Old cans of paint, usually in the garage, can take up lots of space unnecessarily.  When I purge through paints with my clients, I take the following steps.  

1.  Determine if there are colors you no longer use, and place those cans in the pile to go to the dump.  

2.  Shake the can of each you want to keep to see if it is liquid, or if it has completely dried up, in which case it goes into the dump pile as well.

3.  Organize remaining paint to determine what you have.  For example, if you have 1/4 of a gallon of the Winter White that you used in the guest room, you want to re-can that paint into a quart size can.  Empty cans are available at Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as at other hardware stores.  Look in the next can and if it is nearly full, but there are lumps and rust, you will want to re-can that into a gallon size.  Go through all the paint you are keeping and count the number of gallon size cans you will need to buy as well as the small quart size cans.  

4.  Purchase or round up from your stocking drawer the number of knee highs you will need to act as strainers.  One per can is what you will require.  I used knee high hose I knew I wouldn't wear again.  Place it over the new can with the foot hanging down inside and roll the elastic portion over the top exterior of the can.  

5.  This is a two person job.  Both of you should wear disposable plastic gloves, also available at the hardware stores.  One of you needs to hold the stocking in place while the other does the pouring after a good shaking.  After all has been poured into the new can, carefully lift the hose up and gently press it together careful not to tightly squeeze, as you face the possibility of lumps coming through.  This is what you want to get rid of, as you ditch the hose in the pile going to the dump, or leave them out exposed to the air and once they dry out, just toss in your regular trash.  

6.  Be sure to label every can with the info of which rooms it belongs to, as well as dabbing a touch of paint on the lid.  I prefer to box them at this point, and keep all the exterior paints together, as well as the interior paints together.  It just makes locating what I need a lot easier!

7.  Look with joy at the results.  Put away the cans you are keeping and all the excess you are getting rid of at the dump will now provide you with extra space—and who doesn't want more of that??



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