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Home improvement painting projects – well planned and well executed – deliver a sense of well-being, too, along with the satisfaction that comes with an investment that adds value to your property. But that successful project is based on a lot of little things, and for 20 years our experts at Matthews Painting are always paying attention to those. One of them, and we hear this question asked by our clients a lot, is how much paint do you need to buy – and what do you do with the leftover paint? Glad you asked Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City, Indiana residents.
Fortunately, our painting professionals are all math majors, at least when it comes to calculating the surface square footage that needs coverage and how much product that will require. We’re also familiar with how different surfaces will behave when we paint – for example, new drywall that will soak up more of the product, or hardwood flooring that absorbs more stain than you thought.
Most paint manufacturers and home improvement stores have calculators designed to help you get it right yourself. These online tools are helpful, but be sure to measure accurately (don’t forget to add a ceiling or perhaps subtract the trim) and divide the total by the amount of coverage you’re expecting from that quart or gallon. When you buy a quality product – and of course you should! – it’s helpful to know that you’re not spending money on more paint than you need.
So a little extra for touch-ups isn’t a bad thing. But what happens if you’re left with way more paint than you need, or old cans you’ve had far too long? Here are a few ideas for what to do with those half-used paint cans:
· If you plan to discard them, check your local laws first. Some states have paint stewardship laws, and many communities restrict disposal of paint cans – or at least those that are still wet – in the trash. You may need to take them to a hazardous waste disposal location, or a retail store with a designated program, in order to minimize any negative impacts on the environment.
· Consider donating the paint to Habitat for Humanity, which runs a nonprofit ReStore home improvement outlet in many communities. That paint, sold at a value price, may come in handy for neighbors who need less expensive options. There also are many people who choose to buy at the ReStore, FreeCycle and similar platforms, because it’s viewed as an environmentally friendly move.
· Take your part in public art! When you choose to donate that secondhand sunflower and leftover lavender, you make an investment in your own community. With today’s emphasis on urban living and lovable cities, there’s been an increase in artists and volunteers transforming the streetscape with colorful neighborhood murals, place-making crosswalks and other projects. Whether its sidewalk pianos or silly penguins, your paint donations can make your city better. We like the jazz-themed one pictured here in Elkhart, and showcased by Purdue University’s agricultural services because it worked so well with northern Indiana’s quilt garden project and the coordinated plantings.
· It may not be the most novel thought, but here’s another idea: Just keep the paint. If the can is properly sealed and stored, it can last for years. You may have just enough for some little art projects of your own – a picnic table, a sandbox, a birdbath – to brighten your space. Just be sure to mark the cans, because your best intentions may fail when remembering what color that is.
But if you want to avoid all that decision-making, just buy the right amount of paint in the first place. Our team of professionals is ready to help with all of the little things that go into your painting project, so that we deliver on that really big thing: your home’s comfort and your satisfaction for years to come.
Matthews Painting has now expanded our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door, window and kitchen cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana, Columbia City Indiana, Warsaw, Winona Lake, Leesburg, Syracuse, Indiana, North Webster, North Manchester, Lake Wawasee and Lake Tippecanoe areas.