Is your garden shed, garage or cupboard under the stairs home to unopened cans of paint? If so, you’re not alone. That’s because Britain, it seems, is a nation of paint hoarders, according to new research from home improvement retailer Wickes.

In fact, there are literally millions of litres (139 million to be exact) of paint gathering dusts in homes across the country – enough to cover more than 250,000 football pitches!

The research also found that 44% of homeowners are currently living with unfinished home improvement projects. While the reasons behind these projects remaining unfinished were not given, we suspect it’s because the thought of more painting has simply put them off.

Crack on before Christmas is here

As Christmas approaches, Wickes is encouraging the 66% of British homeowners who have unopened paint in their houses to make the most of them and crack on with any unfinished DIY projects ready for the festive season.

[Related reading: Mood-Boosting Colour Choices: Brighten Your Life (And Your Home)]

Debbie Jackson, 55, a Business Development Director from London, said: “My cellar is filled with tins of paint. I hardly have any storage space left. We’ve probably got as many variations of ‘white’ as you would find in a store! With Christmas and New Year fast approaching my husband has promised me that we will use them to get the house looking its best for the festive season. If we could declutter our cellar and spruce up the house at the same time, I would be very happy.”

When it comes to storing all this paint, 32% of British homeowners use their garden sheds, 23% their garages and 15% underneath their stairs. Some people have even sacrificed their only car parking space in their garages to accommodate said paint.

Interestingly, the research also revealed that we are a nation that likes to keep up appearances, with people more likely to paint their garden sheds than their bedrooms. On the inside, our bathrooms get the most TLC in terms of paint, receiving a new coat almost every two years.

How to dispose of unwanted paint

Not sure how to dispose of unwanted paint? You’re in good company, as 60% of British homeowners also said they don’t know.

If you’ve got any paint that you’re not sure how to dispose of and no longer need, contact PaintCare Inc. or Community RePaint. Both of these organisations will collect your old paint and either reuse or remanufacture it, enabling individuals, families, communities and charities to benefit from it at a reasonable price.

Did you know that opened paint has a shelf life? That’s right! Water-based acrylic and latex paint should be used within two years of opening. The good news though is that unopened paint can last for up to 10 years, so there’s still plenty of time to make those home improvements yet.

Want to put that old paint to use, but simply can’t be bothered to pick up a paint brush? Contact us today – we’d be happy to give you a helping hand.