The latest trick in updating dented and scratched antiques is to copy what high-end designers are doing with new furniture: painting vintage pieces in white, black and bold colors. The trick is to find a piece of furniture with elegant and overstated lines, like the table shown below. Then, paint it all one color. You can use any finish, but if it is a heavily-handled piece, like a chair or table (vs. a mirror) we recommend you use a high-gloss, or seal the paint with a clear varnish.
If you bought it before 1991, it probably has banned substances in it. That was the year mercury was prohibited in paints; lead was banned in 1973. If your paint is old, treat it like oil-based paint: go through your community to dispose.
It is classified as hazardous by the federal government. That means it can never, ever go in the garbage. Check with your community's waste department for where to dispose of unused oil paint.
Dry it before throwing it out. Open the lid and leave in a safe place outside. If there is more than a quarter of a can of paint, pour in kitty litter; it'll absorb the paint and help it dry faster. Once all is dry, latex paint and paint cans can go in your regular garbage.
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