We have plenty of outdoor paint in stock Garden shades and masonry paint currently £1 per litre IN STORE only read more

Latest News and Info

Exterior Paint Shelf

What paint do we have?

This is a list of every (almost) paint on our shelves, subject to availability (it all depends on what we pick up from the waste sites).

We have a variety of different glosses, emulsions, varnishes and stains. If you want it, we most likely have it.

If you are in Leeds and looking to buy paint, it’s worth coming to Seagulls first!

Clear

Clear Satin Varnish
Clear Matt Varnish
Clear Gloss Varnish

Pine

Pine Satin Varnish
Pine Matt Varnish
Pine Gloss Varnish

Beech

Beech Satin Varnish
Beech Matt Varnish
Beech Gloss Varnish

Oak

Oak Satin Varnish
Oak Matt Varnish
Oak Gloss Varnish

Cherry

Cherry Satin Varnish
Cherry Matt Varnish
Cherry Gloss Varnish

Rosewood

Rosewood Satin Varnish
Rosewood Matt Varnish
Rosewood Gloss Varnish

Ebony

Ebony Satin Varnish
Ebony Matt Varnish
Ebony Gloss Varnish

Mahogany

Mahogany Satin Varnish
Mahogany Matt Varnish
Mahogany Gloss Varnish

Walnut

Walnut Satin Varnish
Walnut Matt Varnish
Walnut Gloss Varnish

Wood Stain

Natural Wood Stain
Pine Wood Stain
Beech Wood Stain
Oak Wood Stain
Cherry Wood Stain
Rosewood Wood Stain
Ebony Wood Stain
Mahogany Wood Stain
Walnut Wood Stain
Coloured Wood Stain

Decking Stain

Grey Decking Stain

Oak Decking Stain

Pine Decking Stain

Timber Decking Stain

Cedar Decking Stain

Mahogany Decking Stain

Clear Decking Stain

Brilliant White

Brilliant White Eggshell
Brilliant White Non-Drip Gloss
Brilliant White One Coat Gloss
Brilliant White Satin
Brilliant White Liquid Gloss
Brilliant White Exterior Gloss
Brilliant White Professional Gloss
Brilliant White Quick Dry Gloss
Brilliant White Quick Dry Satin

Brilliant White Matt Emulsion

Brilliant White Silk Emulsion

Brown

Brown Eggshell
Brown Non-Drip GlossBrown One Coat Gloss
Brown Satin
Brown Liquid Gloss
Brown Exterior Gloss
Brown Professional Gloss
Brown Quick Dry Gloss
Brown Quick Dry Satin

Brown Matt Emulsion

Brown Silk Emulsion

Black

Black Eggshell
Black Non-Drip Gloss
Black One Coat Gloss
Black Satin
Black Liquid Gloss
Black Exterior Gloss
Black Professional Gloss
Black Quick Dry Gloss
Black Quick Dry Satin

Black Matt Emulsion

Black Silk Emulsion

Red

Red Eggshell
Red Non-Drip Gloss
Red One Coat Gloss
Red Satin
Red Liquid Gloss
Red Exterior Gloss
Red Professional Gloss
Red Quick Dry Gloss
Red Quick Dry Satin

Red Matt Emulsion

Red Silk Emulsion

Orange

Orange Eggshell
Orange Non-Drip Gloss
Orange One Coat Gloss
Orange Satin
Orange Liquid Gloss
Orange Exterior Gloss
Orange Professional Gloss
Orange Quick Dry Gloss
Orange Quick Dry Satin

Orange Matt Emulsion

Orange Silk Emulsion

Blue

Blue Eggshell
Blue Non-Drip Gloss
Blue One Coat Gloss
Blue Satin
Blue Liquid Gloss
Blue Exterior Gloss
Blue Professional Gloss
Blue Quick Dry Gloss
Blue Quick Dry Satin

Blue Matt Emulsion

Blue Silk Emulsion

Pink

Pink Eggshell
Pink Non-Drip Gloss
Pink One Coat Gloss
Pink Satin
Pink Liquid Gloss
Pink Exterior Gloss
Pink Professional Gloss
Pink Quick Dry Gloss
Pink Quick Dry Satin

