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PaintCare Colorado

Buy Right, Use it Up, Recycle

It is that time of year. The light shines brighter and we get the urge to do a spring cleanup. After sprucing up something with a coat of paint, finishing a large painting project, or even finding some old paint cans in the shed, you may be left asking, “What do I do with the rest of this paint?” PaintCare Colorado is here to help.

PaintCare is a paint recycling program that was started after legislation was passed to help solve the problem of landfills being overrun with liquid paint that caused messes and problems when dumped. PaintCare was created to solve these issues and bring new life to partially used paint. In Colorado, PaintCare is funded by a small fee for all paint sold. This fee funds all aspects of the paint stewardship program. You can learn more about this fee, how to properly store paint, how paint is recycled, and where drop-off sites are located, on the PaintCare website,

In order for paint to be used again, whether for your own project or through recycling, it must be stored properly. PaintCare offers excellent tips and how-to videos on its website. Good storage starts with opening a paint can correctly with a paint key so as not to bend the lid. When using, it is best to keep paint off the rim of the can. This can be accomplished by taping a V across the top of the can to act as a funnel. When you are finished with the paint, a rubber mallet should be used to tap the lid back into place. 

When buying paint, the first thing to do is Buy Right. There are many online tools that will help you estimate the correct amount of paint for a project. Paint Store employees can also help with this task. Once you are finished with your project, if you have paint left over, the first thing to consider is if it could be used for another project. If you don’t need to save the paint for touch-ups and you don’t have any other projects where you could put it to use, consider donating it to a friend or local group. If that is not an option, PaintCare is here to help. 

We currently have 5 paint recycle drop-off locations in the valley. These can be found on the PaintCare website. One of the locations is at the Mesa County Landfill in the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. For small amounts, they have a paint swap area. For larger amounts, the PaintCare facilities send the paint to a paint recycle center. There it is evaluated for its ability to be reused. Then, the paint is separated by color. Similar colors are mixed, blended together, filtered, and resold at places like ReStore and the Mesa County Landfill. 

Now that you know what to do with unused paint, you can confidently get to work on that next spring project!

Do you have unused paint? Consider reusing it for another project, or donating it to a local group. If those options don't work, you can drop it off to a PaintCare recycle drop off location.