Fancy a go at Furniture Upcycling

Here at Community RePaint Wirral we meet lots of people that are getting involved in the currently growing trend to upcycle old furniture. We thought we would post some tips if you want to create your own shabby chic look.

Obviously firstly use the right paint… chalk paint is all the rage with brands such as Annie Sloane creating specific chalk paints to make your old furniture look a little bit more special. If you want to make your own Chalk paint though there are some home recipes you can try, for instance simply mixing any emulsion paint (two parts) with baking soda (1 part). This should be well mixed through before application, to get a distressed look do some gentle sanding once dried.

Alternatively another technique is to mix 1 part plaster of paris solution (mixed with water) and 3 part paint. Again this should be mixed thoroughly to give the correct finish, distressing can be done with some gentle sanding.

Finally you could try mixing one part calcium carbonate (powder form) with two parts paint. This   again should give a good consistency of chalk paint with a quick drying time. Again distressing is done with some gentle sanding.

So why not have a go at creating your perfect chalk paint and create your own upcycled furniture. We would love to hear or see how you get on – why not share your projects with use by sending them to us at

Community RePaint scoops Green Apple Award

This years Green Apple Awards in London celebrated the continuing success of the Community RePaint scheme with a Gold Award in the Community and Charity category.

Network Coordinator Martin Pearse attended the awards event which was held on the 11th November at the Houses of Parliament in London and was delighted to pick up the award on behalf of the network.

The Green Apple Awards have been running since 1994 as an annual recognition for best practice in the sustainability world.

As one of over 70 Community RePaint schemes it is fantastic achievement for all concerned and we look forward to being part of the continuing growth of the network.

Last year the Community RePaint network collected in excess of 400,000 litres of paint, redistributing nearly 250,000 litres back into community projects, charities and individuals. Here at Community Repaint Wirral this year we are on course to collect over 30,000 litres of paint and redistribute in excess of 25,000 litres of paint. Obviously we are delighted with our performance in our first full year and are continually looking at ways to grow the scheme to help more people.

Once again thanks to all those that has supported both ourselves and the network this year which has made our input so rewarding and the recognition that has been achieved possible.


RSK provide Recipro and our members with up to date policy and legal changes regarding eco building, the environment, construction waste, health and safety and the UK construction industry as a whole – check out our previous RSK updates for more information.

EA launches new end-of-waste tool

A new online tool to determine whether a material has reached end of waste has been developed by the Environment Agency (EA) and trade bodies.

‘IsItWaste’ is a self-assessment questionnaire to help companies establish whether waste can be classified as a by-product or turned into a product that achieves end-of-waste status.

It does not make formal regulatory decisions, however, so these still need to be referred to the EA. ‘IsItWaste’ can be found at:

Consultation on WEEE compliance fee

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is considering how to calculate a compliance fee for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) regulations.

The fee is part of a new WEEE producer responsibility regime, which is coming to the end of its first year.

Under the regime, compliance schemes must collect a set amount of household WEEE by weight and category placed on the market. If they collect too little, they must pay a compliance fee to fund WEEE-related projects or face sanctions.

In a new consultation, published on 24 October, BIS asks which of three proposed methodologies for calculating this fee should be adopted.

A key requirement is that the fee must be high enough to encourage increased collection rather than non-compliance. WEEE collections have fallenin the past two years.

In addition, BIS says the methodology should be different for each of the six WEEE collection streams (large household appliances, cooling equipment, display equipment, lamps, solar PV panels and other) and should reflect the different market economics associated with collecting, treating and disposing of these.

Agencies consult on new waste technical guidance note

The UK Environment Agencies are consulting on changes to the guidance on waste classification in the UK. A draft of WM3, the fourth version of the technical guidance document that waste firms are required to comply with, was published on 12 November.

The current version of the document, WM2, was published in August 2013 but requires major changes to keep up with EU law. WM3 will include new waste criteria based on the EU’sClassification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) of Substances and Mixtures Regulation.

The main changes involve a new chemical classification system, a major revision of hazardous properties and an update to the official list of wastes. These are being implemented in stages until 1 June 2015.

The way in which the hazardous properties of a substance are assessed will be changed substantially. All hazardous properties will be based on CLP hazard classes, categories and statement codes, most hazardous properties are now based on more detailed criteria added to annex III of the Waste Directive and there is a new dedicated chapter for persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Some thresholds for toxicity have been raised and others lowered. This means some waste producers will have to reassesses their substances. The consultation ends on 3 February 2015.

