Color My World, Interiors

My Top 5 Favorite Paint Colors and How to Recycle Paint

When we first moved into our house, there were about 17 dusty and used paint cans sitting on a shelf in the basement.  These were colors that were several owners ago – not just the last couple that owned the home.  These ghost cans were decades old!  I could hear the dusty sighs of homeowners past as I looked at the yellows, shades of terra-cottas, beige and a few more beiges and lots of exterior house paint colors with stains.   If you have this situation too – your best option is to recycle those old cans.  Along with me telling you how to do this – I thought that I would share a handful of my favorite paint colors from this year and last!

best white trim
1. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is my absolute favorite trim color. I used it here on the trim and on the wall planking!  It’s a soft white that looks so good on molding.   (Source)

 In Colorado and eight other states across the U.S., there is a solution to help you recycle and properly dispose of unused paint through PaintCare.  PaintCare is a paint recycling program that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to drop off their unused, unwanted paint for free recycling at 150 participating locations in Colorado – so there’s really no excuse.  If you’re like me, you can still drive around with it in the back of your car like you do with your thrift store donations, but it will eventually get to the right place!

Best blue gray paint
2. Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl is a perfect, cool off-white with notes of blue, green and gray. What I like about it is that it looks fantastic when paired with bold and bright colors. I used it as an all over color in this Denver Ranch remodel.  (Source)

PaintCare drop-off sites are located mostly at paint and hardware stores – I go to Guiry’s in Denver all the time and they are a drop off site.  They accept all paint brands, regardless of when or where they were purchased (good for all the ancient cans in my basement).  Items that can be dropped off for recycling include most house paints, primers, stains, sealers, and clear top coatings (varnish and shellac).  Drop-off sites are open year-round during each retail location’s regular business hours.  Again, it’s very easy to do the right thing.

3. Are you finally ready to embrace the all white walls trend?  It’s been in for a while now, but for some reason, my clients have been really slow to embrace it.  I know Colorado can be slow to adopt some trends, but the Denver area has gotten a lot more trendy within the past 5 years.  My favorite white for interior walls in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.  It’s a soft white with a little bit of warmth to it!

What do they do with the old paint?  The PaintCare program transports the collected paint from the drop-off sites to processing facilities, where it is remixed into recycled-content paint, used as fuel, made into other products or, in the case of some unrecyclable paint, it will be dried out and properly disposed. Paint manufacturers created PaintCare, a non-profit stewardship organization, to run recycling programs in states as they pass paint stewardship laws.  As a designer, I am mindful that a lot of my business has the potential to involve sending things to the landfill – this is a great program to help homeowners dispose of old paint responsibly.

best blue gray paint
4. I took this photo at a client’s house (which is why it’s not that fantastic) but it does show off my favorite blue-gray paint color. Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore is gorgeous. It’s medium in terms of light/dark and isn’t Baby Boy Blue like a lot of blue paint.

 PaintCare was signed into law in Colorado by Governor Hickenlooper in 2014 and launched in July, 2015.  While there is no charge to drop paint off for recycling, a nominal fee has been added to the price of paint sold in Colorado as of July 1, 2015 to fund all aspects of the program, including paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration. The fee varies by the size of container: 35 cents for pints and quarts, 75 cents for one gallon cans, and $1.60 for 5 gallon buckets.  I bet most people didn’t know this – I didn’t!

best warm neutral
5. More and more of my clients have been asking me for warm neutral paint colors. Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore is one of my favorite warm neutrals.

 So far in Colorado more than 1.1 million gallons of paint have been recycled.  It takes 660,000 gallons to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool – so consider that!

 For more information about PaintCare and to find a PaintCare drop-off site near you, visit

“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”  Annie Leonard, attributed, The Story of STUFF Project






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s