Pink Matt Emulsion

Pink Silk Emulsion

Green

Green Eggshell
Green Non-Drip Gloss
Green One Coat Gloss
Green Satin
Green Liquid Gloss
Green Exterior Gloss
Green Professional Gloss
Green Quick Dry Gloss
Green Quick Dry Satin

Green Matt Emulsion

Green Silk Emulsion

Purple

Purple Eggshell
Purple Non-Drip Gloss
Purple One Coat Gloss
Purple Satin
Purple Liquid Gloss
Purple Exterior Gloss
Purple Professional Gloss
Purple Quick Dry Gloss
Purple Quick Dry Satin

Purple Matt Emulsion

Purple Silk Emulsion

Cream

Cream Eggshell
Cream Non-Drip Gloss
Cream One Coat Gloss
Cream Satin
Cream Liquid Gloss
Cream Exterior Gloss
Cream Professional Gloss
Cream Quick Dry Gloss
Cream Quick Dry Satin

Cream Matt Emulsion

Cream Silk Emulsion

Masonry

White

Black

Grey

Brown

Cream

Brick Red

Terracotta

Stone

Hammerite

Black Hammerite

White Hammerite

Silver Hammerite

Gold Hammerite

Red Hammerite

Blue Hammerite

Green Hammerite

Brown Hammerite

Bronze Hammerite

Timber care

Forest Green Timbercare

Woodland Green Timbercare

Autumn Gold Timbercare

Light Oak Timbercare

Medium Oak Timbercare

Dark Oak TImbercare

Light Brown Timbercare

Dark Brown Timbercare

Red Cedar Timbercare

Grey Timbercare

Rustic Brown TImbercare

Tile Paint

Ahoy

Mellow Green

White

Sage

Sating

Red

Tile Red

Magnolia

Blackboard Paint

Black

Blue

Bespoke

Tile Paint

Ahoy

Mellow Green

White

Sage

Satin

Red

Tile Red

Magnolia

Radiator Paint

Clear

Red

White Gloss

White Satin

Brilliant White

Floor Paint

Mid-Grey

Cotton

Calico

Bright Red

Tile Red

Cherry

Lemon

Clear

White

Norfolk Sands

Snowstorm

Damp Seal

Bitumen

Grain Coat

Market

Spring Market Success

Our spring market was a success folks!

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed our stalls and food. The Armley Gyratory may have been closed on Saturday, but it didn’t stop you all from coming along.

We even threw open our workshop doors, allowing everyone to get a glimpse into how our workshops run.

Our stallholders where amazing, we had such a wide variety of different artisans, ranging from jewellery, prints, scones, pizza and most importantly.. beer!

Here are some amazing snaps pictures from the weekend.. enjoy 🙂

Food

I’d say the food at our market was some of the best we every had! We had our market regulars, Humbl Coffee. The Slice is Right went down a treat, especially the vegan pepperoni pizza!

We also got to enjoy Vegan Doughnuts, Scones, Tea, Gin, Jerk Chicken and plenty of Cheese.

Art

Our Ey Up kits where especially popular, with them being available to buy for the first time at the market. Third Eye Signs & our very own Ben of Seagulls Mosaic did a fantastic job on the ‘Ey Up’ collaboration.

Leeds has so many different talents and independent artists, and we feel so lucky to be able to showcase them at Seagulls!

Let’s look at some price comparisons

We compared our prices to our competitors, and you won’t believe what we found

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen a few price comparison posts pop up on your feed. They had quite a big reaction, but when you see the findings you will see why.

Here, we have focused on three of our competitors to see how Seagulls’ prices compare side by side with others.

F&B

So let’s take this high-end, rather pricey paint company. They are known for their expensive prices and desirability. However, they are quite unattainable for the average person.

We find that a lot of our customers come into Seagulls wanting specific colours from this company, this is where our Bespoke colour mixing service comes into play… Hague Blue is one of the most popular (the colour seen below)

High-end or second-hand?

If you decided to splash out and paint your lounge head to toe with our competitor, it would set you back a grand total of £265! Yes, you read that right.

