What do I do with my leftover paint colors

where to recycle paint

Painting contractors consistently have extra paint left overs from jobs. Most times we will leave the paint with our customer, but there are many times that the customer does not want the extra paint. After this happens over and over again we begin to pile up a lot of extra paint colors. As painters we always say that we can just use the extra paint colors as primer but this rarely happens. Instead, what happens is a build up of paint gallons and five gallon buckets of partially used house paint.

Of course you can always take the leftover paint colors to a paint recycling location. But it does take time and effort and if you have allowed your leftover paint color inventory to build up you will probably have to make multiple trips as many of the paint recycling programs only allow a certain number of gallons.


Another way to inventory your leftover paints is to create a house in SwatchDeck and create swatches of your inventory. This way you can create an inventory of all of the colors you have so when you want to use leftover paint as primer you can see which colors are similar to the ones you are currently using. If it’s a stock color from the following paint manufacturers you can search for it:

-Behr Paint
-Allison Smith Color Seasons
-Benjamin Moore Paint colors
-Clark + Kensington
-Diamond Vogel Paints
-Dulux Paints
-Dunn Edwards Paints including the new 300 colors
-Ecos Paints
-Farrow & Ball wallpapers and paint colors
-Fine Paints of Europe
-Glidden Paint Colors
-Little Greene Paint
-Miller Paint Company
-Murobond Paints
-Old Village Paints
-Pratt & Lambert
-Resene Paints
-Restoration Hardware paint colors
-Restoration Baby & Infant paint colors
-Rodda Paint
-Sherwin Williams paint colors


If the paint colors in your inventory are custom made or primer gray colors you can create a manual swatch to represent the leftover paint. You can watch the video below to see how to do this.



After you have created your swatches, you can document the number of gallons remaining of the paint color. As you use up your inventory you can just delete your swatches.