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The Sherwin-Williams Company
Traded as
IndustryPaint and coating manufacturing
FoundedCleveland, Ohio, U.S. (1866; 154 years ago (1866))
Number of locations
4,758 stores[1] (2019)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$17.90 billion[1] (2019)
Increase US$1.54 billion[1] (2019)
Total assetsIncrease US$20.50 billion[1] (2019)
Total equityIncrease US$4.12 billion[1] (2019)
Number of employees
61,111[1] (2019)
  • Retail Stores
  • Diversified Brands
  • Automotive Finishes
  • Chemical Coatings

Sherwin-Williams Company is an American Fortune 500 company in the paint and coating manufacturing industry. The company, with headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, primarily engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings, floorcoverings, and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in North and South America and Europe. At the end of 2019, Sherwin-Willams had operations in over 120 countries.[2] The company is mostly known through its Sherwin-Williams Paints line.

Corporate Structure[edit]

Founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams[3] in Cleveland in 1866, the company operates through three segments: The Americas Group, Consumer Brands Group, and Performance Coatings Group.[4][2]

A Sherwin-Williams Paints in Gillette, Wyoming

Americas Group[edit]

Americas Group was the first section of the company to be established, in 1866. These stores market and sell Sherwin-Williams branded architectural paints and coatings, industrial and marine products, floorcovering, and related equipment and supplies. As of the end of 2019, the Americas Group had expanded to 4,758 stores, including more than 135 floorcovering centers.[4][5]

Consumer Brands Group[edit]

The Consumer Brands Group develops, manufactures, and distributes various paints, coatings, and related products, under the brand names of Anthony Angelillo, Bestt Liebco, Cabot, Dupli-Color, Duron, Dutch Boy, Frazee, Geocel, Guangdong Huarun Paints, H&C, HGTV Home, Kool Seal, Krylon, MAB, Martin-Senour, Mautz, Minwax, Pratt & Lambert, Purdy, Ronseal, Thompson's WaterSeal, Uniflex, Valspar, Wattyl, and White Lightning to third party customers in addition to overseeing the operations maintained by The Americas Group.[6][4][7][8][9][10][11]

On August 28, 2007, Sherwin Williams purchased Columbia Paint & Coatings.[12] On July 6, 2011, Sherwin-Williams acquired Leighs Paints, based in Bolton UK, manufacturers of intumescent and high performance industrial coatings.[13] In late 2012, Sherwin Williams began the process of purchasing the Comex Group. Comex was the 4th largest paint manufacturer in North America.[14] After Mexican antitrust regulators voted against the deal twice, Sherwin-Williams bought Comex's US and Canadian divisions for $165 million on September 16, 2013.[15] PPG, US-based paint and coating company, acquired Comex's Mexican division for $2.3 billion. In March 2016, it was announced that Valspar would be acquired for $9.3 billion U.S. dollars. The merger was finalized 1 June 2017.[16]

Performance Coatings Group[edit]

The Performance Coatings Group sells coatings and finishes to industrial, wood furniture manufacturing, marine, packaging, and automotive markets in more than 110 countries.[17] The Group also contains Valspar's automotive refinishes business.[18]

Global Headquarters[edit]

In September 2019, the company announced that it was moving its global headquarters - then in downtown Cleveland - to a larger site.[19] It would consider remaining in Cleveland, but was evaluating sites in the region and out of state.

After five months, in February 2020, Sherwin-Williams declared it would remain in Cleveland, which would provide hundreds of jobs for the region as well as an estimated $600 million investment in a new 1-million-square-foot (93,000 m2) building that will become a worksite for 3,500 employees.[20] The company is also building a new 500,000 sq. ft. research and development center on the site of a former VA hospital in Brecksville, OH, saying a suburban, less densely populated location would work better with its research and coating development processes.[21]

The first step in the procedure took place in March 2020 when the company paid $49.5 million for property currently used as parking lots in downtown Cleveland in an apparent cash transaction. The HQ building is expected to open in 2023.[22]

Recent controversies[edit]

Lead paint lawsuit[edit]