However, shopping at Seagulls won’t even make a dent in your wallet, coming to a total of £30.55. This means you are saving yourself £234 (It’s a no brainer really).

Come on, think about all of the things you could buy for £234.

If you are worried about not getting the exact colours as a said company, you are not to worry. We offer a bespoke paint mixing service, working mainly from colour charts, or specific items if you wish! This means we can get the exact colour you want, for a fraction of the price.

Collecting leftover and unwanted paint from householders across Leeds is so rewarding, and to see price differences in this capacity puts what we do into perspective.

B&Q

Next, we chose a company less known for its higher-end pricing, but it is one of the go-to DIY stores in the UK. Being a large DIY & home improvement store, everyone knows about it could be a lot of people’s first choice if they don’t know where any other paint companies are, so this price comparison is quite interesting.

Our paint is as cheap as chips

After crunching the numbers with this competitor, we noted that all the paint needed for this room would total £77, but just £30.55 from us at Seagulls.

That is a saving of £46.45. Shopping at Seagulls is a massive bonus for your bank account with the added bonus of helping the environment and helping people.

Wickes

Finally, we compared our prices to another big paint company, which sell home improvement products, and is a fairly popular choice.

As you can see, there is a considerable difference in prices with our competitors totalling £84. Shopping with Seagulls would save you £53.45, with our grand total being £30.55. You could book yourself onto on of our decorating courses for what you would save… twice!

Would you even be able to tell the difference?

Reprocessing paint and selling it at Seagulls for a fraction of the price of other, more traditional paint shops with a wide selection of paint, varnish and timber care alongside Seagulls branded new paint (it’s trade quality at reasonable prices) and a range of decorating equipment, we have everything you need and more! We will continue to create a price comparison to remind our shoppers how much they are saving!

12L for £10

Finally, we were lucky enough to be given over 17 pallets of Leyland White Contract Matt Emulsion! This equates to over 100 tubs.

We decided to sell these 10L tubs for just £10, a special Seagulls offer (that’s about 83p per litre). Our competitors sell this exact paint, one selling for £19.50 and £17.50 for another.

We have been extremely lucky to get out hands on these, and we love the fact we can sell them at a discounted price… plus we still have plenty left for those interested.

Outdoor Market

Our Spring Market is fast approaching

It is nearly that time again! The prep for our Spring Market is well underway, and we are just as excited as you are. After the success of our winter market, we can’t wait for you all to be back at Seagulls.. hopefully with fewer layers this time.

Ben has been working hard on booking some fantastic vendors and stallholders to make this one too remember!

Without Ben from Seagulls Mosaic, the market would not have been nearly possible. Ben coordinates our markets and makes them what they are. A true legend!

As well as a wide range of artists, makers and creators we will have food stalls, beer from our friends at Kirkstall Brewery and Ginny the Gin Wagon.

Some stallholders you can expect to see;

Both days-

Huandmee

Hu & mee offers a variety of Panda-themed items (cards, towels, mugs, you name it!), Simple ‘Punny’ Cards & Doodles.

Boki Ethical

Boki Ethical sell sustainable stationery, home decor & clothing. They are a creative space for standing up for causes close to their hearts like mental health awareness, environment, women’s rights & equality.

Goods in General

Goods in General concentrate on vintage, industrial and salvaged. All items are practical, quality items saving them from landfills and ensuring they won’t be left to gather dust.

Laura Fernandez Designs

Laura makes small batches of Jewellery, accessories & homeware as unique as the person who owns them! After studying Printed Textiles, Laura began experimenting and working with polymer clay as a side project to let her creativity run free.

Kat Williams Illustration

Kat Williams is an Illustrator inspired by stories, mythology, history, education & funny animals.

Valmont studio

Valmont Studio is run by Gill, a Jewellery maker based in Leeds. She works mainly in enamels, silver and copper, but also is open to experimentation.

Emcullyart

Emily Cullen Illustrations sells a mixture of Pet portraits, Plant prints, Cards and Album cover illustrations.

L&O Sweets as Gifts

L&O Sweets as Gifts offer personalised Vegan & Vegetarian sweets for all occasions. They have a variety of letterbox gifts so they can come straight to your door!

