Monday, September 29, 2008

Challenge #23: Paint and Save

REuse Painting SuppliesAfter five years, I have finally painted over the juvenile stencils, leftover from the former residents, on my office ceiling! This is one of our last painting projects- we just have the kitchen to go.

For our first project, all those years ago, we bought a disposable paint tray, thinking clean up would be quick and easy-we'd just pitch it. We ended up washing the tray, and have used it for every painting project since. It doesn't matter if there is a little paint left in the tray (as you can see in the photo). The same goes for the brushes and rollers. We've reused them until the bristles or nap no longer leaves a smooth surface. We routinely use the old roller for the primer or base coat and then choose a new one for the final top coats.

All of our paints have been latex, or water-based. We wipe excess paint out of the tray or brushes and then wash them out in the basement sink. Be sure NOT to wash these paints into a storm sewer, where they will enter a creek or stream directly, without any processing or time to break down.

Additionally, we've saved leftover paint, in case we need to touch up a wall. We have also used up extra paint for smaller projects, like giving a bit of color to the basement. This is a far better alternative than throwing the leftover paint into the landfill. Be sure to label your cans with the room, the surface, and the painting date.

Now, I know these chemicals are not the greenest choice available, but using them responsibly and reusing materials as you can, goes a long way.

Save Remodeling ToolsJust because a tool is used or dirty doesn't mean it needs to be thrown away. Ask yourself if you can REuse it.

Green PaintTo anyone who paints around their house with a nontoxic, low volatile organics or other green paint. Also be sure to repair walls before painting, to extend the life of thsi paint job.

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