5 Tips for DIY Green Painting

by Philip Rudy

There are many ways to keep your DIY painting job "green", or at least lessen its impact on the environment:

1. Plan for the right amount of paint.

When you determine how much paint you need for a surface, don't just guess. Get the tape measure out and get some exact numbers.

Keep in mind that a typical gallon of paint will cover 400 square feet with a single coat of paint. When measuring, subtract the square feet of windows and doors, if they are present. Also, remember that you will often need 2 or 3 coats of paint to complete the job.

By only purchasing the amount of paint that you need for a project, you can avoid wasted paint (paint will expire after an extended period of time).

2. Dispose of unused paint properly.

Of course, the way that you dispose of unused paint is one of the most important aspects in DIY green painting.

Never pour unused paint down the drain or out in the woods. The harmful chemicals can have a very negative impact on the environment.

If you must throw away water-based paint, first leave the top off so that it will dry out in a safe place. After it is dry, you can safely throw it away in your normal garbage.

3. Know when to clean your tools.

If you find that you cannot complete your painting job in a single day, don't clean your tools off each day. Instead, wrap them tightly in a plastic bag and keep them out of the Sun.

If you do this, they will still be usable the next day - often several days after. Cleaning your tools after each day will only needlessly contaminate water supplies even more.

4. Scrape before you wash.

When rinsing tools out in the sink, first try scraping as much paint off as possible.

With wet paint, you can squeeze it back into the bucket using a stirring stick. With dry paint, it can be chipped off into the garbage rather than being poured down the drain.

5. Choose paint carefully.

When choosing paint, look for brands that have reduced VOCs or are at least water based rather than petroleum.

For indoor painting, you have plenty of options like lime wash, milk based and clay based products.

For the exterior of your home, you will just have to try to get the most environmentally friendly paint that you can, as almost all will contain some amount of VOCs in order to stand up against the weather.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This article was written by Philip Rudy, who helps run and maintain Painting Contractor USA website.

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