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Environmentally Friendly Painting

Chicago Green Friendly Painting

Take extra measures to ensure your painting project is an environmentally safe experience. The best quality acrylic paints are products that contain low or no volatile organic compounds (otherwise known as VOCs). These products reduce the emissions of VOCs into the home which improves indoor air quality and reduces urban smog. Check the labels on the cans for LEED certification to ensure you are using a low VOC product. LEED certified products are considered "green" or "environmentally-friendly."

Following are tips for "green" painting:

Use all the paint.

When possible, use every ounce of paint you buy. The extra coat will provide walls with more protection. Or, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor if they could use some extra paint for a small project.

Seal it tightly.

Any unused paint should be stored in tightly sealed cans and placed upside down to help maintain the seal. Don't pour leftover paint down the drain.

Dispose of paint properly.

To dispose of paint, convert it to a solid waste then dispose of it with your regular trash. To convert it to a solid waste, remove the lid to allow the water or solvents to evaporate. Do this in an area where children cannot tamper with it.

Hold off on cleaning tools immediately.

For projects that will take more than a day to complete, try wrapping your tools in a plastic bag for reuse instead of cleaning them at the end of each day. The tools will last overnight or even a few days if kept out of the sun.

Scrape the paint.

Upon completion of your project, scrape any excess paint from the can, latex rollers and brushes with a stir stick or wall scraper. Doing so prior to washing will make them easier to clean and is easier on the environment. When washing equipment, be sure to do so in a sink or similar drain so it is treated instead of ending up in the ground and in our drinking water.

Use quality water-based acrylic-latex paints.

Pure acrylic latex paints are more environmentally-friendly since they contain low levels of solvents. If using a water-based paint over an old solvent-based paint, be sure to follow the instructions for surface preparation which generally involves a good cleaning and a light sanding.

By Budda Oliver

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