Don't put it in the shed, give it to us instead!

01/01/2011 Return to news archive

With the August Bank Holiday long gone and the winter weather fast approaching , many of us will have rolled up our dust sheets and put away our paintbrushes until the new year. But come the Spring, there’s a good chance that the half tin of paint you saved “just in case” will no longer be fit to use, which is why Community RePaint, the nation’s paint reuse network, is on a mission to rescue the UK’s paint before the winter sets in.

Community RePaint schemes collect leftover paint which they then redistribute to local charities, community groups and families and individuals in need, but following the last two hard winters, far less paint has been reusable, meaning that they have been able to assist fewer people.

Household paints do not respond well to extreme temperatures which mean that if the temperature drops below freezing, ice crystals can form in the paint, causing it to separate and making the paint useless even after it has thawed out. Paint stored in sheds and garages is at particularly high risk, yet this is where we tend to keep our paint.

Many of us hold onto our leftover paint in case we need to “touch up” but more often than not we don’t get round to it, especially as touching up often only draws attention to the area and the new patch of paint stands out compared to the colour already on the wall, which over time may have faded.

“If you are storing paint it is important to make sure the lid is sealed firmly so that it doesn’t dry out and that it’s kept in a dry place to avoid tins rusting,” said Clair Lloyd, the Programme Coordinator for Community RePaint. “Ideally, paint should also be kept at room temperature but this isn’t always possible which means there is a high chance that it will be ruined during the winter, which is why this autumn we’re asking householders and businesses not to put it in the shed, but give it to us instead!”

There are now over 60 schemes in the UK Community RePaint network, collecting leftover reusable paint from local householders and businesses. They then redistribute it to community groups and individuals and families who need paint to improve the appearance of homes and other structures in the community. Thus, not only can the reuse of paint help improve the wellbeing of many people it also benefits the environment, by keeping paint out of landfill and reducing carbon emissions.

To find your nearest donation point visit Where Can I Donate My Paint? on the Community RePaint website, or for more paint storage advice download our How to Store Paint leaflet.