HMRC briefing note on landfill tax rate in England and Wales

As a result of the Budget 2014 announcement, the standard rate will increase to £82.60 per tonne on the 1st April 2015.

The lower rate of tax, which applies to less-polluting wastes listed in the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2011, is currently set at £2.50 per tonne. This rate is set to increase to £2.60 per tonne on the 1st April 2015.

These rate rises are equivalent to those recently announced in Scotland.

For further information, visit us at or contact:
Alison Brough: (Tel: +44 (0)1928 726006 / Mob: +44 (0)7917 425259)



Hot Colours for 2015

Here at Community RePaint it is always fascinating to see the trends of what people are putting on their walls, it has been obvious that our walls have been dominated by greys and blues (turquoises and teal) in 2014 but where do the designers think we will be headed in 2015.

Well it seems that grey will maintain its hold as the most loved ‘neutral’ colour through 2015. Mixes of soft greys with darker grey furnishings being particularly popular often with some bolder colours added for effect (red seemingly works well). Another colour set to hit our walls according to the designers is olive green – it is easily combined with many other colours and gives a warm and organic feel.

Of course whatever paint colours you are looking to combine for this season or next why not get them at Community RePaint; we have everything from next seasons design choices of olive green and grey or anything different if they aren’t your thing. We also have masonry, woodcare, glosses, undercoats, varnishes and lots more besides as well as all the painting equipment that you need. It is all at incredibly low prices with all paint at a £1 per litre excluding VAT.

Paint Accessories Available at Community RePaint & ReciproCity Wirral – Updated October 2014

It’s been 1 year since taking over the running of Community Repaint Wirral, Recipro have slowly started to expand our accessories range to become a one stop shop for all the DIYers and decorators in the community.

We are now confident that we can provide top quality paint at a fraction of the cost in shops as well as the accessories you’ll need to get the job done.

Below is a list and price of all the different accessories we have available, if you would like to make an order please email or call 0151 639 0651.

Description Recipro Price
0.5″ Paint Brush £0.30
1″ Paint Brush £0.40
1.5″ Paint Brush £0.50
2″ Paint Brush £0.60
3″ Paint Brush £0.70
4″ Paint Brush £1.00
5 Brush Pack £1.50
Wallpaper Hanging Brush £1.50
Wood Preserver Block Brush £1.50
Masonry Block Brush £1.50
9″ Medium Pile Roller & Tray £1.50
9″ Extension Pole Roller £2.50
9″ Medium Spare Sleeve £0.80
9″ Medium Spare Sleeve (3 Pack) £1.60
4″ Radiator Roller £1.50
10 Pack 4″ Emulsion Mini Roller Sleeves (Matt/Silk) £3.00
10 Pack 4″ Foam Mini Roller Sleeves (Gloss)
4″ Emulsion Mini Roller and Tray £1.50
12x 9 Dustsheet £0.50
Chisel Knife £1.50
3″ Wall Scraper £1.50
4″ Wall Scraper £2.00
Combi Shave Hooks £1.50
SandPaper Pack of 20 £2.00
Caulking Gun £3.00
Paint Pad Set £5.00
17 Piece Mega Value Set ( 5 Brushes, Roller, Sandpaper, Dustsheet, Mini Rollers) £5.00

*All our prices are exclusive of VAT!


On the first Friday of October, over 200 guests gathered at Liverpool Town Hall for Social Enterprise Network’s Powerful Together Awards. The Awards celebrate social businesses who are leading the way in their fields, using innovative methods to improve the health, wealth and environment of the Liverpool City Region.

Guests arrived at 7pm and were treated to a delicious menu of hot and cold tapas and specially selected wines and beers, all created by social enterprise caterer Can Cook, before heading into the main ballroom for the awards presentation. The ceremony saw 16 winners in total, including Autism Initiatives’ local food project We Grow Co, who were crowned Green Social Enterprise Champion and community radio initiative Mersey Media, who took home the Rising Star Award. Surprises on the night included Bollywood dancing from Rushee, and the biggest social enterprise selfie ever seen.

Of the 24 shortlisted nominees, 2 organisations won multiple awards. The first was PLS, who re-house ex-offenders and males at risk of homelessness, helping them turn their lives around and giving them the skills they need to integrate back into society. They picked up both the Growth Award, sponsored by Fusion21, and headline sponsor Vivark’s award which recognises Profound Impact.

