Misconceptions on Recycled Paint

  1. Recycled paint is more likely to crack, peel, or blister.
    False. The performance of recycled paint is comparable to standard paint. Peeling and blistering is commonly due to improper surface treatment before application or moisture present in the substrate. Cracking usually occurs when coats of paint are not allowed to cure/dry completely before the next coat is applied.
  2. You cannot use recycled paint in hot conditions or desert environments.
    False. Recycled paint holds up well in hot weather. Some painting contractors recommend applying paint in warmer temperatures to help with adherence. For example, a lot of recycled paint is sold in Africa in extremely dry, hot environments with no complaints about performance. In addition, recycled paint is sold in the desert regions of Southern California and Arizona.
  3. Recycled paint is only available in dull colors and sheens, and colors vary from batch to batch.
    False. Recycled paint comes in a variety of standard colors and sheens. Most recyclers will custom tint large batches to meet a customer’s needs and can also match colors from already-painted surfaces. Each batch is tested for quality and color consistency.
  4. I can’t use recycled paint for Direct-to-Metal applications.
    False. Recycled-content Direct-to-Metal (DTM) paints are available, and perform similar to standard DTM paint. For example, the City of Santa Monica and Big Bear use recycled-content DTM paints on trash bins and roll-off bins.
  5. The extra hassle of locating recycled paint is not worth the cost savings.
    False. Recycled paint is much less expensive than most standard paints. On average, a high quality recycled paint costs $10-15 per gallon, whereas a gallon of comparable standard paint can often cost as much as $30-50+ per gallon.
  6. Recycled paint has a shorter shelf-life than standard paint.
    False. An unopened can of paint (whether standard or recycled) can last for decades if it is stored in a dry, cool (but not too cold), dark place. It’s best not to leave paint in direct sunlight, outdoors, or in a moist location. Visit PaintCare’s website for tips about how to properly store paint to ensure it lasts.
  7. Recycled paint cannot be used in environments close to the ocean.
    False. Recycled paint is often utilized near the ocean, which has no impact on the performance of recycled paint. For example, recycled paint is used in southern California near the ocean and in China and the Philippines in areas with heavy rain.
  8. Recycled paint is not available near me.
    False. Recycled paint is sold statewide in various retail locations, as well as available directly from recyclers. See PaintCare’s list of locationsPDF download that sell recycled paint in California to find where to purchase recycled paint near you.
  9. Recycled paint is lower quality than virgin paint.
    False. Recycled paint is tested for performance and quality including pH, viscosity, sag resistance, sheen, coverage and fineness of grind. The performance and quality of recycled paint is comparable to standard paint.
  10. Recycled paint is not suitable for interior use.
    False. There are low-VOC recycled paints that are less than 50g/L VOC content and suitable for interior use.