Everyone is looking for ways to be more environmentally aware in their building methods and choice of materials, yet painting is often overlooked.
The construction industry continues to evolve in the use of sustainable recycled materials and the use of more energy efficient products, especially in the new housing market. The benefits of good sustainable painting practices extend beyond social conscience and responsibility.
When you combine proper sustainable painting practices with environmentally friendly products and materials, you are not only preventing damage to waterways and flora, but you are also assisting in preventing damage to the health of the contractors and consumers exposed to organic chemicals.
The right stuff
There are many companies that supply sustainable products to consumer and contractors. In particular, Monarch Painting have a range of brushes that are designed to minimise the environmental impact by being made with a bamboo handle and are supplied in a recycled cardboard brush keeper.
Monarch also has a plant-based drop sheet in which part of the product is derived from sugarcane meaning that the production and manufacture of the product does not use oil based or fossil fuel.
Paint Manufacturers are also producing paints that have low or zero Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids from a variety of chemicals which may have short or long term health effects. Paint manufacturers have made a commitment to our industry to continue to research and develop products that are environmentally friendly and promote healthier living spaces.
Proper surface preparation is also very important in sustainable painting practices. Thoroughly cleaning and preparing surfaces before painting not only ensures a longer lasting finish but also reduces the need for additional coats of paint, extends the longevity of the paint impacting the time between re-coats.
The four RRRRs
When it comes to cleaning brushes and rollers at the end of the day there are several methods to minimise the use of water.
Brushes and rollers can be stored in plastic or brush keeper until the end of the project. The use of a water treatment unit where eco-friendly chemicals are added to the water after the cleaning of brushes and rollers which separates the solids from the liquids which can then be used to water the garden.
Never dispose of left over paint in the rubbish bin or on the garden.
We are fortunate to have the Paintback scheme in Australia where you can drop off left over paint and packaging.
Paintback disposes of it responsibly diverting it away from landfill and waterways. The packaging is recycled, and the paint is used as alternative fuel in the manufacture of cement.
The Master Painters Association encourages all painters to follow the Four “R” s of Sustainable Painting Practices which are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove.