When you try your hand at DIY, the smallest effort to be environmentally aware can make a huge difference. Here, Crown Paint shares some ways we can stay green while painting – reduce, reuse and recycle!

Just enough and no more – Before your start the job, calculate exactly how much paint you'll need. Each can of Crown Paint has coverage information per square metre, per coat, on the back of the pack, so if you calculate the area to be painted before going to the shops, you can buy just what you need . . . with no waste.

Don’t worry, it’s easy to work out! Just measure the height and length of each wall (or ceiling) to be painted, then multiply these two numbers together. Do this for each wall, and add all the totals together to give you the area of the whole room. You can be extra kind to the environment by taking into account the space occupied by doors and windows.

Why waste water? – Don't bother washing rollers and brushes between applications. While waiting for your first coat to dry, just store your rollers and brushes in plastic bags to prevent them drying out. If you’re doing a big job with solvent-based paints, store your brush or roller underwater . . . yes, that’s right! When you’re ready to reuse, roll or brush the excess water onto scrap newspaper, which can go into your household bin. Before you use thinners or water to clean your application tools, brush excess paint onto old paper or rags, which can then go into the bin.


Keep a lid on it – Be careful with paint from the moment you purchase it. Make sure the lid is on tight and keep upright to avoid any spills. If you’re transporting cans in your car, try to brace them so they won’t fall over in your boot. Better still, if you have a passenger have them put the can upright between their feet. If you’re taking old cans to a recycling centre, make sure the paint inside is dry. If there is any residual paint, make sure the lid is tightly secured and that the can has no leaks in it. Always handle paint responsibly – some paints contain flammable solvents so try to avoid smoking around open cans. If you are storing leftover paint, always make sure the lid is tightly sealed to avoid the paint skinning over.

It happens to us all – you've finished the room but there’s paint left over. So what do you do with it? Let’s face it: paint costs money so rather than take it straight to the Bring Centre, why not try to reuse it?

Touch up – It’s always a good idea to keep a little bit stored away for touch-ups. If you are storing some paint, keep the lid tightly sealed. If you have larger quantities left over, perhaps consider an extra coat – it will help mask any surface imperfections as well as improve durability. Don’t forget: keep it out of kids’ reach and extremes of temperature.

Got loads left? – Why not take it to your local Crown Colourmix stockist and have them tint it to another colour for a job that you might not even have considered – how about the garage wall or garden fence?

Just a little? – For small quantities, why not repaint the dog kennel, an outdoor table or the letterbox?

Be generous – Why not give it to a neighbour or a community scheme? There’s always someone who could use some paint. For example, your local school might be planning to do a mural, or your local dramatists might be painting their sets. Use it up or it goes to waste . . . literally!

A handy tip for the DIY guy – If you’re mixing a small amount of concrete, use leftover water-based paint to supplement the water. This will increases the density of the concrete, making it less permeable. Careful though – it will affect the colour between batches of concrete.

Paint cans are recyclable and Crown Paints currently operates a Can Back scheme from our Coolock Decorating Centre. If you are not in that vicinity, Crown Paints is also member of REPAK, providing the facility for our paint cans to be recycled if they are taken to appropriate Bring Centres. Check with your local authority to see where your nearest centre that accepts paint waste is located.

Ideally, cans sent for recycling should be scraped as clean as possible, although a little dried paint is no impediment to the process.

Check out www.crownpaints.ie for more painting and colour selection advice