A security deposit can not be used for normal wear and tear, according tohttp://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/sec-deposit.shtml
which suggests a 2 year life span for interior paint.
That web page also states:
"Suppose that your landlord does not return your security deposit as required by law, or makes improper deductions from it. If you cannot successfully work out the problem with your landlord, you can file a lawsuit in small claims court for the amount of the security deposit plus court costs, and possibly also a penalty and interest, up to a maximum of $10,000 (If your claim is for a little more than $10,000, you can waive (give up) the extra amount and still use the small claims court.) For amounts greater than $10,000, you must file in superior court, and you ordinarily will need a lawyer in order to effectively pursue your case. In such a lawsuit, the landlord has the burden of proving that his or her deductions from your security deposit were reasonable.
If you prove to the court that the landlord acted in "bad faith" in refusing to return your security deposit, the court can order the landlord to pay you the amount of the improperly withheld deposit, plus up to twice the amount of the security deposit as a "bad faith" penalty. The court can award a bad faith penalty in addition to actual damages whenever the facts of the case warrant—even if the tenant has not requested the penalty. These additional amounts can also be recovered if a landlord who has purchased your building makes a "bad faith" demand for replacement of security deposits. The landlord has the burden of proving the authority upon which the demand for the security deposits was based.
"What if the landlord doesn't provide a full refund, or a statement of deductions and a refund of amounts not deducted, by the end of the 21-day period as required by law? According to a California Supreme Court decision, the landlord loses the right to keep any
of the security deposit and must return the entire deposit to you", citingGranberry v. Islay Investments
(1995) 9 Cal.4th 738, 745.
It sounds like you have a valid case to be filed in small claims court, seehttp://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/
for detailed information on how to bring a small claims case for a refund from the landlord.
I hope this information is helpful.