There are several ways in which you can make your painting project into an eco-friendly painting project. From purchasing low VOC paint to careful cleanup, eco-friendly painting is a simple. Here are tips to help you get started:
Purchase Low or No VOC Paint
VOCs are chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures to significantly vaporize and enter the atmosphere. Essentially, VOCs are the fumes in paint. With excessive exposure, they are known to cause harm to humans. Almost every quality paint manufacturer produces low VOC paints. Low VOC paints may cost a few more dollars per gallon. Low VOC paints are as good quality as other paint.
Purchase Paint Applicators Made from Recycled and Renewable Materials
There are many green painting applicators on the market. One of the best is the Purdy EcoPro product line. Their line includes brushes with recycled nylon bristles, a biodegradable, disposable pulp tray and recycled roller covers.
Carefully Measure to Determine How Much Paint You Need
In general, 1 gallon of paint will cover about 350 square feet. Carefully measuring will prevent leftover paint and will help to prevent waste.
Choose Latex or Acrylic Paints
Latex and acrylic paints are the best for the environment. Oil paints contain the highest level of chemicals and fumes. Low VOC paints are available for acrylic and latex paint.
Use Cloth Tarps
Cloth tarps are stronger than plastic and can be used more than once. Using cloth tarps helps prevent waste.
Skip the Washing
Instead of washing your applicators, wrap them in a plastic bag. If kept out of the sun, the applicators will last overnight or even a few days.
Clean and Scrape the Paint Cans
Scrape excess paint from cans, rollers and brushes. A stir stick or wall scraper works well. Scraping before washing will make the applicators easier to clean. Wash your applicators indoors and not in a drain on the street or outside in your yard with a hose. The paint could harm your soil. Storm drains generally drain to natural water sources, which you should not pullet with paint.
Do Not Pour Paint Thinner Down the Drain
Paint thinner and oil based painted contain toxic chemicals. Add kitty litter or shredded newspapers right into the paint can. This will absorb the liquid. You can then discard the can in regular waste. If your city has a hazardous waste drop- off center, then take the paint or thinner to the center.
Dispose Paint Properly
Convert extra latex and acrylic paint to a solid by removing the lid. This will allow the water or solvents to evaporate. Then discard in regular trash. If a recycling program exists in your area, then recycle the empty paint can.
Tightly Seal Paint Cans
Tightly sealed paint cans should be stores upside down. This will help elongate the life of the extra paint.
Donate Unused Paint
Consider donating your extra paint to organizations like Habitat for Humanity or to a local shelter.
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