In January 2014, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and ConAgra were jointly and severally liable for $1.15 billion, to be paid into a lead paint abatement fund to be used to remove lead paint from older housing.[23][24] The judge ruled that the paint companies manufactured, marketed, and sold lead paint without disclosing the health risks to the consumers in spite of "actual and constructive knowledge that it was harmful."[25][26] In March 2014 Sherwin-Williams was denied a new trial.[27]

As per their 2013 annual report, Sherwin-Williams considers this case without merit and will appeal the decision. The process may take another two years.[28] The disposition of The People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company et al. in the California 6th Appellate District Court on November 14, 2017 is that

... the judgment is reversed, and the matter is remanded to the trial court with directions to (1) recalculate the amount of the abatement fund to limit it to the amount necessary to cover the cost of remediating pre-1951 homes, and (2) hold an evidentiary hearing regarding the appointment of a suitable receiver. The Plaintiff shall recover its costs on appeal.[29]

On February 14, 2019 the California Supreme Court denied the defendants' request for review, sending the case back to the trial court as ordered by the Appellate Court.[30]

Attempted diversions and national boycotts[edit]

On April 9, 2018, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and representing attorneys uncovered that Sherwin-Williams tried to ”shift the blame to contaminated water in an effort” to avoid tens of millions of dollars in settlements.[31][32] As many as 170 children have been affected by the potentially fatal lead poisoning.

On June 28, 2018 Consumer Watchdog declared a national boycott of paint from Sherwin-Williams “stores after the paint maker said it was going forward with a deceptive California ballot measure to erase its liability to the public for poisoning families with lead in its paint.”[33] Sherwin-Williams has allegedly been evading accountability resulting in severe damage to its company brand.

Charity marketing ploy[edit]

In 2014, a charity promotion was created indicating that $1 million would be contributed to the Angels Baseball Foundation “any time an Angels batter parked a home run ball in the can. Well, left-fielder Justin Upton did just that last Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in the ninth inning. That’s when it transpired that there was a catch all along: The ball had to enter the can on the fly. Upton’s homer ball bounced at least once before caroming into the can. So, no contribution.”[34][35][36]

Superdeck lawsuit[edit]

In late 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Sherwin-Williams, claiming it was responsible for eighty of its major coating products for being defective. Customers have repeatedly claimed that the quality of the products have failed a few months after applying the coating by peeling and chipping away.[37] In May 2020, Sherwin-Williams was reported to have asked for the suit to be dismissed due to the fact that the plaintiffs only used one of the 16 products named in the lawsuit.[38]

Awards and recognition[edit]

STIR magazine has won several industry awards, including a 2005 FOLIO award for best design,[39] new custom publication, as well as a 2007 Pearl Award from the Custom Publishing Council for the best in custom Publishing category.[40]

On June 20, 2011, Computerworld named The Sherwin-Williams Company the #58 Best Place to Work in IT.[41]

In 2015, Sherwin-Williams was recognized as the most used brand as well as the winner for brand familiarity and quality rating in the Paints category by the Builder magazine.[42]

As of 2018, Sherwin-Williams was ranked 190th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue.[43]


Sherwin-Williams' major competitors are PPG, Rust-Oleum, RPM International Inc., Axalta Coating Systems, BASF (through Ace Hardware and Lowe's), Behr, (through The Home Depot), Kelly-Moore Paints, and Benjamin Moore. There are also several smaller, regional competitors, though Sherwin-Williams has acquired a few of them (such as MAB and Columbia Paint & Coatings and Parker Paints) in recent years.


