Recycling paint in Portland, OR

old paint cans stacked on top of each other with paint dripping down the sides

You can take your old cans of liquid latex paint to a PaintCare drop-off site. | Photo by Miller Paint

Whether you’re gearing up to start a painting project or want to get rid of cans of unused paint sitting in your garage, there’s an eco-friendly option to consider — and it will leave you feeling like a Portland insider.

♻️ Recycled paint?

MetroPaint (part of Oregon Metro) + Portland-based Miller Paint work together to keep unwanted latex paint out of landfills by turning it into new paint for interior and exterior use. They unveiled 12 new colors this week in celebration of Earth Day.

🎨 How it works:

You take your cans of liquid (not dried out) latex paint to a PaintCare drop-off site, or to the free paint + plastics drive hosted by Miller Paint and Ridwell on Fri., April 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 317 SE Grand Ave.

The cans are then transported to MetroPaint’s facility on Swan Island where they’re processed + emptied into huge color-coded totes. MetroPaint turns the sea of shades into one of its 12 tones using color-matching software. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the process here.

“It basically tells us what colors and quantities can go into a huge 2,000-gallon batch that will then create the same color,” explained Oliver Dickston, the program coordinator at MetroPaint.

The paint goes through a rigorous filtration process and is lab tested for quality, opacity + color. And voilà — old paint becomes new paint.

12 paint stir sticks arranged in a circle with the ends of each stick dipped in a different color

Which new color is calling your name? | Photo via MetroPaint

🖌️ Why it’s important:

“It’s the true form of the most eco-friendly paint product out there because we’re not digging up new, raw materials or resources,” said Oliver. “By choosing MetroPaint, you’re helping to remake millions of gallons of latex paint and keeping those resources out of landfills.”

📍 Where to find it:

All 12 of the new colors are available at these Miller Paint retail stores for $15 per gallon. Puji Sherer, vice president of Marketing, Color + Brand at Miller Paint, said they designed the colors to be versatile, architecturally friendly, and “harmonize together.”

If you’re looking for some inspiration, Puji shared some color combo pro tips to try depending on your architectural style:

  • Modern farmhouse: Snow Drift + Slate Stone
  • Traditional, classic: Pebble Path + Sand Dollar
  • Portland bungalow: River Blues + Slate Stone
  • Rural, barn: Brick Red + Snow Drift
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