A Vegan Mothers Day Letterbox Gift.

Carter & Francis

Carter & Francis make handmade items, with love from discarded, vintage and remnant materials in Yorkshire. We especially love this blue bag!

Saturday-

The Little Soy House sells handmade homeware, soy candles & wax melts. The perfect present for a loved one!

RJ Heald Photography

Richard is a photographer from Leeds with a love for music, and of course, has a talent for capturing his surroundings perfectly.

Joy Rooney Studio

Joy Rooney creates different pieces of art inspired by nature, colour and protecting the earth.

March Makes

March Makes is a small family run business, that makes a variety of letterbox gifts and care packages. You may also find some unique jewellery pieces on their Etsy too!

Biddy and Bear

Biddy and Bear are a unisex children’s clothing company, inspired by the lack of good clothing for children on the high street. They source unique clothing ethically, of course!

Soft and Squiffy

Soft and Squiffy is run by Leah, who upcycles her children’s old clothing, or old clothes of her own, and gives them a new lease of life. The filling of her cushions, like the one shown below, is used from recycled plastic bottles.

Scraplets

Mark is the Chief Scrapleteer at Scraplets. He is a woodworker and maker based in Leeds. After finding a block of wood with nails looking like arms and legs, he decided to begin making different characters during lockdown. All the Scraplets are made from reclaimed wood.

Wednesday Moon Shop

Wednesday Moon sells Handmade eco homeware, LGBTQ+ prints & cards. They have a range of Jesmonite candle holders, body vase pots and soap dishes, all in bright and eclectic colours.

Black Violet

Rebecca specialises in Concrete, Moss, Crystal Jewellery & Homeware. An impressive variety!

Sunday-

Sybils Tea Company

Sybil’s Tea Co are a loose-leaf teas & tea-themed gifts company, for all you tea lovers!

Blooming Fern Yorkshire

Handcrafted wreaths and other home decors using both natural and artificial materials depending on the season or occasion!

Lovingly Green

Lovingly Green is a UK online shop, which focuses on eco-friendly body, beauty & wellness.

Charlartz

Charlotte Johnson is a Leeds-based wildlife illustrator. She uses watercolour and ink to bring to life various species of animals.

Matty Burnham Art

Matty Burnham is an artist who works with mostly ink and watercolour and creates art like the image below. How amazing.

Secret Industries

Secret industries make fun logos, identity & print designs for clients, with Northern inspired prints & apparel for fun! This is a personal favourite.

Knit Yours

Knit Yours sells a variety of amazing handmade knitwear, with the help of, in their words ‘lovely, if a little temperamental, knitting machine’

Parker & Home

Parker & Home sell handcrafted Jesmonite homeware, and has plenty of seasonal products for the perfect Easter gift!

Meanhood.co

Meanhood is our friendly neighbourhood record pusher – who doesn’t just pop up, but also throws down!

Resaro

Kristina is behind Resaro. She is a passionate crafter, sewist, knitter, fabric & yarn hoarder.

Tilly Boos

Tilly Boos creates bespoke personalised gifts and products, working with fabric, glass, acrylic and wood.

Amy Lee Creative

Amy Lee offers Graphic Design, Illustration and Print Work. Her work is playful and bold, and will fit perfectly at the market!

Food

We haven’t forgotten about the food! All the shopping and browsing means one thing, you will get peckish.. and we have just the solution. (All food vendors will be doing both days of the market.)

Humbl Coffee

Why not start your day with our favourite, Humbl Coffee. They are back, hopefully, this time they aren’t in the firing line of wind, rain and snow!

The Slice is Right

Why not treat yourself to a slice of pizza for lunch! The Slice Is Right is a Leeds-based mobile pizza caterer. They specialise in traditional Neopolitan pizzas, with plenty of options (including vegan!)

Mama’s House

Mama’s house is a fusion of mouth-watering West African delicacies and Caribbean succulents with a variety of rich and righteous rum drinks. Mouth-watering alright!

The Little Yorkshire Scone Co.

All things scone! The little Yorkshire scone co. offer gift boxes, hampers and unique flavoured scones are delivered anywhere in the UK. My favourite is the Cream Cheese & Salmon, yum!

Glazed and Confused

Finish off your day with a lovely doughnut for dessert! Glazed and Confused sell all-vegan doughnuts, and they are just as good as they look!

We look forward to seeing you all there! Keep an eye out for our posters, and maybe even snap a photo and tag us if you do.

Seagulls x

Mosaic & Upcycling Workshops

Ok, so next up lets talk about another familiar workshop, and a new one on the block.

If you have visited Seagulls, you may know we have a mosaic studio just behind the paint store, where you will usually find Ben.

Ben is our resident mosaic artist, who creates all the kits you can find in our store, and also his murals, that you can find dotted around Leeds. Seagulls Mosaics turns broken and clipped tiles into beautiful art.

Our upcycling workshop is ran by the lovely Amy, or @teapotsandblankets on Instagram. She is a West Yorkshire based vintage buyer, who has a serious talent for giving items a new lease of life.

Cactus Mosaic created by a workshop attendee

Mosaic

Seagulls mosaic was founded by Alison, who was drawn to Seagulls in our early days and brought creativity, colour, passion in abundance.

Alison was the driving force behind our Mosaic Workshop, and without her it would not be what is is today! And 16 years later it is still standing and bringing colour and art to people across Leeds.

Our fully equipped Mosaic Workshop encourages exploration and expression of personal creativity – art that everyone can enjoy.

This 2 hour workshop enables you to learn the art of mosaic: from design through to a finished piece.

You will have the opportunity to create an a4 size mosaic on a board or on mesh, depending on whether you want the mosaic for indoor or external installation.

Over the 2 hours you will be guided through the design and making process to learn the techniques needed to create a beautiful mosaic.

Upcycling

This workshop is a super relaxed and informal experience. It is for people who have always wanted to have a go at painting furniture but don’t know where to start or don’t feel brave enough to put brush to wood!

In this full day workshop you will learn how to transform a piece of furniture. Bring your own piece and we will give you the skills and confidence to upcycle your piece of furniture.

You will learn how to prepare, sand, paint and finish your item using Seagulls Paint (we will even mix it to your exact colour choice), to breathe a new lease of life into your chosen piece. As well as painting, you will learn how to create shapes and patterns that are simple to achieve.

You can also check out our Instagram Reels to see step by steps on what actually happens during the workshops.

Here are some amazing examples of customer work made during the workshops;

Pastel Pink Garden Set

Get your garden ready for spring

Spring is slowly approaching, which means one thing, time to decorate your garden! With the unconventional British weather, keeping your garden intact over the colder months can seem impossible. So now the forecast is looking up, it is time to revamp your garden.

Flowers, plants and outdoor lighting are no longer the only ways to revamp your outdoor space. A lick of paint can go a long way, and change your space entirely for the warmer weather.

Shopping with Seagulls will keep costs low, but quality high, and certainly impress your garden party guests.

Also, we have an amazing offer on all repurposed masonry paint, on sale for just £1 a litre for all of March.

What needs painting in your garden?

Here is a list of things that may need a fresh lick of paint after the miserable weather;

  • Shed
  • Garden Fence
  • Garden Furniture
  • Plant pots
  • Decking
  • Exterior house wall/doors

What you need to do before painting

There are multiple steps you must take into consideration before you begin your project;

  • What type of surface you are working on?
  • What is the quality of the surface?
  • Will it need sanding, or even the use of a pressure washer to clean it up
  • Have you thought about applying a primer first for durability

What paint should you use in your garden?

So you have prepped your surface, what now? It’s time to paint!

Wooden surfaces/decking- 100% acrylic water-based paint to give the evenest paint coverage

Doors- A high gloss finish for that extra pop

Metal outdoor surfaces- Oil-based exterior paint will be most effective in preventing rust.

Plant pots- Exterior water-based paints, using a small brush for precision

How to pick your colours

Gardens have slightly more free reign than interior spaces. Using bright colours can give your outdoor space that extra pop in time for the warm weather.

We offer a Bespoke Paint service, for water-based paints only. A lot of outdoor paints are oil-based, which we unfortunately can’t mix, as our pigment.

You can nab yourself 2.5L of Bespoke paint for just £11, rather than £52 from Farrow & Ball.

Whilst 5L of Seagulls bespoke paint stands at £16.50, rather than £89 at Farrow & Ball.

If you are swaying towards an oil-based paint, then we most likely have what you are looking for on our shelves, just nip in and find your match!

We can mix any colour you want

What you will need

We sell everything you need, not just paint! Here are some things you can pick up at Seagulls

  • 4″ Masonry brush £5
  • 4″ Shed brush £5
  • 9″ Harris Roller with 4 heads £9.50
  • 10pk solvent roller heads £12.99
  • Ready Mixed Filler 1.4kg £4
  • Scraper £2.50
Our paint supplies can be found behind the till

We can’t wait to see you all!

Be a nice human

Have an inside look into our Online Shop

Seagulls aren’t just on Kirkstall road, you can also treat yourself on our Online Shop.

You can find almost anything (that may be a slight exaggeration), but you would be silly to not check it out.

Merch

We have a variety of different T-shirts for sale at the moment. Our newest addition is the ‘Respect the Difference’ Tees, designed by our good friends over at Secret Industries. We screen-print all of our T-shirts in the house!

You can buy the T-shirts here.

Our Green ‘Respect the Difference’ T-shirt designed by Secret Industries

Made By

We have recently swayed away from Seagulls Lifehouse, a name that we stuck by for many years. Lifehouse was a place where people can gain new life skills via our workshops.

We found many people becoming confused as to what Lifehouse meant, eventually deciding to change our name to Seagulls Workshops.

Within Seagulls Workshops, we host Silversmith, Coppersmith, Upcycling and Decorating workshops. Leon also makes all of the beautiful items listed on the ‘Made By’ section of our Online Shop.

As well as T-shirts, you can also find handmade items on our site, all made from recycled materials.

A best seller is the Shirley Shelf.

The shelf is plain with the intention of painting, waxing or varnishing the shelf to your requirements.

The shirley shelf is a best seller on our online shop.
Our Shirley Shelf is decorated with a ‘Spread the Love’ print

Another favourite is the Beauty from the Floods prints.

Our ‘Beauty from the Floods’ B2 Print

In 2015, we suffered massively when Seagulls was submerged in water due to the Boxing Day floods.

The river water left devastation, chaos and a thick layer of mud. The only silver lining from this climate change emergency were the beautiful images we were able to capture, and a visit from Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Seagulls worked in collaboration with the renowned screen printer Jonny Akers to produce this beautiful hand-pulled full-colour print of our Beauty from the Floods artwork.

Mosaic

Mosaics are a customer favourite.

We have an on-site mosaic studio at the back of the yard. In the studio, you will find Ben making up all the mosaic kits that you can purchase here.

You can buy a variety of different mosaic kits instore and on our online shop.
One of the lovely mosaics that you can purchase to make yourself.

There is a variety of seasonal kits, such as Halloween and Christmas themes. You can even spruce up your front door by purchasing our ‘House Number Mosaic kit’. It is really simple! Just purchase online, stating what number and colours are needed before it is delivered to you.

Paint

If you feel like ordering paint from the comfort of your own home (especially in this weather), you can place orders via our online shop here.

Once we receive your online orders, we simply call you if we need anything clarifying. When the paint is ready we call again to let you know it’s ready for collection.

We don’t offer nationwide deliveries, but we do hold a Leeds-based delivery service Monday to Friday.

A variety of paint colour mixed by our staff instore.
A variety of colours mixed by us.

Our site can also guide you on how to donate paint at the landfills in and around Leeds, that way your paint can get to us safely.

The UK’s waste paint crisis

Our paint collection points at recycling centres

The UK is in a waste paint crisis, drowning in leftover and unwanted paint. Yorkshire alone has 4.5 million litres of leftover paint, this is enough paint to cover the Tees Transporter in Middlesbrough 229 times. It is even enough paint to cover the footprint of Barnsley twice with some to spare.

So, what’s the solution to the paint crisis?

