For Retailers

Retailers have a variety of roles and responsibilities when there is a state-mandated paint stewardship program. Learn about them here.

Pass on the Assessment Fee

In every PaintCare state, a fee must be assessed and applied to the wholesale price of architectural paint sold in the state. This fee pays for all aspects of running the paint stewardship program. Manufacturers pay the fee to PaintCare and then pass the cost to dealers. Retailers will see the “PaintCare Fee” on invoices from suppliers starting on the first day of the program.

The law also requires that manufacturers and distributors pass on the fee to retailers. Retailers in turn pass the fee to their customers. The fee paid by the customer to the retailer offsets the fee charged by the manufacturer or distributor to the retailer. All retailers, distributors, and manufacturers selling architectural paint in the state must pay and pass on the fee, ensuring a level playing field for all parties.

Read the PaintCare Fees factsheet

Fees are Set on a State-by-State Basis

PaintCare is funded by fees on each container of architectural paint sold in a PaintCare state as follows.


Fees in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.35
1 Gallon$0.75
Larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons$1.60


Fees in the District of Columbia and Oregon:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.45
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons$0.95
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons$1.95


Fees in Minnesota:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.49
1 Gallon up to 2 gallons$0.99
Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons$1.99


Fees in Vermont:

Container SizeFee
Half pint or smaller$0.00
Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon$0.49
1 Gallon$0.99
Larger than 1 gallon up to 5 gallons$1.99



Additional state-specific information for paint retailers:

Check Registered Manufacturers & Brands

Retailers in PaintCare States may not sell architectural paint products that are not registered. Under the program, paint manufacturers must register their company and the brands they sell in in each state so that retailers and others can see if a product is registered. PaintCare and an agency in each state publish lists of registered brands and manufacturers on their websites so that retailers can confirm that the products they sell are registered.

Provide Information to Customers

PaintCare develops brochures, fact sheets, and other materials for retailers — and provides them free of charge. When a program starts in a state, PaintCare sends an initial packet of materials to all retailers in the state, and retailers may order additional materials at any time for no charge. These materials have been developed with input from other retailers, and some of these materials are available in other languages when there are sizable populations of non-English speakers in the state. Paint retailers in some states (currently Colorado, Oregon and Vermont) are required by law to provide customers with information about the program and how paint is managed. PaintCare ensures our materials meet any state requirements. In other states these materials are available for free, but it is optional for retailers to use them. State-specific information for paint retailers:

Volunteer to Become a Drop-Off Site

The biggest change at the start of a new state program is the increase in number of convenient locations where people can take their leftover paint — thanks to retailers that volunteer to serve as drop off sites. Instead of waiting for a household hazardous waste program to be open for business (once a month or once a year in many areas), paint stores are open year round. By participating in the program, retailers increase foot traffic and sales, and they provide an environmentally-beneficial service to their community. They make recycling of leftover paint convenient for their customers and help relieve local government-run household hazardous waste programs from managing the leftover paint collected by retailers. PaintCare provides storage bins, site training, and support; promotes the sites to the local community; and pays for paint transportation and recycling. Most retailers who wish to serve as drop-off sites are able to do so if they have space and can provide minimal staff time to accept paint from the public. State-specific information for paint retailers:

Online Paint Sales

According to recent media reports, direct-to-consumer companies and other online retailers are growing in popularity with paint consumers. Do you or your company sell paint online? Online paint retailers also have roles and responsibilities to maintain when dealing with state-mandated stewardship programs. When selling architectural coating products in a PaintCare state, all retailers, whether brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce sites, are required to remit the PaintCare fee. Fees are set on a state-by-state basis and are outlined in the factsheet below. Some states (currently Colorado, Oregon and Vermont) also require paint retailers to inform consumers about the program at the time of sale, whether that sale was done in person or online.

Read the PaintCare Fees factsheet. 

Read the list of PaintCare products requiring a fee.

Find registered brands and manufacturers.

COVID-19: PaintCare Impacts & Resources


As a public health precaution due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the recommendation of the CDC posted March 16 to limit discretionary travel, PaintCare advises that households and businesses consider refraining from dropping off paint for recycling at PaintCare locations until all applicable local, state, and federal public health orders and guidance have been lifted. The current status of PaintCare collections services follows:


  • Many government-run household hazardous waste (HHW) programs are temporarily closing their year-round HHW facilities, postponing HHW drop-off events, or greatly reducing their hours. 
  • While most paint stores remain open, some have reduced their hours or are otherwise changing operations to minimize physical contact with customers. Many of these stores have asked us to temporarily remove them from the PaintCare site locator at
  • PaintCare has cancelled its own paint drop-off events through June and intends to reschedule them as soon as possible after government restrictions are lifted.
  • PaintCare’s pickup service for large volumes of paint (200+ gallons) is temporarily unavailable. Customers submitting requests will be contacted by PaintCare staff and informed about the service being temporarily unavailable and that PaintCare will notify them again when the service resumes.


If You Do Plan to Drop Off Paint for Recycling


If you do plan to take leftover paint to a drop-off location for recycling, take precautions: