What to do with Left Over Paint and Stain


You’ve bought plenty of environmentally friendly, water-based paint, stain, and other products from Aqua Coat. You've used recycled or reclaimed wood from pallets and other sources. You've refinished furniture rather than throwing it out and buying new. Where that was impractical, you've repurposed it. You've been as environmentally conscious as possible in how you conduct your business and pursue your hobbies. However, if you are anything like me, no matter how carefully you've calculated how much paint and stain you need, you always have a little bit leftover.

Now, I know you know all about the right way to dispose of it. Let the last thing you are going to do is flush it down the drain. And you're going to store more significant amounts properly, properly sealing the containers, so the material is still usable for the next project. Yet, there are always those bits that linger, that last inch or two in the bottom of the Aqua Coat stain can or jug that sits there, taunting you. And true, you know where your local waste disposal center is, but do you want to just throw it away? After all, the most responsible (and let's be honest, cost-efficient) thing to do is to find a use for it.

The most obvious way to go about using all of these left-overs is to find new but smaller projects for it. Need some storage space for your new workshop, or in the old garage? Make use of those random left-over bits of pallet wood to build a shelf. Make use of some left-over Aqua Coat water-based stain followed with those last bits of clear lacquer top coat to give it a finished look. Maybe even use a little bit of Aqua Coat's highly durable Tabletop finish. Perhaps you would like it to have an older look. Add one of our transparent toners to the topcoat. Or maybe there is that end table you've meant to refinish for a while. After you sand it down, you can make use of our sanding sealer. Other small projects that would make good use of your water-based Aqua Coat products are birdhouses, bat boxes, beehives, storage boxes, stools, frames, mailboxes, shadowboxes, spice racks, key holders, and the list goes on. Finishing touches on all of those are helped out by things like Aqua Coat's wood filler and our blotch barrier, so your stain comes out nice and even.

What if you don't have quite enough to finish a given project? That bookshelf is pretty big, after all. Remember, unless you have an extraordinary taste in interior design, it isn't going to be sitting in the middle of a room with all sides visible. At least one side of that shelf (dresser, cabinet, whatever) is going to be up against a wall. Use up that last bit of Aqua Coat Warm Cherry on all the visible sides and cover the back with whatever else is handy. You've made possible use of that soothing cherry stain you liked so much and maybe used up a bit of another color you wound up not loving so much. And every side of that shelf is finished and preserved, ensuring that it will be in excellent condition for years if not decades to come. What could be more environmentally friendly than that?

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment. All of Aqua Coat’s stains are water-based, which means they will mix. If you are trying to finish or refinish a particular piece and want to keep the same basic look, mix whatever you have left from that project and some similar colors. Or you can take random colors and see what you come up with. Still, want more options? Purchase some of Aqua Coat's rich tinting colors to get exactly the color you're looking for. If the final product is something you don’t care for, you can still use your Aqua Coat creation to preserve a small project you made for only practical purposes.

If you are particularly ambitious, you could build a feature wall. This is something that all those left-over scraps of wood are very well suited for. All those different shapes, sizes, and grains by themselves will make an interesting and even artistic feature in your home. Making use of your extra Aqua Coat products to stain or paint all those different pieces of wood a slightly different color will make it that much more attractive. Put some shelves, artwork, lights, or other finishing touches on the wall, and you'll have a fascinating looking wall in your neighborhood.

As many have said, necessity is the mother of invention, and limits often stimulate creativity. By committing to be as environmentally friendly as possible, you've not only decided to purchase products like Aqua Coat paints and stains but to make as much use of them as possible. Working within that framework can be an occasion for surprising and stimulating bursts of creativity that, when they are complete, you can look on with pride. 

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.