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A fresh paint job will do wonders for your home, but can be harmful to the planet, as well as your family's health. Here are some tips on painting the green way.

Look out for lead paint

Before 1970, paints containing high levels of lead were used in many homes. Incorrectly removing this paint can result in millions of toxic particles being released into your home.

If you think your existing paint might contain lead, never attempt to strip it yourself. Call in a professional to do the job safely.

Green painting

Go bright to reduce light

Use brightly coloured paints in interior spaces to reduce the need for energy-hungry artificial lighting.

Use chemical free paint

Many paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - toxic chemicals that keep getting released for years after the paint is applied. Ensure your paint is labelled 'Low VOC', or even better - 'No VOC'.

Look for paints from non-petroleum sources. Paint derived from clay, plant oils and even milk are becoming more common. So no matter what colour you choose, it's always green!

Avoid waste

Only buy as much paint as you need for the job. Paint cans usually state the surface area they cover, so a few quick sums will save precious resources (and money!).

Dispose of paint properly

Never tip unused paint down the drain. Keep it tightly sealed in a cool place and use it to touch up your paint job in future.

If you have a large amount of excess paint, why not give it to a friend or neighbour, or donate it to a community group?

If you really have to throw out paint, take it to your local waste services centre for proper disposal.

Cans that have completely dried out can be sealed, wrapped in newspaper and placed in your household garbage bin.

Want to go green on your next paint job? Get more eco-friendly advice from one of our professional painting contractors.

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