PaintCare sites accept house paint and primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish) but we do not accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products we accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” or “architectural paint” and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. Paint must be in its original container and the container must have the original manufacturer’s printed label and a secured lid to be accepted at retail drop-off sites. We cannot accept open or leaking cans. Please review the following detailed list to find out what can be accepted, prior to dropping off your paint.
What Products Are Accepted by PaintCare?
These products are part of the program. They have fees when you purchase them, and they are accepted for free when you take them to drop-off sites.
- Interior and exterior architectural paints: latex, acrylic, water-based, alkyd, oil-based, enamel (including textured coatings)
- Deck coatings, floor paints (including elastomeric)
- Primers, sealers, undercoaters
- 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
These products are not part of the program. They have no fees when you purchase them, and they 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
Note: Containers that are leaking, empty, or without the original printed manufacturer’s label are not accepted at drop-off sites. PaintCare Products vs. Non-PaintCare Products (PDF version)
The definition of architectural coatings (also referred to as architectural paint or program products) is based on the first document linked below. The types of products that have fees are the same as those that are accepted at PaintCare drop-off sites. When clarification is needed about which products are subject to the PaintCare Fee and which products are not, PaintCare publishes additional notices. So far we have published seven notices, and we will publish additional notices as needed or upon request.
What Should You Do with Empty Paint Cans?
PaintCare drop-off sites do not accept empty paint cans. Depending on where you live, you may be able to recycle empty paint cans in your curbside recycling program. If not, they should be disposed of in the trash. It’s important to check with your local recycling or trash services to see what is allowed. In most places, putting any liquids in the trash or recycling bins is prohibited. So, any cans you recycle or dispose of must be truly empty, and the lid should be removed so that trash collectors can see that they are empty.