The second double winner was Genie in the Gutter, a recovery service working with substance-misusers who are marginalised from society. They were named Pay-It-Forward champion, sponsored by Knowsley CVS, and received a standing ovation as winners of the Mayor’s Award for Social Innovation, for which all shortlisted nominees compete.

Genie in the Gutter Director Carolyn Edwards said: “being recognised in such a way by our peers and industry leaders was both a proud and humbling experience, and being chosen for the overall Mayors Award for Social Innovation left us all in a state of shock, so much so that for a few moments we actually forgot we had to go up on stage and collect it! The awards have made the whole team feel validated and recognised, which includes our service users – the heartbeat of Genie In The Gutter – and that means everything.”

Rosie Jolly, CEO of SENTogether said: “I could not be prouder of this year’s nominees; they all work incredibly hard to support the most vulnerable members of our communities on a day-to-day basis, putting social value at the forefront of our local economy. Congratulations to each and every one.”

Full details of award winners are below.

Community Enterprise Award

Winner: Wellbeing Enterprises

Runner up: PLS

Rising Star Award

Winner: Mersey Media

Runner up: Agent Academy

Creativity Award

Winner: Big Love Sista

Runner up: Genie in the Gutter

Mentoring Champion of the Year

Winner: Furniture Resource Centre

Runner up: Voice of Nations

Green Social Enterprise Champion

Winner: We Grow Co

Runner up: Tomorrow’s Women Wirral

Healthy Environments Award

Winner: Tomorrow Women Wirral

Runner up: Safe Productions

Pay It Forward Award

Winner: Genie in the Gutter

Runner up: Komaru

Growth Award

Winner: PLS

Runner up: Women’s Enterprising Breakthrough

Digital Champion

Winner: The Women’s Organisation

Runner up: Sandbox Digital

Social Advocate

Winner: School for Social Entrepreneurs NW

Runner up: Wirral CVS

Young Social Entrepreneur

Winner: Matt Smith (Fresh Team)

Runner up: Matthew Elliott (Collective Encounters)

Arts and Cultural Champion

Winner: Open Culture

Runner up: The Reader Organisation

Best Example of Collaboration, Effective Partnership or Consortium

Winner: Life Story Network

Runner up: Confederation of Social Entrepreneurs

Behaviour Changed Award

Winner: Ariel Trust

Runner up: PLS

Profound Impact Award

Winner: PLS

Runner up: Genie in the Gutter

Mayor’s Award for Social Innovation

Winner: Genie in the Gutter

Runner up: PLS

Autumn Colour Inspiration from Community RePaint Wirral

As ReciproCity Wirral is part of the Community RePaint network, we often get asked by customers for our opinions on paint colours (we like to think we have great taste!)

This new series of blog posts is going to look at different themes and sources of inspiration for your decorating!

Remember that all paint is just £1 per litre (plus VAT) at ReciproCity Wirral /Community RePaint Wirral so you can get your decorating done for a great low price!

As this is my favourite time of year, I thought Autumn would be a great place to start – chestnuts, oranges, reds, golds…Check out our Pinterest Board for more inspiration from nature in this beautiful season.

Here are some great autumn inspired paint colours we have come across at ReciproCity:










Feeling inspired?  Visit us to save loads of money on paint and remember to share your pictures of your finished projects!

Community RePaint @ ReciproCity Wirral is open Monday – Friday 8-4.30 and Saturday 10-4.

You can find us at Unit 5 New Way Business Park, Oakdale Road, Wallasey CH44 7HT.  Click here to view a map


Recipro and ReciproCities are not only great places to find cheap paint, but also free and cheap building materials!


UK Construction Industry Enjoys 16th Consecutive Month of Growth

The construction sector expanded at its fastest pace for seven months in August, despite construction materials shortages holding back growth, a survey suggests.

The Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surged to 64 in August from 62.4 in July, surprising economists who had forecast a fall. It is now the 16th consecutive month that the index have been higher than 50 which indicated growth.

This has been surprising as the industry is suffering from the slowest delivery of materials by vendors since 1997! Markit said the fast pace of the industries growth has created a supply problem, with the availability of both construction materials and sub contractors stooping at the quickest pace since the survey began in 1997.

David Noble, Group Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said, “The sector is struggling to find enough skilled tradesmen to keep pace with new work and the labour market will continue to put pressure on costs until the next wave of apprentices begin to enter the jobs market.” said

The sector, which was hit hard in the financial crisis, began to grow strongly last year, helped by low interest rates and government programmes aimed at boosting demand, as well as the broader economic recovery.

