recolor your world

Attention: Thursdays Treasures has been reduced to 1 item this week.  More specifically, it has been reduced to one category.  Items in this category include:

Java, Butter, and Carrot; but it’s not groceries.

Chalkboard and Pencil; but it’s not school supplies.

Peace and Love; but it’s not counseling.

Grass, Moss, Posie, and River; but it’s not landscaping.

Reef, Surf, and Night; but it’s not vacation packages.

Velvet and Steel; but it’s not…whatever category those two fit in.

What is this mystery item that we have added to our inventory?  Paint.  Not just any paint; recolor brand paint is created by The Paint Exchange in Rockland, MA, a women owned business, and the only recycled paint manufacturer in the state of Massachusetts.


“The goal of The Paint Exchange, LLC is to provide an environmentally friendly paint product, using locally sourced post-consumer materials.   We offer an alternative to the unnecessary and environmentally damaging disposal of latex paint while providing an economical, eco-friendly, high quality product.” – company website

Most homeowners in the US store at least one partial gallon of paint in their homes.  If you are like some, you even have a partial gallon [well labeled] for each room of your house, a partial quart for the trim in each room, and a partial 5 gallon for your exterior.  This is a great way to make sure you can touch up anything in your house at anytime.

the paint room at ReHouse

What about all that other paint we hold on to?  Partial quarts and gallons, well labeled by the previous homeowners, containing paint colors that are no longer even represented in our homes.  We continue to store them because most of us don’t know how to get rid of them.  What if I told you most of that paint can responsibly disposed of or can even be recycled in many cities?

The following information is applicable in Monroe County, NY.  Check with your local waste management and hazardous materials facilities for locally appropriate information. 

Many municipal waste facilities will not accept latex paint for disposal in liquid form. If you let the latex paint dry out then it can usually be thrown away with regular waste.  Monroe County website states that “1/3 can or less of latex paint can be disposed of in the trash and will NOT be accepted at the ecopark. Discard the paint can lid, add kitty litter, mix, let dry, and place in trash.”   That gets it out of your house (good!) but leaves the paint and the can to live on forever in the landfill (not so good).  If you have more than 1/3 can of paint a simple appointment is required to drop off any paint at the Rochester facility.

Once the paint is no longer occupying your valuable basement or garage space, then what happens to it?  According to The Product Stewardship Institute, surplus paint amounts to over 65 million gallons a year in the US. That’s a lot of extra paint hanging around somewhere.  The Paint Exchange and other companies like it offer communities a place to “properly and responsibly…dispose of their leftover latex paint.”  Not only do they reuse the paint, they also recycle the cans and lids (bonus!).

How does paint recycling work?  Once your paint has been cleared for acceptance into the recycling program (see the list of requirements), it is sorted out by color.  For a humorous yet educational rendition of this process I highly recommend Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, episode 122, “Maple Syrup Maker.”  I learned [almost] everything I know about recycled paint from watching this with my son. Different facilities sort in different ways.  While Mike Rowe only sorted into 3 color families (cool, warm, and white), at The Paint Exchange the sorting process results in 3 types of paint and 34 colors (Interior in 15 colors, Exterior in 3 colors, and Chalk Finish in 16 colors).

16 colors with a chalk finish

As of now you can find all 16 of these colors in our store.  Come on in, and check them out.  In the next few weeks we will be painting some samples and posting more about the paint itself as we become more and more familiar with it.  So far? Carrot is a big hit!