Paintcare Program

Follow these steps to manage paint

Take the guesswork out of buying paint

PaintCare Links to Paint Calculators

1. Buy the correct amount of paint for the project

When you purchase the right amount of paint, it eliminates the need to store, recycle or dispose of paint when the project is finished. Take the guesswork out of buying paint with PaintCare's links to Paint Calculators.

2. Recycle empty metal and plastic paint cans

Empty, dried-out metal or plastic paint cans should be recycled curbside in your blue single-stream recycling cart.

3. Store paint to keep it fresh & use up leftover paint

For best results, cover the opening of the paint can with plastic wrap, securely seal the lid, then turn the can upside down and store in a place with moderate room temperature to avoid freezing. Properly stored leftover paint can be used for touch-ups or small projects.

4. If you can't use it up, drop off paint at PaintCare program retail locations: for residents and businesses.

Households and VSQG* businesses can use the retail sites below.

Larger businesses—those that generate more than 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month—can use the PaintCare sites for water-based program products only, not oil-based program products.

* Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) businesses are those that generate less than 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month.

Paint must meet the following conditions to be accepted by PaintCare retailers:

  • Water-based and oil-based house paint, stains and varnish. Visit PaintCare for a complete list of PaintCare program and non-program products.
  • Original container that can be read
  • Sealed, not leaking
  • Not empty (dried latex okay)
  • 5 gallons or less in size

*A Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) is a business that generates less than 27 gallons of hazardous waste per month. VSQG businesses must call the participating store to arrange for drop-off. 5 gallons maximum per business per day. VSQG businesses will be required to sign a VSQG certification log for each drop-off.

5. Dispose of unusable paint products properly: for residents and businesses

All kinds of paint products including stains, latex and oil based paint through the Agency's Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs:

For residents
HHW Collection Events
HHW Rover Service
HHW Facility

6. Have large volumes of paint picked up by the PaintCare program: for residents and businesses

The Large Volume Pick-Up Service is available at no cost for pickup of at least 300 gallons of paint. To find out how the service works and to request a pickup, call (855) 724-6809. For additional information, download the Factsheet: Large Volume Pick-Up Service (PDF: 496 KB)

Use either of these forms to request a large volume pick up:

Return the completed form by email to or fax to (855) 385-2020 or call (855) 724-6809 for assistance.

7. Dispose of paint using hazardous waste transporters: for businesses

Businesses needing to dispose of paint may also use the services of hazardous waste haulers. Search "What would you like to recycle?" search function at the top of this web page. Choose the topic "Hazardous waste transporters, paint".

Additional Resources

PaintCare program brochure (PDF: 337kB)

PaintCare Large Volume Pick-Up factsheet (PDF: 496kB)
Find out how the service works and how to request a pick-up.

PaintCare is a non-profit organization established by the American Coatings Association to implement California’s Paint Stewardship Law. PaintCare has set up more than 500 drop-off sites for postconsumer (leftover) paint at retailers and other sites throughout California.

Paint Calculator

Take the guesswork out of buying paint: PaintCare Paint Calculators

Do you need paint for a home improvement project? Paint drop-off & pickup location at the HHW Facility

Reusable paint collected at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility must meet the following criteria:

  • Latex paint only
  • Paint must be in 5-gallon containers or smaller
  • At least half-full cans
  • Rust-free cans only

It is important not to mix paint products into one container. Latex paint products need to be in their original container with a readable label.

Household generators may drop off 15 gallons of latex paint per day for free. Business generated paint products must be taken through the Business Hazardous Waste Program.

Paint collected for the reuse program is remixed into 5-gallon buckets in four standard colors: off-white, tan, light grey and light green. Recycled paint is given away for free to residents or businesses on a first come, first serve basis.

For free paint, visit the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at Central Disposal Site (Reuse and Recycling center) at 500 Mecham Road, Petaluma Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 7:30-2:30. Other household products are also available at the reuse locker.