Growth in the sector in August was broad-based, with residential housing, commercial building and civil engineering activity all seeing strong increases. Residential construction performed the strongest of the three, although the pace of expansion slowed slightly.

Despite the increases, the construction of new homes remains below levels needed to meet demand.

Stefan Friedhoff, Global Corporates Managing Director for Construction at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said it was “vital” that the current momentum was maintained. He went on to say, “the true proof of a return to normality will be in activity spreading from a consistently buoyant London out to other regions of the UK”.

Recipro UK sourced this article from the BBC Website.

Charity Project – Team Oasis Saves over £1200 by Sourcing Materials through ReciproCity Wirral

Team Oasis came to Recipro with a mission statement to update and refurbish an old derelict building and transform it into a child friendly space where Team Oasis can deliver activities for children of all abilities, backgrounds and circumstances.

They were able to source materials to cover up and repair damage to the roof/ceiling as well as the walls and floors giving the whole building a new lease of life. After the building work was complete they also purchased hundreds of litres of paint – glosses, matt paint, masonry and undercoat all for a low cost which enabled the project to continue to be on schedule but more importantly on budget.

Paul Nilson, Team Oasis Coordinator, said, “Using the Recipro service to source low cost building materials and paint has enabled us to not only to get the project finished on cost but also on time. On behalf of the Team Oasis Charity I would like to thank Recipro for providing a great service and thank all the contractors and suppliers who support the service by donating their surplus and reusable materials. We were surprised by the high quality of the materials, especially the paint which is just £1 per litre. We will be using the service again and again in the future and would certainly recommend it to anyone”

By using Recipro, Team Oasis saved over £1200* compared with purchasing these products ‘new’. They helped to reuse over 1.5 tonnes of material, which saved 3.3 tonnes of carbon.

* based upon cost of same or similar new material, assum­ing no trade discount


On 12th September 2014, Social Enterprise Network will once again turn the spotlight on social finance with this year’s much-anticipated conference: ‘Capital with a Conscience: A Better Solution?’ Social businesses, funders, social banks, and public and private enterprises keen to work ethically are invited to bring their best ideas to this meeting of minds, taking place at The Reader Organisation’s breathtaking Calderstones Mansion House.

The first event in the series took place a year ago, and asked the crucial question: ‘does social finance truly understand social need?’ After an intense day of debating and exchanging experiences, attendees and speakers alike came to the conclusion that no, it did not. In fact, it seemed like finance models designed to help the Social Enterprise sector were actually creating another, equally complex set of barriers.

So now, entrepreneurs and experts will reconvene to take the issue forward, and ask if over the last twelve months, investment models have progressed to reflect the sector’s diverse needs. Featuring talks, lively debates, panel discussions, workshops and a ‘marketplace’ of investors, the day is aimed at all participants in social enterprise and social finance, whether they are newcomers or old-timers. The agenda will cover everything from the future of funding in the current economic climate, to practical advice for first-timers on securing social finance, as well as exploring the burgeoning relationship between social finance and the public sector.

Speakers will include Robbie Davison of Can Cook, and Helen Heap of Seebohm Hill, who both have progressive ideas around what social lenders should really be doing. Robbie is the Director of Can Cook, a social enterprise which tackles food poverty, and he has first-hand experience of receiving social finance. He also authored a ground-breaking paper on which the first conference was based, calling for a radical re-structuring of the relationship between investors and recipients. Helen is an experienced social investment analyst, and with Robbie, has put forward the new ’Builder Capital’ model, with a view to providing community-based social enterprises with the long-term support they need.

Says Helen – “Robbie and I felt so passionately that something needed to change when it came to providing appropriate funding for social enterprises that we wrote a book about it! We are now working to move the Builder Capital model from drawing board to reality. We look forward to exchanging ideas at ‘Capital with a Conscience’ – A Better Solution? as to how providing the right sort of money at the right time  for a social enterprise with a suitable trading model  can transform its effectiveness, both in creating social impact and its viability as a business.”

Confirmed organisations include Key Fund, who have provided finance to over 2000 organisations and are a social enterprise themselves, and Big Issue Invest, who have recently developed new funds for the sector. More are still to be announced.

Lunch, refreshments and challenging ideas are all included in the price of your £10 ticket. If you would like to take a stall in the marketplace, please email To book tickets, click this link or search Eventbrite for ‘Capital with a Conscience: A Better Solution?’ For more information, email or call 0151 237 2664.

This event is officially sponsored by SENTogether, The Reader Organisation and Key Fund.