How to Repurpose Used Motor Oil into Eco-Friendly Paint

How to Repurpose Used Motor Oil into Eco-Friendly Paint

Used motor oil can be a headache to dispose of properly. However, with a bit of effort, used motor oil can be repurposed into an eco-friendly paint. This homemade paint is inexpensive, easy to make, and reduces waste.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

The first step is gathering the necessary supplies to make the used motor oil paint. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Used motor oil – This is the key ingredient. Make sure to use oil that has been used for its intended purpose, not oil that is contaminated with other chemicals.

  • Pigment powder – This adds color to the paint. You can use powdered tempera paint, chalk, mica powder, or other natural pigments.

  • Borax – This acts as an emulsifier to bind the oil and pigment together.

  • Warm water – To mix the paint.

  • Containers – To mix and store the paint. Glass jars or metal cans work well.

  • Funnel – For transferring the used oil into the container.

  • Sticks or paint stirrers – For mixing the paint.

  • Gloves – For protecting your hands while handling used oil.

Prepare the Used Oil

Once you have gathered the supplies, the next step is to prepare the used motor oil. Here is how:

  • Drain the used oil from your car or equipment into a container. Let any big contaminants or particles settle to the bottom first.

  • Carefully pour or siphon the oil into a storage container, leaving behind any sludge at the bottom.

  • Repeat this process until the oil is filtered of contaminants.

  • Consider soaking up small contaminants by running the oil through a filter or rag.

The cleaner the oil, the better your homemade paint will turn out. Properly filtered oil will make mixing and application easier.

Make the Paint

Now comes the fun part – making the eco-friendly paint!

  • Add 2 parts borax to 3 parts warm water in a container and stir continually until dissolved. This forms the emulsifier.

  • Slowly pour in 1 part used motor oil, continuing to stir vigorously. The borax solution will cause the oil to emulsify into the water.

  • Add pigment powder to reach your desired color and thickness. Start with 1-2 tablespoons per cup of oil.

  • Give the paint a final stir until uniformly mixed. Add more pigment for deeper color or borax solution for better emulsification.

  • Let the paint mixture sit overnight before using to fully combine.

  • Store unused paint in sealed containers. The paint may need occasional remixing before use.

That’s all there is to it! With just a few common ingredients, you can transform used motor oil into usable eco-paint.

Use Cases for Motor Oil Paint

Once made, here are some ways the motor oil paint can be used:

  • Wood surfaces – Decks, sheds, fences, and other outdoor wood are great candidates. The paint won’t peel or flake.

  • Metal surfaces – Bare metal will gain corrosion resistance and a glossy finish.

  • Concrete/masonry – Porous surfaces will be protected from the elements.

  • Drywall – The paint will cover scuffs and stains on indoor sheetrock or plaster.

  • Furniture – For giving new life to old furniture without harmful fumes.

The used motor oil paint adds a durable, protective coating. Proper surface prep is still needed for good adhesion. The paint won’t resist as much direct weathering as commercial options. But it works well for secondary surfaces and decorative uses.

Benefits of Recycling Oil into Paint

Some key benefits of repurposing used motor oil into DIY paint include:

  • Reduces waste – Gives new life to oil that would otherwise be disposed of.

  • Eco-friendly – Motor oil is a hazardous waste. Turning it into paint keeps it out of landfills.

  • Saves money – The paint costs almost nothing to make compared to commercial paints.

  • Odorless application – Has fumes during curing, but much less odor than conventional paint.

  • Simple process – Anyone can make the paint with common, inexpensive ingredients.

So if you’re ready to turn your used motor oil into an eco-friendly paint alternative, give this simple DIY process a try. Just take safety precautions, and get creative with reusing oil instead of disposing of it.