A fresh coat of paint is a great way to breathe new life into your home or business. However, in the pursuit of beauty, you have to also consider the environmental impact of your projects. Traditional painting methods can lead to a lot of waste and even release chemicals into the air. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make the painting process more sustainable and eco-friendly.
#1. Choose Low-VOC Paints
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gasses from certain liquids or solids. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals found in paint, varnish, cleaners, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants, among many other sources.
Exposure to VOCs can have adverse health effects, including irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose, difficulty breathing, nausea, damage to the central nervous system, and even cancer. VOCs can also react with nitrogen oxides and produce ozone pollution, leading to global climate change.
To ensure a more healthy and sustainable approach when painting your home or business, look for paint and supplies that have low VOCs. Only buy and use as much paint as you need, and don’t leave open cans of paint or paint thinner sitting around indoors. While painting, open your windows and turn on a fan to increase circulation and decrease the amount of VOCs in the air.
#2. Utilize Recycled Paints
Believe it or not, you can actually buy paint made from reblended or reprocessed materials. There are many companies that take old paint and recycle it into new paint, encouraging a sustainable, circular process.
Once you’re done with your painting project, make sure you dispose of your paint responsibly. Dry paint can be thrown in the trash, but most states have banned oil-based paint from landfills. Because paint disposal guidelines vary depending on where you live, make sure you do your research before throwing any paint away.
#3. Opt for Sustainable Paint Brushes and Rollers
Most conventional paint brushes and rollers contain synthetic materials that are destined to sit in a landfill for millions of years. Instead, look for biodegradable options made of natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, or wood. You can also get tools made of recycled materials for an even more sustainable approach.
#4. Prep and Clean Responsibly
When you’re painting your home or business, it’s important to prep and clean thoroughly and responsibly to ensure a high-quality end result. However, many cleaning products contain potentially harmful chemicals that are not eco-friendly. Look for sustainable options, or make your own cleaning solutions from household materials like baking soda and vinegar. Not only are homemade cleaning products better for the environment, but they’re also better for your wallet and can save you money.
#5. Salvage and Upcycle
There are a lot of supplies required to paint your home or business. You’ll need paint brushes, rollers, tape, drop cloths, and trays. Whenever possible, salvage and upcycle these supplies to make the process more sustainable.
You can use old, worn-out sheets instead of disposable plastic to protect your floors. Then, after you’re done with your painting project, you can wash them and store them until you need them again. Instead of buying new paint trays, use old storage containers, then rinse them out and save them to use again.
When it comes to paint brushes and rollers, you will probably have to buy new ones. Many people don’t take great care of their brushes and rollers, then just throw them away once they’ve finished their project. To avoid ruining your tools with dried paint, make sure you rinse them out as soon as you’re done with them.
You can also store trays, brushes, and rollers in the refrigerator while you take a break. The cold temperatures stop the paint from drying, so you can avoid cleaning your tools every time you step away for a break.
If you treat your equipment with the proper care, you’ll be able to keep it to use for your next project. You could also let a friend use your tools to paint their home, reducing the demand for new products.
Painting Services from Brush Brothers
If you want the job done right, turn to the experts at Brush Brothers Painting. We are experts in both interior and exterior painting and are dedicated to providing people all over Northern Utah with everything they need to refresh their homes and businesses. To get started, contact us today to find out what we can do for you!