CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam ReStore has added a splash of color to its mission of providing people with affordable building supplies.
ReStore, a program of Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam that enables construction through the sale of donated building materials, received a donation from the Sustainable Kanawha Valley Initiative that has allowed it to purchase equipment to strain, filter and mix the latex paint donations it receives.
Courtney Crabtree, the ReStore's donation and community center manager, said that although the agency has accepted latex paint donations since 2011, it is generally in small quantities and often contains rust, which makes it unusable.
"Now we can filter and blend all the quantities of leftover paint and turn it into a usable product we can bundle and sell in gallons," she said.
Crabtree said a volunteer for the organization was able to help ReStore stretch its grant, which totaled roughly $10,000, to help build a ventilated room for the equipment and purchase two filtering tanks that allow the paint to be strained, mixed and strained again for quality.
The process creates paints that are predominantly shades of brown, tan and gray, but Crabtree said that if larger donations of a similar color are received, the agency can create other colors, as well.
"Sometimes we get some great colors. If we get an almost full can of a bright green, for example, we can mix it with a little bit of another color to create another green," she said. "It's taken a little time, but we've figured out how to create some decent colors."
Donations tend to be lower in the winter months, Crabtree said, which is why ReStore is holding a paint drive throughout the month of October. Crabtree said eight different local businesses and organizations have partnered with the ReStore and will hold their own mini-paint drives throughout the month.