How can I reuse or recycle old paint?

paint_can180.jpgPosting the paint tins entry last week made me wonder what about paint itself.

I know there are a lot of worthwhile causes out there that collect the half-cans of paint sat around in everyone’s cellar/shed/store-cupboard and put them to good uses – like painting murals, bit of furniture or when there is enough left, decorating interiors of community projects and the like.

These things tend to be local but does anyone know of any national schemes? If not, how about local ones in your area? If you do, leave the details in a comment – including which area it is if it’s a local one.

And aside from that, any crafty craft-y reuse ideas for old emulsion/gloss paint?

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15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old paint?”


  1. Emma says:

    I don’t know about any charities but I love keeping the ends of paint cans and those little tester pots for painting plant pots or picture frames and stuff like that.

  2. dancing girl says:

    I have just had a great success revamping an old cracked and ugly urn. You know when you help your friends move house you end up with all sorts of cast offs. Sort of a Roman urn shape but with an ugly 90′s shell motif. The surface was textured so that gave me an idea. I drilled out a drainage hole, rumaged for some old paint and went down to the beach for some sand. Washed the sand (to remove salt) and threw heaps into a small tin of paint until I had the right thick texture. (Suprising how much sand the paint will hold.)

    I dabbled it over the urn and after two coats with a good few weeks for hardening I planted a pony tail palm in it. It’s not really painting more like rendering with a stippling sort of action. It’s best to work over small areas at a time. Glazed areas need three coats. I covered up the cracks and the ugly shells and now you would think it came from a garden centre. Great rough modern texture. I am now searching high and low for more ugly pots too transform.

    The paint used was a water based outdoor/indoor matt paint. I have not tried it with gloss but I don’t see why not. This textured surfacing could work on all sorts of projects. Make your own non slip paint for steps. Saves paying for it at the paint shop. Just use the oldest paint brush you can find as it is rather harsh on the bristles.

  3. dancing girl says:

    I have just had a great success revamping an old cracked and ugly urn. You know when you help your friends move house you end up with all sorts of cast offs. Sort of a Roman urn shape but with an ugly 90′s shell motif. The surface was textured so that gave me an idea. I drilled out a drainage hole, rumaged for some old paint and went down to the beach for some sand. Washed the sand (to remove salt) and threw heaps into a small tin of paint until I had the right thick texture. (Suprising how much sand the paint will hold.)

    I dabbled it over the urn and after two coats with a good few weeks for hardening I planted a pony tail palm in it. It’s not really painting more like rendering with a stippling sort of action. It’s best to work over small areas at a time. Glazed areas need three coats. I covered up the cracks and the ugly shells and now you would think it came from a garden centre. Great rough modern texture. I am now searching high and low for more ugly pots to transform.

    The paint used was a water based outdoor/indoor matt paint. I have not tried it with gloss but I don’t see why not. This textured surfacing could work on all sorts of projects. Make your own non slip paint for steps. Saves paying for it at the paint shop. Just use the oldest paint brush you can find as it is rather harsh on the bristles.

  4. rita says:

    You can paint old shoe boxes with emulsion paint to make storage boxes. They may take a couple of coats depending on the underlying colour. You can also paint fir cones etc to make your own decorations.

  5. Theora says:

    I combined several cans of paint and had enough to paint a room in what turned out to be a nice shade of sage-y green.

  6. CheapNLazy says:

    Donate to your city waste facility’s hazardous waste dept for combining w/other paints to repurpose.

  7. mark says:

    Local scrap stores will re-cycle paint our one in Oxford oxorinoco.org does and so do many others. They are all round the country and provide a low cost alternative for schools, community groups and individuals and you can pick up some amazing stuff!

  8. Chris says:

    I am aware of the national RePaint network:
    http://www.communityrepaint.org.uk

    The front page says…

    “Community RePaint is a network of paint reuse schemes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The purpose of the project is to collect leftover reusable paint from householders, and redistribute it to those who need paint but cannot afford it.”

    You can find your nearest scheme on the site by region.

  9. Anonymous says:

    PLEASE HELP ME I AM DSPERATE. i HAVE SOME OLD PAINT THAT I WOULD LOVE TO USE THE CONSISTENCY LEAVES EVEN MY IMAGINATION TO A HALT… IT HAS BECOME QUITE THICK ALTHOUGH I HAVE LITERALLY CUT PIECE AWAY AND REVIVED IT BACK TO LIFE WITH A LITTLE PAINT FROM ANOTHER PAINT POT. PROBLEM I STILL HAVE A WHOLE BIG POT OF ALMOST SOLID PAINT…. IT’S JUST ONE BIG MOUND OF PAINT.
    IF ANYONE CAN HELP THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    THE BEST BIT IS I HAVE A TIME FRAME MY GORGEOUS GIRLS WILL BE HOME MONDAY NIGHT. AND I HAVE TO DISSOLVE !!! THE PAINT, THEN PAINT AND PUT THE ROOM BACK TOGETHER BEFORE THEY COME HOME TO SEE WHAT WONDEROUS WONDER MUMMY HAS CREATED.
    PLEASE ANY IDEAS NO MATTER HOW OBVIOUS, SILLY, CORNY, WEIRD I AM STUMPED. H E L P H E L P H E L P H E L P

  10. Amy Shipham says:

    Hello
    Having read your posts I thought you might be interested in my family’s new business. It is called Newlife Paints, we collect waste paint from local landfill sites and reprocess the waste paint into premium quality new emulsion paint products.
    We are currently set up in Ford, near Arundel, West Sussex. But have sales centres in the West Midlands and in Hartlepool.
    We are currently processing 2 tonnes of waste paint a week, but are hoping to increase up to 50 tonnes by the end of 2010. Of course this relys on sales.
    I would greatly appreciate it if you could all spread the word that recyced paint is for sale, we will ship UK wide. 2.5 litres pots are £12.99 and we currently have 12 colours, but this is increasing all the time.
    Please check out our website and feel free to get in contact if you have any queries.

  11. Russell Wake says:

    Hi

    You might interested in a new service that we are now doing, which is our community paint scheme.

    we have our own yard and storage area where various companies & the general public can come and drop off there unused paint. we then take this paint and distribute it back to the community via local groups, charities etc. all of this service is offered for free

    we are based in Newnham, just outside of baldock Hertfordshire

    for more information please visit our website or contact us on 01462 743828

  12. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly
    appreciated. Cheers

  13. wall art UK says:

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience concerning unpredicted feelings.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How can I reuse or recycle paint colour charts? » How can I recycle this? 18 07 08
  2. How can I reuse or recycle paintbrushes? » How can I recycle this? Creative ideas for reusing and recycling random stuff 15 12 08

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