Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where to Get Free Paint and Where to Recycle Paint

Free paint on Maui!

If you're an artist, or want to do a project inexpensively, there's a place to get free paint.  It's the same place that also keeps paint out of the landfill, since wet paint is something that apparently "gums up the works."  You may not get Martha Stewart Vintage Vermilion Cognac Translucent Glaze with Metallic Sheen #206, but if you don't mind
mixing your own paint, and experimenting, usually you can get enough for painting a room.  When construction crews finish a major project, the extra paint usually comes here. 

You can also find other goodies besides paint, including:

  • Turpentine
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Mineral spirits
  • Paint thinner
  • Fixative
  • Fireproofing compound
  • Other mysterious potions in bottles, jars, and spray cans, often with the label falling off

Got paint?

If you have extra paint, you can also bring it here to get recycled and reused. The selection of paint varies from day to day, since it depends on what people bring, and take.  If you bring paint, or take paint, check in with the office and sign the sheet. The information is used to keep records, which is helpful for continued funding.

Community Work Day - Where to Sign In For Paint

This same organization, Community Work Day, funded by your tax dollars, also organizes the Art of Trash show, usually held in the spring around Earth Day.  The office also has other helpful information about projects, recycling, etc. They are open standard business hours, M-F, 9 am - 5 pm.

Inside the Community Work Day office, full of pamphlets.

Oh, you can also bring your used up batteries and recycle them here.

Tip: If you do get paint or other chemical compounds, make sure they are sealed tightly so they don't leak in your car.

Tip #2: Test your paint. Just because it says Rustoleum primer made for metal, doesn't mean it's still good. Spray a sample, and see if it sticks after the proper drying time. 

Where can you find Community Work Day? (By the way, you can also use find Maui Friends of the Library Bookstore this way - mostly 25 cent books, and Maui Makers!)

This is not the easiest place to find, and in a place that is so tucked away, that you would never imagine anyone would ever be located there.

First, go towards Kahului and aim for the Sugar Cane Mill at Puunene.

Behold the smoking columns of Mordor (aka The Sugar Cane Mill)

If you're coming from Kahului, you can take Dairy Road towards Kihei, and turn Left on Mokulele Highway, and turn left on Hansen Road.  From Kihei, head towards Kahului, and turn right on Hansen Road.

Turn on Hansen Road off of Mokulele Highway

Once on Hansen Road, get ready to turn right (less than a block). Do not pass the Sugar Cane Museum or the Post Office.

Get in the right turn lane, and turn right.

Turn right into the parking lot/driveway of the Sugar Cane Mill. I always feel a little bit like a hobbit visiting Mordor since there's a lot of smoke and dust here. Best to keep the windows closed and the air on recirculate. Don't wash your car before coming here, since it'll be covered in dust when you leave. 

You will pass all sorts of buildings, parked vehicles, machine parts.

Now that you think you're lost, continue to the end of the bumpy, pothole-y road. Drive slowly!  It is very dusty and there are trucks backing up. Keep  your windows rolled up!

Look for a small sign that says BOOKS, because the Maui Friends of the Library bookstore is also located in this same nowhere land.

Turn left and you will be on another bumpy, dirty, dusty road full of potholes, alongside an irrigation ditch.  There is an old abandoned church building on your left.

Abandoned church building,
which some preservationists would like to restore.

Continue down the dirt road, and you'll pass the Pu'unene School.

The historic Pu'unene School

Now you'll see another sign for more books! (which means you are very close to free paint)

Turn right and you'll see Community Work Day on the right.  Then look for the chain link fence with big buckets of paint on your left.  If the paint is locked up, then stop by the office to ask them to open it. Take some paint or drop off some paint, and remember to sign the record sheet.

Community Work Day, you've made it!

No shortage of paint here, maybe not all the right colors, but... it's free.

Matson containers for used appliance storage for Habitat for Humanity, etc. If  you go a little past the Matson containers, the Maui Makers are headquartered to the right of the tree in the picture.

Tip: Visit the MFOL (Maui Friends of the Library) bookstore around the corner... get/drop off paint and get some books. Tomorrow's post will be on MFOL. They are open normally Tues - Sat, 9 am to 4 pm.

Tip 2: Visit the Maui Makers at a public meeting. Usually at night. 


  1. Also there just past the CWD Containers is the Maui Makers container. Maui Makers (http://mauimakers.com) is a 'makerspace' - a community of people who like to make things and a shared workshop in which to make and learn. We have some high tech equipment like a laser cutter and 3d printer, as well as wood/metal and hand tools. Our members are artists, engineers, programmers, musicians and makers of all types. We work with microcontrollers and light up clothing as well as gardening, aquaponics, etc.

    We have a public meeting every thursday evening 6-9pm a this rather remote place. Directions in the Maui Jungalow post will get you there. There is also a map on our page about the event


  2. Great! I haven't been in touch with you for a while (since last fall) so didn't know about your public space. Congratulations!


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