Giving some old paint a fresh coat

1 Karen Boston Murray, Kathy Stewart and Diane Gregg turned a love for the environment into a business.

1 Karen Boston Murray, Kathy Stewart and Diane Gregg turned a love for the environment into a business.

By Bob McDonnell
The Surveyor

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as we paint our homes, some 64 million gallons of paint remain unused. Much of this paint goes to landfills or gets stored in the garage until it is dried out and unusable.

Three ladies (Karen Murray Boston of Berthoud, Diane Gregg and Kathy Stewart) started a company to do something about this environmental concern. They formed a business that recycles latex paint, called 3 Painted Ladies.

The common bond for the women, other than a “green” mindset, is that they all previously served on the board, staff, or as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

The trio realized each had brought a business strength — marketing, retail and human relations — to complement each other as they recycled and sold paint.

The business is located at 418 Eighth Street S.E., Unit B8 in Loveland. Anyone, individual or commercial painter, may bring unused paint to the shop for recycling, at no charge. Those who need paint picked up will be charged a pick-up fee plus mileage.

They accept interior or exterior paint, but the recycled paint produced and sold is only for interiors.

The used paint is filtered three times before it is repackaged. Large vats hold similar colors as they are collected. Surprisingly the end result comes out to eight colors — Sublime Sage, Columbine Blue, Grays Peak, Milk Chocolate, Red Rocks, 50 Shades of Tan, Colorado Cream and Winter Snow.

The 3 Painted Ladies developed their own nature-friendly paint brand called Earth Girl. The name Earth Girl resulted from a Facebook “Name the Paint” contest. Then 10-year-old Nina Miller submitted the winning name. Miller wanted to be a female, green superhero for Halloween. Finding none, she created Earth Girl.

Typically, a gallon of high or mid-grade paint costs in the range of $35 to $40. Earth Girl paint prices are about $16 to $17 a gallon.

Keeping with the ecology theme, the plastic containers are made of recycled plastic and are American made. When the containers are empty, they may be reused for other purposes.

On Saturday May 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3 Painted Ladies plans to hold a paint-recycling day in Berthoud. Anyone can drop off latex paint on that day in the parking lot located east of Subway by the railroad tracks.

Town of Berthoud business development manager Ron Schneider says this paint recycling effort will take the place of the community cleanup day. He hopes to work with 3 Painted Ladies to have the events alternate with cleanup one year and paint recycling the next.

The paint recycling event is a fundraiser for the Berthoud Habitat for Humanity. Fees are $1 for a can of paint and $5 for a five-gallon bucket.

“The paint drive is a wonderful thing,” said Berthoud Habitat Thrift Store manager, Sharon Gingerich, adding that money received will be added to the building fund to be used for construction projects.

It’s spring cleanup time — get out your old cans of paint for recycling.