During spring/summer of 2022, Bradford resident, Shahid Islam, took on an incredible project to create a patchwork, upcycled greenhouse, using sustainably sourced reclaimed materials and leftover paint from Community RePaint.

The opportunity arose for Shahid Islam when his neighbour offered him wood from his roof, destined for disposal, that had been removed from his home while building an attic. Using old concrete flags, Shahid created a base for his project and got to work transforming the reclaimed wood into a structurally sound frame, fit for his vision of an upcycled greenhouse.


Once the structure had been completed and a roof securely fitted, Shahid visited Community RePaint Bradford to pick up affordable wood preservative and paint for his project.

Community RePaint Bradford is part of the Community RePaint Network, a UK-wide paint reuse network sponsored by Dulux.

The scheme collects reusable paint from eight local Household Waste Recycling Centres, as well as leftover paint from local retailers, businesses and traders. This paint is sorted, processed and displayed at the scheme, available for local individuals, families and community groups/organisations to purchase from £1.80 per litre. Read more about Community RePaint Bradford in their Meet the Scheme interview here. 

Team at Community RePaint Bradford      The team at Community RePaint Bradford

When asked about his experience visiting Community RePaint Bradford, Shahid let us know:

“I absolutely loved the Community RePaint scheme from the moment I walked in. The staff and volunteers were very friendly and went out of their way to help me find the right paints and preservatives. We even had a great chat about some of the plans I had which they encouraged.

“I think it is crucial we have projects like Community RePaint. It helps people save money, it helps the planet and it brings people together for a good cause.”

Once paint and preservatives had been collected, Shahid contacted a local window manufacturer to find windows and a door for his greenhouse. The manufacturer provided Shahid with windows (reclaimed from refits) spared from the skip. Shahid chose carefully to ensure quality and that the differing sized windows could be jigsawed together to fit the greenhouse’s structure.


Before fitting all 21 windows, Shahid treated the greenhouse’s wooden frame with the wood preservative purchased from Community RePaint Bradford. Once the windows were secured, Shahid added colour to the frames with the paint sourced, also, from our Bradford scheme. Finally the reclaimed door was installed, resulting in the greenhouse becoming fully functional!

Over the warm summer months, this upcycled greenhouse, made nearly completely from reclaimed materials (other than the roofing sheets, silicone and screws), provided Shahid a magnificent space to grow his own tomatoes, chillies, aubergines and cucumbers.

Shahid let us know:

“This felt like a really rewarding project, especially when I consider all the materials that were saved from going to landfill, and now not only looks amazing but also serves a purpose. Costs were minimal and now I have a greenhouse full of great plants. I have a couple of deck chairs in there and I can sit in there and relax.”

For more information about Shahid’s project, click here to view his Twitter thread about the project. All greenhouse photographs shared in this article were taken and provided by Shahid Islam.

Are you inspired to take on a similar style project, or simply need affordable paint for a home DIY or community-led decorating/art initiative? Click here to search for your nearby Community RePaint scheme.


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