Information for Retailers
Paint retailers have a variety of responsibilities in states that have mandated a paint stewardship program. These include passing on the PaintCare fee in the sale price of products that are covered by the program and selling only products that are registered with PaintCare. Responsibilities apply to all paint retailers, including brick-and-mortar paint and hardware stores, online retailers, and materials reuse stores that sell new paint products. Retailers may also benefit by volunteering as a drop-off site and provide a valued service to their community – learn more about becoming a retail drop-off site here.
Fact Sheet: Paint Retailers. Informs all paint retailers of their responsibilities under the paint stewardship program.
Fact Sheet: Paint Reuse Stores. Informs all reuse stores of their responsibilities under the paint stewardship program. To encourage reuse, PaintCare will compensate paint drop-off sites operating a reuse program under a contract with PaintCare. Learn more about reuse program compensation here.
Pass on PaintCare Fee
In all states that have paint stewardship laws, a fee (called the PaintCare fee) must be added to the wholesale price of architectural paint sold in the state. This fee pays for all aspects of operating the paint stewardship program. Manufacturers pay the fee to PaintCare and then pass the cost to dealers by including it in the product price. Retailers will see the PaintCare fee on invoices from suppliers starting on the first day of the program.
Retailers in turn pass the fee to their customers. The fee paid by the customer to the retailer offsets the fee charged by the supplier 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.
- Fact Sheet: About the PaintCare Fee Answers common questions from retailers about the fee. Contact to request this fact sheet in a different language.
PaintCare is funded by a fee on each container of architectural paint sold in a PaintCare state as follows:
PaintCare Fee Schedules
|Larger than half pint up to smaller than 1 gallon||1–2 gallons||Larger than 2 gallons up to 5 gallons|
|District of Columbia*||$0.30||$0.70||$1.60|
*PaintCare 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
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.
Sell Registered Brands
Retailers in all 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 PaintCare state so that retailers and others can see if a product is registered. PaintCare and the oversight agency in each state publish the lists of registered brands and manufacturers on their websites so that retailers can confirm that the products they sell are registered.
PaintCare products are the types of products that have a PaintCare fee and 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. Click here and look under PaintCare Products and Product Notices for more information.
Registered Manufacturer List
Registered Brand List
Provide Materials to Customers
PaintCare develops customer brochures, fact sheets, window posters, and other materials for retailers and provides them free of charge. When a new program starts in a state, PaintCare sends an initial packet of materials to all retailers in the state, and retailers may continue to order additional materials at any time.
Special note for retailers in Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington:
While we encourage retailers to use and distribute these materials in all PaintCare states, the paint stewardship laws in Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington specifically mandate that paint retailers provide customer information at the time of purchase about the paint stewardship program and opportunities to recycle paint.
These items are PaintCare’s most requested point of sale items:
Program Brochures This customer brochure provides an overview of the program, including an explanation of the fees. Brochures are available in English and have been translated into a number of other languages. Visit the Language Assistance page for a list of translated options.
Fact Sheet: Information for Painting Contractors. This fact sheet provides an overview of the program, with a focus on information that is important for customers who are painting contractors. Some retailers have found it useful to send this to regular customers with monthly statements, particularly at the start of a new program.
Fact Sheet: Large Volume Pickup Service. This fact sheet informs households and businesses about the free large volume pickup service for those with 100 gallons or more.
General Poster for Retailers. Display in stores in the paint department or near the cash registers to help explain the PaintCare program to your customers.
Maintain Required Records
In some states (California and Minnesota), retailers must maintain required records for three years.
CalRecycle, the state oversight agency, has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the California Paint Stewardship Law. Specifically, retailers must provide access to records on all architectural paint sold or offered for sale in California including:
- The manufacturer of the paint
- The date(s) the retailer purchased the paint from the manufacturer
- The date(s) the retailer sold the paint
CalRecycle does not specify the form or method of documentation; retailers may maintain this information in any way they believe will verify compliance in the event of a review by CalRecycle. CalRecycle may use a variety of mechanisms to verify retailer compliance, including, but not limited to, program awareness, physical inspection, product review, and inspection of records as noted above. CalRecycle has stated that it takes a progressive enforcement approach, with education being the first step in the case of non-compliance. If you have additional questions about this requirement, please email CalRecycle at .
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the state oversight agency, has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. Specifically, drop off sites must provide access to the following records:
- Employee training logs for the PaintCare program. Download the training log here.
- Shipping documents provided to the retailer by PaintCare’s contracted transporter.
- VSQG logbooks for businesses dropping off oil-based paints.
Online Paint Sales
Does your company sell paint online? Online paint retailers are also subject to paint stewardship laws. Similar to brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers and e-commerce sites are also required to pass on the PaintCare fee. Some states (Colorado and Oregon) also require paint retailers to inform consumers about the PaintCare program at the time of sale, whether that sale was conducted in person or online.
Additional Resources for Retailers
- Fact Sheet: Mistints, Damaged, Spoiled, Obsolete Paint. Answers to common questions from retailers about mistints, damaged, spoiled, and obsolete paint.
- Exempt Generator Certification Form. PaintCare provides exempt generator certification forms to PaintCare drop-off sites to be signed by all businesses and organizations that drop off oil-based paint or other program-eligible hazardous waste products. Signing the form is not necessary for those with only latex or water-based program products.
- Leftover Paint Receipt Form. Use this receipt if someone dropping off paint asks for one. (Some county or city inspectors ask businesses to show receipts to demonstrate that they properly disposed or recycled their waste paint).
- Retailer Training Videos. PaintCare offers this series of helpful videos as a supplementary resource for staff training at retail drop-off sites. The videos can serve as reminders for your retail staff about topics included in the PaintCare Drop-off Site Guidelines and Training binder provided to each drop-off site.
- Educational Poster Series. PaintCare developed a series of public education posters with the help of illustrator duo Peter and Maria Hoey. The posters are available for distribution to paint retailers and others who promote paint stewardship.