Sustainable decorating

Community RePaint takes leftover paint, redistributing and remanufacturing it for schools

Embarking on a large-scale repainting project isn’t cheap and it’s something that many schools will defer as they try to balance budgets. But a new coat of paint can make all the difference to a tired-looking school hall or peeling classroom walls – and that’s where the Community RePaint network comes in.

This national paint reuse network is made up of more than 70 schemes run by community organisations. The schemes collect leftover paint from traders, businesses, manufacturers and homes. They then redistribute it to schools, families, communities and charities at a very low cost. The network is run on a day-to-day basis by environmental consultancy Resource Futures and is funded by Dulux.

For projects where a larger quantity of the same colour is required, Community RePaint’s ReColour initiative has two centres that remanufacture paint (in the Wirral and Cambridgeshire). They take leftover paints then filter, treat and blend them to create high-quality interior emulsion, exterior masonry and chalk furniture paint.

‘An estimated 50 million litres of paint sold in the UK each year goes to waste,’ says Community RePaint’s coordinator Jude King. ‘That’s more than ten per cent of the 320 million litres sold annually. Leftover paint is either thrown away or stored in homes and garages. Yet more than 50% is still usable – and our redistribution scheme makes it available to schools at minimal cost. So whether a school is after some leftover paint to decorate a classroom or wants a large amount (60 plus litres) for a big project, we can deliver what they need. The project is a win-win as schools can also show off their green credentials by using leftover or remanufactured paint.’

ReColour paint is available in more than 17 colours, from £1.20 per litre plus delivery. It comes in five litre containers for emulsion and masonry and 750ml tins for chalk furniture paint. Colours can be tailored on request.

Leftover paint is available in smaller quantities from £1-£3 per litre.

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