{Green Living} Eco-Friendly Tips for Painting Your House

We’re getting new counter tops in our kitchen sometime in the next couple of weeks. It took us forever to choose the right granite for our project because of course we wanted the counter tops to match the rest of the kitchen.  We found what we were looking for in terms of complimenting our existing cupboards and flooring but the paint color will have to be changed.

Knowing that we’ll be painting soon (one of my least favorite things to do) has caused me to do a lot of research about environmentally friendly practices for house painting.  Here are some of the best tips that I found:

  • First, choose low VOC or low VOC paints. Many paint manufacturers now have colors with no or low Volatile Organic Compounds that are better for the environment and your health!
  • If you have more than 1/2 gallon of paint left, try mixing it with other colors for a new project.  (Obviously, you’ll want to mix colors that when mixed will produce a color you like and want to use.)
  • If you have just a little bit of paint left over from several cans (not enough for a new project) you can pour all of the contents of each color into one can and recycle what you have.
  • Let your paint dry completely in the can before disposing of it. That will keep the soil and landfill cleaner.
  • If you have to strip old paint use an eco-friendly paint stripper. Heat guns can also be used but come with their own hazards like accidentally setting one’s house on fire!
  • Consider eco-friendly paint additives. New to me: There is an additive that will create a micro-vacuum and reflect heat back into the house and cool back into the house when using air-conditioning.
  • Use old sheets and tarps to protect surfaces and furniture instead of plastic that will be thrown away. Sheets and tarps can be saved and reused for another job. :)
  • NEVER pour paint or paint thinner down the drain. It can potentially be hazardous to your health! Recycle when possible or use for the next project.

Are you considering a home improvement project?  What are your plans for making it eco-friendly?

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  1. Opting environmentally eco-friendly paints that are made out of natural or recycled materials, you can improve your space’s overall eco-friendly value.

  2. Eco friendly paints are all natural earth friendly paints curb the chances of releasing toxins in the environment that subsequently cause health hazards.

  3. Thank you! And thank you for being a green building firm!

  4. As a member of the US Green Building Council, our firm loves to hear of others ‘doing the right thing’. Thanks for sharing!


    Arturo Imaz (1/2 of the Imaz Brothers!)

  5. I wish I had thought to add that. My mom has listed leftover paint on Craigslist too and had people take it. GREAT reminder!

  6. Great tips! I’ve repainted a couple of rooms recently. After painting a bathroom, I had over half the gallon left over so I listed it on Freecycle!

  7. Linda Everett says:

    I love the idea of that paint additive! I am anxious to give it a try.

  8. I’m excited to learn about the paint additive too. I’m definitely going to use it.

  9. One eco-friendly tip for painting: If you ever replace old carpeting, save some of the padding underneath if possible. This makes a great drop cloth – it absorbs paint drops and also cushions your knees when you are crawling around doing trim close to the floor. That paint additive sounds pretty awesome.