The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 69 million gallons of paint every year are discarded by Americans. If that estimate is accurate, that means we’re throwing away enough paint to cover 303 square miles 3 times!

Think about that: that’s 3 coats of paint over an area of 303 square miles! That’s a lot of paint that is going straight into landfills every year throughout the country.

At Re-coat, we think that’s a shame and we want to do everything possible to keep as many gallons as possible out of the landfills. To do that, we’re recommending that you follow the 3 R’s: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. If we all do our part, we can make sure that paint stays out of the landfills and ends up where it’s supposed to be: on our walls!


The first “R” in our “3 R” formula stands for Reduce. What we’re talking about here is extremely simple: Reduce the amount of paint you buy and bring home. The simplest way to cut down on the extra paint is to start at the source: let’s bring less paint home.

The easiest way to make sure this happens is to be sure to bring room dimensions with you to the paint store. So many folks forget this part, or, if they remember, they bring incomplete dimensions. To make sure you’ve got the right dimensions, follow these guidelines:

Draw a sketch of the room to be painted. (It always helps to have a floor plan sketched out. This doesn’t need to be terribly detailed–so don’t worry, you don’t need to be an architect.)Fill the sketch in with the measurements of each wall length.

Don’t forget to include the HEIGHTS of the wall as well.

When you bring all this information to the paint store, the folks there will be able to quickly determine the square footage of your rooms and they’ll recommend the correct amount of paint to use. Buying the RIGHT amount of paint will save you money AND it will keep that extra paint off your shelves.


The second “R” in the “3 R” formula stands for REUSE. What we recommend is that you take your extra paint in the basement and find places in your home to reuse it.

Use up extra gallons as first coats in your painting projects.

Whenever you paint a garage or a basement room where color isn’t critical, see if you can combine gallons of LIKE product in order to come up with enough paint–in a consistent color–to coat your walls.

Most paint stores will gladly combine and shake LIKE products for you for the simple charge of a plastic 5 gallon bucket.

Remember, finding new uses for old paint is going to have multiple benefits: you’ll get old paint out of your home, you’ll save money, and you’ll keep that leftover paint out of the landfills!


Finally, the 3rd “R” is one that we’re especially fond of: RECYCLE. If you’ve got old latex paint sitting on a shelf–paint that’s in decent condition, but paint you simply do not plan to use–bring that paint in to any Re-Coat Drop-Off Site. Or, if there isn’t a Re-Coat site in your area, contact your local paint store.

Bringing your used paint and turning it over to a paint recycler is a win-win situation for everybody involved. You get the paint out of your home, you help companies like Re-coat turn that paint into new product that will find it’s way onto the walls in somebody’s home, and best of all, you’re keeping paint out of the landfills!

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