Seagulls has been part of the solution for nearly 20 years, helping to divert over 3 million litres away from landfill and reprocessed it for sale in our paint store  

The Paint Store

What’s happening across the rest of the UK?

Firstly, Seagulls are unique, really making traction in the world of paint. There is no one else like us! Opportunities for recycling paint are patchy across the country. There is a scheme called Community RePaint that may operate in your area. However, you may need to check their site too see what they accept, as it is often limited to newer tins of paint.

However, all is not lost. People in high places have began to talk about what happens to leftover paint, which will work to fight the paint crisis. In spring 2021 the Royal Society of Chemists approached Seagulls, keen to understand what we do. The outcome being that they asked Seagulls to be their case study for a national campaign.

Why is a campaign needed?

According to research by the Royal Society of Chemistry, ‘Lockdown-inspired decorating has led UK households to stockpile enough paint to coat the Forth Rail Bridge 212 times.’ In partnership with celebrity decorator, interiors stylist and DIY queen Linda Barker, the Royal Society of Chemistry is calling for government action as it launches an industry task force to make DIY more sustainable, with Leeds-based reuse and recycling initiative Seagulls Reuse a perfect example of how paint could be recycled across the UK.’

Linda Barker with some of our team!

Facts & Figures

To put this amount of paint into context, the Royal Society of Chemistry has crunched some numbers, equating the amount of leftover paint to landmarks throughout the UK. It makes for some interesting reading.

North East

2 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle 170 times.

North West

5.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Runcorn 194 times.

East Midlands

3.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the entire footprint of the city of Lincoln.

West Midlands

4.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Sutton Park, Birmingham over 5 times or paint an area the size of the Bullring shopping centre 469 times.

East of England 

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Cambridge 1 and a half times.

London

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Tower Bridge over 229 times.

South East

7 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Brighton.

South West

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the footprint of the city of Bath nearly twice.

Wales

2.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover the Menai suspension bridge in Anglesey over 508 times.

Scotland

5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Forth Rail Bridge 20 times.

Northern Ireland

1.5 million litres of leftover paint, enough to cover Rathlin Island, off the coast of Ballycastle, with some to spare or paint the Giant’s Causeway over 22 times.

You can read more about the Royal Society of Chemists campaign and if you don’t have a scheme in your area you should write to your local MP and ask them for one! Details can be found here

Staff and volunteers collect paint from a household waste site.

If you live in Leeds you can donate paint by taking it to your local household waste site. Find out where your nearest site is by clicking here

You can also sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the campaign, our news and for special offers

Is your old paint killing the environment?

Is your old paint killing your local environment, even though you took it to your local waste site? 98% of waste paint currently ends up in landfills or is burnt, causing unnecessary harm to the environment. Paint being chucked into landfills can make its way to rivers and the sea, causing massive harm to wildlife.

This valuable resource is causing harm when it could potentially find a new life on somebody else’s walls. Seagulls have been tackling the problem of waste paint head-on, for nearly 20 years.

Pre Covid, Seagulls collected 400 tonnes of paint per year. This number has dipped slightly since the pandemic but we are hopeful it will increase again.

I want to help the environment, where can I donate my paint?

If you live in Leeds, it’s easy to donate, there are Seagulls paint banks on every household waste site in Leeds.

https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/bins-and-recycling/recycling-sites

Rob emptying one of our paint banks.

We kindly ask people to drop their unwanted paint at their local waste site and NOT Seagulls. This is for 2 reasons:

  1. Avoids fly tipping in our yard
  2. The paint collected from waste sites gets weighed and recorded. Most importantly, Leeds City Council pay for the amount of paint collected.

What paint can be reused and how can I tell?

Any tin that has more than a couple of inches left in the pot and has NOT gone off can be reused. You will know if the paint has gone bad because it will either be solid or smell like rotten eggs! We reprocess good and bad paint so don’t worry too much about the quality as we will safely dispose or recycle any paint that we cannot reuse.

Solid paint and empty paint tins can be put in your general household bin.

We accept household emulsion, masonry paint, timber care, gloss, varnish, eggshell and undercoat.

But what if I don’t live in Leeds?

It’s possible your local authority has a community RePaint scheme, you can find out here.

