Five Ways to use Leftover House Paint


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Five Ways to use Leftover House Paint

Posted 05/24/2013
Leftover Paint

The EPA estimates that 10 percent of the house paint purchased each year ends up discarded.

We all know the problem of having too little paint.  You’re halfway through completing a room and mid-stroke you realize there is not enough to cover all four walls.  You go back to the store and try to have a batch made that matches it perfectly.  It takes time out of your day and adds hassle to the process, which is why most of us error on the side of caution and over-purchase the gallons of paint needed for our project.  But what do you do with that leftover paint?  Here are some green and sustainable ways to add some extra life to that paint bucket without needing to dispose of perfectly good paint.

  1. Base coat. This won’t work if the leftover paint is a dark color.  You can use your leftover paint as a base coat if it is lighter than your prospective top coat.  If the existing wall color is already dark, then this tip is especially helpful.  Think of it like a sandwich, dark existing color, light top coat, dark top coat.
  2. Share socially. Use the power of social media to share.  Ask your friends if any of them are in need of paint for a project.  Your free materials will be picked up ASAP!
  3. Creative crafts. Use this opportunity to inspire your imagination.  Embrace your inner artist, buy some canvas, and become a household Picasso.  The paintings will perfectly match the painted tints in your home.
  4. Transform and retint. If you have different light-colored paints still waiting to be used, take it to your local paint store and ask if it can be combined and retinted.  Not all paint can be mixed together, but small amounts combined can create plenty for new projects.
  5. Donate to Charity. Many cities offer opportunities to donate building materials that are un-used to help support charities like Habitat for Humanity.  See if someone in your community could benefit and help others improve their homes.

What ways have you found to reuse leftover paint?