tips and tricks3 min read

What to do with your leftover paint

Lick paint brush with white paint on in

WordsMaha Elley


So you’re done painting for a home decor project (for now), but there’s still some perfectly usable paint left in the tin. What next? Before you go ahead and dispose of it: wait. We have a few ideas on what to do with leftover paint so it doesn’t have to go to waste.

What to do with leftover paint: get crafty

While painting for DIY or decor projects is our first love, you can also use your paint for some good old-fashioned arts and crafts fun. Unleash your crafty side by using any leftover paint to get a little creative. Get some blank canvas and paint your heart out. 

Like what you conjured up? Share it with the Lick community by tagging us in your creations @lick on Instagram. Or just stash away for your personal memories and build up your very own little art collection. 

Leftover paint samples used in a scrap book
@celiamartinepickering creates art with her leftover paint samples
Art created using leftover Lick paint samples
We love what @celiamartinepickering has created

What to do with leftover paint: upcycle furniture

Paint isn’t just for your walls and ceilings. It also comes in super handy if you want to make over existing pieces of furniture that could do with a bit of a spruce. Use any leftover paint to upcycle furniture and save yourselves the cost (and hassle) of having to invest in new pieces. Oh, and you’re helping the environment in two ways here: by not throwing away your leftover paint and by saving old furniture pieces from landfill. 

Check out how to upcycle your bedside table by doing a little IKEA malm hack or learn how to upcycle cabinets in your bathroom using leftover paint.

An upcycled cupboard drawer
A upcycled console
Upcycling done beautifully by @patience_and_gough

What to do with leftover paint: save for touch-ups

Done with your DIY project and have some paint left over? You don’t need to put it to use straight away - save it! You never know when it could come in handy for any touch-ups needed in the future. 

Here’s how to store your paint the right way so it doesn’t go ‘bad’: 

  • Make sure it’s sealed in an airtight container, which most paint cans are. 
  • Store leftover paint in a cool, dry place. Avoid anywhere that’s too hot, too cold, or too humid. 
  • Don’t have much leftover paint? Pour it into a smaller container to reduce the paint-to-air ratio and keep it fresher for longer.

Wondering "can I paint over wallpaper"? Short answer is yes! Read our guide on painting over wallpaper.