Eco-friendly Painting Tips
Maybe you don't want a forest-green home, but you can still keep the environment in mind while painting. Here are some things to consider.
- Dispose safely. Never pour thinners, solvents or paint down the drain. Put them in tight-fitting jars or cans and have them picked up or delivered to a hazardous waste disposal site. For information about collections in your area, contact your local municipal or state government.
- Reuse. Paint thinner often can be reused. Over time, paint sludge settles on the bottom of the container. Pour the clean solvent off the top and use. When the thinner is gone, stuff an absorbent material into the can to dry the sludge before throwing the can into the trash. Consider giving unused paint thinner or stripper to local furniture refinishing shops or paint contractors.
- Air out cans before disposal. If there is a small amount of latex paint left in a can, leave the can open in a well-ventilated place. When it is completely dry, the can may be placed in the trash.
- Donate. Consider donating leftovers to a local theater group, parks department, school, or organization, or take it to a community exchange. Many towns have “drop and swaps” once or twice a year.
- Reduce waste. If you have more than half a gallon left over, try to use it for another project. Try mixing several colors of similar paints together. Make sure cans are properly labeled.
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