You’ve heard it here before: Painting is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to spruce up your home. Nothing says hello spring (or winter or fall or any season for that matter) like a fresh coat of paint on the walls, on a favorite piece of furniture, or even on a canvas hung on the wall.
That’s why today’s Green Around the House Challenge is all about greening your painting routine.
The first and most important step to painting greener is to select low- or no-VOC paint. Lucky for you, I’ve written on that very topic before. So all you have to do to understand why it’s important to paint VOC-free (and where you can find paint sans VOCs) is read this post.
But what about the tools you use?
The greenest option is usually the reusable option. When it comes to protecting your floors and furniture, do you have any old sheets you aren’t using anymore? Throw them down as drop cloths. Or buy a heavy-duty canvas drop cloth, which can be used over and over again. If you’re looking for a temporary fix, check out Trimaco’s Eco Drop biodegradable paint tarps, which are available for $3 at many Lowe’s stores. Or try an all-purpose cotton drop sheet from Reaves, which is made from 90 percent post-consumer recycled content, is washable, and will decompose when you decide it’s time to toss it. Or to avoid having so many drips in the first place, consider purchasing a Drip Catcher.
Moving on to paint trays, you can’t beat a quality, reusable metal paint tray. New models that are coated with Teflon make cleanup even easier—and they’re a cinch to find at stores such as Ace Hardware. Another option: biodegradable disposable paint trays made from recycled pulp fiber from Bio Pulp Works, also available at Lowe’s.
When it comes to paint brushes or rollers, opt for quality, durable supplies that can be washed and reused. Or if disposable is a must, look for options made from recycled materials, such as the Worktools Whizz Green Brush with a renewable bamboo handle and the Whizz Green Roller made from recycled post-consumer waste. Then there’s the Envirobrush, which features disposable bristles that lock into a reusable (and recyclable!) plastic handle.
Once you have your supplies, hop on over to this post on painting basics to study up before you begin. And after the fact, check out our painting cleanup pointers to make life easier. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy your new color!
The Home Know-It-All