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Photo Courtesy of Wendy Harman via Flickr - License

Photo Courtesy of Wendy Harman via Flickr – License

After a painting project is finished, we are often left with extra paint. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes the amount leftover is not enough to use on future projects. Mixing paint is also out of the question, because even the same color from different companies can have slightly different shades, tones, and hues that will not blend well. So we’re faced with a unique dilemma: what should we do with the leftovers? Luckily, after years on the job as Boulder’s premiere painters, we’ve come up with a few solutions.

Have Your Paint Re-Tinted

A great way to make use of extra paint is to have it re-tinted. Re-tinting is the process of altering the paint’s color to something other than what it was when you originally bought it.

Paint starts as a tint base, commonly white, midtone, deeptone, ultra-deeptone, or neutral, and it is changed by adding a colorant. For example, white bases are used to make off-white colors, while a neutral base is used to create dark colors such as a deep-red or navy blue. By taking your leftover paint back to its place of purchase, you’ll be able to discover the color options your paint allows for. This can be especially useful if you have an abundance of another paint made by the same manufacturer. If your paint can be changed to the color of your choosing, you can recycle it back into your existing supply.

Accent Your Knickknacks

Everyone has a few bits and pieces lying around the house. A picture frame here, a planter there, and they all could use new life. Small amounts of leftover paint are the perfect way to do this. Accent outdoor flower planters to match your home’s exterior, or give a decorative bowl new charm. Base your ideas off of what your leftover paint was originally intended for. Was it for the home’s exterior? Then paint the flower pots. For the interior? Paint some picture frames. The idea is to accent items to match their surroundings.

Get Artsy

Contrary to the title, you don’t need to be particularly artistic to make this suggestion work. In fact, the idea is pretty straightforward, with a little out-of-the-box thinking.

If you have an unused glass picture frame or mirror, turn it into a chalkboard with latex paint. For this you’ll probably have to run to a Boulder hardware store, like McGuckin (we like to shop local). Pick up some non-sanded tile grout, a mixing stick, and an empty bucket, and you’re all set. Mix your paint in the bucket at a ratio of one-part grout to eight parts paint, and stir until smooth. Once the mixture is free of clumps you’re ready to paint.

Pro tip: Chalk paint dries very fast, so be ready to paint as soon as you’re done mixing.

Donate It

Not everyone has the luxury of access to high quality paint. Many individuals and organizations lack the sufficient funds to purchase paint for their projects. We recommend donating any leftover paint that you won’t be able to repurpose. Local organizations such as boy scouts or community centers are run with limited budgets and are always looking for paint to add to their craft supply cabinets. Likewise, places of worship are often short on money for renovation projects. Your leftover paint could help support an institution that many Boulder community members hold dear. Finally, organizations such as Habitat for Humanity will gladly take donations of paint to use in their restoration projects for individuals who have lost their homes.

Even if it’s only a small amount, please remember to donate any unwanted paint you have to those in need. Part of keeping our community strong is supporting each other. Boulder does a wonderful job of this already, so let’s keep that progress going.

We hope that by utilizing these ideas you’ll be able to help reduce paint waste and save yourself a few dollars. As professionals, we’re always looking for the most innovative ways to recycle our products. If you’re ever in need of a Boulder area painter, be sure to contact us. We can assure you that your paint will never go to waste.

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