If not, then lobby your local Councillors and MP to ask why there are no paint reuse facilities in your area.

For years there has been a ‘postcode lottery’ for paint recycling, the facilities for which differ between local authorities, with 98% of waste paint currently being burnt or sent to landfill. But the Royal Society of Chemistry is now calling for UK governments to provide better support to local reuse and recycling initiatives.

Whilst the companies behind paint brands Dulux, Farrow and Ball, Johnstone’s Paints and Ronseal are calling for government engagement with the British Coatings Federation’s PaintCare blueprint for a national remanufacturing programme.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is calling for:

Government and local authorities to provide more support to paint recycling and reuse initiatives, such as Seagulls Reuse and the BCF’s PaintCare programme, making it easier for consumers to recycle paints no matter where they live

Government to directly invest in research programmes for sustainable alternatives for PLFs

Consumers to reduce wastage of paints by buying only what they need

Consumers to write to their MP asking for change – further details can be found here.

Why are 25 000 people flying from 197 countries into Glasgow for COP26?

It’s the COP26 Climate Change event from Sun 31st October to Fri 12th November.

Global heating is driving some alarming changes in climate.  It creates much more unpredictable and catastrophic events, like droughts, floods, bushfires and hurricanes.  Seagulls and many other Yorkshire businesses and homes flooded badly in 2015.  It’s always happened but is now more frequent and happens with more severity.

A warming planet also means the movement of greater numbers of displaced people around the globe, as well as more diseases jumping to humans or spreading from warmer parts of the World. 

A good reason to get all the experts and politicians together to sort out a Plan of Action, right?

A run through the history

COP26 in Glasgow is the latest in over 25 years of United Nations-led talks about climate change.  Some have been more important in getting countries to commit to cutting emissions. You may have heard of the Kyoto Protocol from 1997 and the Paris Agreement drafted in 2015 – both COPs.  Unfortunately, promises aren’t always enough to get the changes we all need.

For decades, scientists have been gathering huge amounts of information about what we’re doing. They have looked at the effects and projected what’s likely to be in store. 

Specialists, who will be at COP26, are in agreement.

Warning that these climate changes are directly linked to the fossil fuels we burn. And other gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, which we’re causing to be released into the atmosphere. 

What could never be argued? The scientific basis of global heating, pumping certain gases into the air will trap more energy in the Earth’s systems; more energy means the land, seas and atmosphere will all behave differently; the effects will go on for centuries, even if all the pollution is stopped tomorrow.

What is harder to predict? This is how it will all pan out for people living, and other living things on the planet.  The world is beginning to experience the results. The results are pretty close to the predictions, with only a 1.1OC change since 1880. 

No problem for the worlds brightest minds gathering at COP, eh?

As well as being fiendishly complicated to get 200 different countries to agree across the huge range of actions needed, there have been some key barriers over the years…

  • Disagreement about how the World’s economy runs, in a nutshell we’re wedded to –
  • growth at all costs, consuming our way to happiness, competition is everything and winners take it all
  • Science shines a spotlight but can’t lead us out of the mire – that’s up to politicians
  • Big money in drilling and burning exerts huge political power

Progress has been made, but it always seems the best intentions and plans are watered down for those with the most to lose from positive progress.

Where is the real drama going to happen in Glasgow?

It depends whether you prefer to follow the high-level discussions and national declarations in the ‘Blue Zone’ or the networking, creative expression and campaigning in the ‘Green Zone’.  In reality, they may both be eclipsed by some high-profile activism happening around the city.  Success in each of these three spheres is essential to get out of this disastrous rut.

Surely there’s some cause for hope!?

Of course! But hope will probably lie away from the big hitters at COP26:

  • An international youth movement is turning away strongly from ‘Business as usual’
  • Local and regional governments, especially in cities round the world have worked more imaginatively and with more urgency to cut carbon than national governments
  • The call for ‘Building Back Better’ after Covid, which is strong and includes some great low carbon solutions, has lots of backers
  • The understanding and expertise about what we’ve got in store is growing all the time
  • Even ‘Big Money’ – insurance and financial investment companies – are moving away from dirty businesses as they’re too risky

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