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Recycling Paint is Now Easy and Free with Colorado’s PaintCare Program

To find the nearest paint drop-off site to you, use PaintCare’s online search tool at paintcare.org or call 1-855-724-6809.

image of man bringing in paint for recycling to collection store

Recycling paint is more convenient than ever in Colorado. Residents and businesses in Colorado can take paintcare logounwanted, leftover paint for recycling to participating paint retailers (paint, hardware, and home improvement stores) that have volunteered to take back paint.

There is no charge for dropping off paint at any PaintCare drop-off site.

For information on what materials are accepted in the PaintCare program and policies on bringing in your paint to a drop-off site, visit paintcare.org/paintcare-states/colorado/ or download the copy of the Colorado PaintCare Program brochure.

Architectural paints (or PaintCare Products) are defined as interior and exterior architectural coatings sold in containers of 5 gallons or smaller. However, they do not include aerosol products (spray cans), industrial maintenance (IM), original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or specialty coatings.

PaintCare Products: These products have fees when purchased and are accepted for free at drop-off sites:
  • image of various sizes of paint containersInterior and exterior architectural paints: latex, acrylic, water-based, alkyd, oil-based, enamel (including textured coatings)
  • Deck coatings, floor paints (including elastomeric)
  • Primers, sealers, undercoaters
  • Stains
  • Shellacs, lacquers, varnishes, urethanes (single component)
  • Waterproofing concrete/masonry/wood sealers and repellents (not tar or bitumen-based)
  • Metal coatings, rust preventatives
  • Field and lawn paints
Non-PaintCare Products: The products listed below do not have fees when purchased and are NOT ACCEPTED at drop-off sites:
  • Paint thinners, mineral spirits, solvents
  • Aerosol paints (spray cans)
  • Auto and marine paints
  • Art and craft paints
  • Caulking compounds, epoxies, glues, adhesives
  • Paint additives, colorants, tints, resins
  • Wood preservatives (containing pesticides)
  • Roof patch and repair
  • Asphalt, tar and bitumen-based products
  • 2-component coatings
  • Deck cleaners
  • Traffic and road marking paints
  • Industrial Maintenance (IM) coatings
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) (shop application) paints and finishes 
 

Reduce Paint Waste

Follow these tips to help reduce the need to dispose of leftover paint:

1.  Buy just what you need.   Save money and reduce waste, by knowing how much paint you really need before going to the paint store. Painting projects require about one gallon of paint to cover 400 square feet of smooth surface.  

image of a calculator

To determine how much paint you need for a project, just use a Paint Calculator.

2.  Choose the RIGHT color before buying a quart of paint.  Buying quart after quart of paint in order to find the perfect shade of color wastes paint and money.  Determine if you’ve picked the right paint color a more economical way  by getting “wet paint samples” at one of the following Denver Metro Area locations:

  • Belcaro Paint & Decorating Center: 1 ½ ounce samples available for all paints sold. (5475 Leetsdale Dr., 303-757-5435)

  • Lowes: ½ pint samples available for all paints sold at some locations.  Call stores ahead to confirm availability.

  • Or, ask your local paint supply or hardware store if they provide wet samples” in vials or sizes smaller than a quart.