PaintCare is funded by a fee (referred to as the PaintCare fee) which is applied to the purchase price of new paint sold in each state that has passed a paint stewardship law. The fee is paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers and is then added to the wholesale and retail purchase price of paint, passing the cost of managing leftover paint to everyone who buys and uses it. You may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container of paint you purchase.
- The PaintCare fee is not a tax; it does not go to the state.
- The PaintCare fee is not a deposit; you don’t get it back when you drop off paint.
The fee funds all aspects of the paint stewardship program. This includes paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, as well as managing “legacy” paint—material that has been accumulating in homes and businesses since before the program began. There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site.
Current Fee Structure for All Programs
The PaintCare fee varies by state and container sizes as follows:
|Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon||1–2 gallons||Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons|
|District of Columbia¹||$0.30||$0.70||$1.60|
¹PaintCare fee decreases took effect in the District of Columbia on January 1, 2022 and California on July 1, 2022. PaintCare is offering a credit for the difference in fees before and after a fee change on inventory purchased prior to the change and sold after the change. Learn more about this fee credit at paintcare.org/fee-credit
²An increase on the fee assessed on the sale of architectural coatings (e.g., house paint, stain and varnish) in the Vermont PaintCare program was approved on October 12, 2023 by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). This fee increase will take effect on May 1, 2024.
The increases in the program fee structure are based on container size as follows:
|Container Size||Current Fee||New Fee Effective May 1, 2024|
|Half pint or smaller||$0.00||$0.00|
|Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon||$0.49||$0.65|
|Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons||$1.99||$2.45|
State pricing laws may require retailers to include the PaintCare Fee in a product’s “sticker price” displayed to consumers. Noncompliance with state pricing laws could lead to fines. Learn more at paintcare.org/pricinglaws.