Paint Reclamation Project



Examples of types of paint collected:

Paint cleaning tips:

All paints contain chemicals that may have the potential to pollute water systems. Brushes must never be cleaned or rinsed into a street gutter or drain. Follow these tips for cleaning:


  1. Paint as much paint as possible onto an old rag or newspaper. Once dry, this can be disposed of with your household waste.

  2. Clean your brush in a container and use a separate container to rinse it.

  3. Allow the paint solids to settle overnight in the first container. The water can then be poured onto an area in the garden where it can be absorbed into the ground. The remaining paint solids can then be wiped out of the container and, once dry, disposed of with your household waste.

  4. The water in the container used to rinse the brushes can be poured into the garden immediately after use.

  5. Not only does this method stop paint getting into stormwater systems, but it also reduces use of water.


  1. The same method as above can be used, but with solvent instead of water. However, instead of pouring the solvent into the garden, it should be poured into a container and securely closed for future use. Remember to label the container properly so that the contents are clearly marked.

Note: Although the solvents necessary to use with oil paint are harmful, it is worth noting that acrylic paint contains solvents in the paint itself. Therefore, it is as necessary to clean acrylic paints responsibly.


Parton’s intention is to attempt to work within environmental considerations. Documentation of the process is part of this investigation into the requirements, difficulties and impact involved in working with paint. This approach emerges from a consideration of the impact on environment of the matter with which artists work.


View works with spent paint

View paint collection

View work in progress

Paint collection data examples:

  1. 1.M. Oosthuizen, Apr ’09 / 2.8 kg

  2. 2.R. Jones, Feb ’09 / 5.2k kg

  3. 3.M. Barthko-McCabe, Feb ’09 / 6.5 kg

  4. 4.M. Barthko-McCabe, Feb ’09 / 296 g

  5. 5.W. Boshoff, Mar ’08 / 12.3 kg

  6. 6.J & N Rosenmann, Jul ’08 / 18.7 kg

  7. 7.I. Berman, Dec ’07 / 2.3 kg

  8. 8.M. Dumas, Oct ’07 / 5.1 kg

  9. 9.D. Michaels, Sep ’07 / 12 kg

  10. 10. M. Rundle, Aug ’07 / 8.6 kg


To donate your spent paint: