paint, brushes or rollers does not end up in drains, nature or the waste bin.

Dry left over paint

If the can is completely dry or empty paint can it can be placed in the household waste bin. Always check the instructions on how to dispose the paint can from the can itself. Metal cans are treated as metal waste, plastic cans usually as household or mixed waste.

If there is only a small amount of paint left on the bottom of the can, which is not enough for a new painting project, leave the lid open and allow the paint to dry completely on the bottom of the can. Once the paint has dried, you can recycle the can according to the packaging instructions.

How do I dispose painting equipment such as rollers and brushes?

Completely dry paint tools such as paint brushes, rollers or paint trays can be disposed of in mixed waste / household waste. If the these are still wet, they should be disposed as chemical waste / hazardous waste at your local collection paint or to be left to dry.

Is it necessary to wash the paintbrush each time?

No. It is recommended not to wash the paint equipment if you are continuing the next day. Store brushes or rollers in a tight sealed plastic bag. This avoids spillage of paint and cleaning water.

How should I clean my paint brush?

When the painting is finished it is advisable to remove as much product as possible from brushes and rollers before cleaning.

If you have stored the equipment in a plastic bag, ensure that also the bag is dry before disposing it.

It is a good idea to clean the painting tools immediately after the work, to prevent the paint from drying out. If you still need the equipment the next day, put the brush or roller in a sealed plastic bag for the night.

Waterborne paints

Do not wash your brushes etc. under running water, as this way, harmful substances might enter the environment through the drain.

With waterborne products, rather use a container with warm water and leave the tools inundated for approximately 2 hours. You can also use Teknos RENSA BRUSH cleaning liquid (if sold on your market). Bigger rollers might need more than one cleaning cycle. Let the tools dry. When they are completely dry they can be disposed as household waste.

Remember to take the cleaning water to the local collection point for hazardous / chemical waste. 

Solvent borne paints

After painting with solvent-based paints, the rollers and brushes can be washed with the thinner marked on the product. Please take any cleaning water to the collection point for hazardous / chemical waste.

Sustainable painting

  • Calculate the required amount of paint in advance.
  • Use high quality paints and do the painting carefully.
  • Choose an eco-labeled product if possible.
  • Think about what to do with possible left over paint in advance.
  • Recycle completely dry paint cans according to the packaging instructions.
  • Do not wash any paint tools under the tap.
  • Always take the remaining wet paint and cleaning water to your local collection point.