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Sherwin-Williams Company. Form 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission. Dec. 31, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Organizational Profile - Sherwin-Williams". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  3. ^ "Country Boys Make Good..." Sherwin-Williams. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "2020 Investor Overview" (PDF). Sherwin-Williams. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Installation Excellence | SherwinWilliams". Sherwin-Williams. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "Sherwin-Williams Consumer Brands Group Financial Community Presentation" (PDF). Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Thomas, Lauren (February 28, 2018). "Lowe's deepens its partnership with Sherwin-Williams in the paint aisle". CNBC. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Otto, Bridget A.; Oregonian, The (June 6, 2011). "Color Monday: Sherwin Williams teams up with HGTV to create a line of paints". oregonlive. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "Top Companies Continue Recovery". Coatings World. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  10. ^ "US giant mulls options for Aussie paint business Wattyl". Australian Financial Review. June 11, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  11. ^ "Ronseal taps Havas to varnish its planning and buying". Prolific London. October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  12. ^ Drukenbrod, Mark. "Columbia Paint & Coatings Co. to merge with Sherwin-Williams, Hercules acquires specialty surfactants business of Dexter Chemical L.L.C., Benjamin Moore acquires Finnaren & Haley Paint & Coatings". SpecialChem. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  13. ^ "PaintSquare News".
  14. ^ Cho, Janet. "1 comment Sherwin-Williams buys Consorcio Comex's U.S. and Canadian business, still hopeful about Mexican division". Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "Consorcio Comex, the Mexican paint company Sherwin-Williams wanted, being acquired by rival PPG Industries".
  16. ^ Jamerson, Joshua (December 19, 2016). "Sherwin-Williams, Valspar Say Merger Is on Track to Close by End of First Quarter" – via
  17. ^ "02. Sherwin-Williams". Coatings World. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "Sherwin-Williams creates new organizational structure". Furniture Today. July 27, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  19. ^ "Sherwin-Williams Considers Moving Global Headquarters Out Of Ohio". Cleveland, OH Patch. September 12, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  20. ^ Jarboe, Michelle; Dealer, The Plain (February 9, 2020). "Sherwin-Williams' pick of new Cleveland HQ site stirs talk of more activity downtown". cleveland. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Jarboe, Michelle (February 6, 2020). "Sherwin-Williams confirms plans for new downtown Cleveland HQ, Brecksville R&D center". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland OH: Advance Ohio.
  22. ^ Jarboe, Michelle (March 20, 2020). "Sherwin-Williams pays $49.4M for future downtown Cleveland headquarters site". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland OH: AdvanceOhio.
  23. ^ Rosenblatt, Joel (December 17, 2013). "Sherwin, NL, ConAgra Lose $1.1 Billion Lead Paint Ruling". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  24. ^ Rosenblatt, Joel (January 8, 2014). "Manufacturers Must Pay $1.15 Billion in Lead Paint Suit". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  25. ^ Elias, Paul (December 17, 2013). "Lead Paint Lawsuit: Judge Orders 3 Companies To Pay $1.1 Billion For Removal Services". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  26. ^ Kleinberg, James (January 7, 2014). "Judge Kleinberg's Order, final statement of decision, Case Number 1-00-CV-788657" (PDF). Santa Clara County Superior Court's Electronic Filing System. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2014. The defendants sold lead paint with actual and constructive knowledge that it was harmful
  27. ^ VALHI INC /DE/ Form 10-K on 03/13/2015
  28. ^ "Annual Report 2013 page 32-33" (PDF). Sherwin-Williams. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  29. ^ Judge Nathan D. Mihara; Associate Justice Eugene M. Premo; Associate Justice Franklin D. Elia (November 14, 2017). "The People v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company et al". California Courts - Appellate Court Case Information. Judicial Council of California. Retrieved November 19, 2017. ...we can accept the inference that defendants’ pre-1951 promotions increased the use of lead paint on residential interiors during the period of those promotions...
  30. ^ "California Courts - Appellate Court Case Information". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  31. ^ Mary Spicuzza and Daniel Bice (April 9, 2018). "Paint industry accused of trying to create diversion over lead poisoning in Milwaukee". USA Today.
  32. ^ "Lawsuit Accuses Paint Industry for Milwaukee Lead Poisoning". AP. April 9, 2018.
  33. ^ Consumer Watchdog (June 28, 2018). "Consumer Watchdog Calls For Boycott Of Sherwood Williams Paint".
  34. ^ Michael Hitzik (September 25, 2017). "How Sherwin-Williams' cute charity promotion at Angel Stadium turned into a PR problem". LA Times.
  35. ^ Andrew Joseph (September 20, 2017). "Justin Upton's home run into the $1 million can doesn't count due to a lame technicality".
  36. ^ Whitney McIntosh (September 20, 2017). "Sherwin Williams isn't donating $1 million to the Angels' charity because of a technicality".
  37. ^ "Superdeck Lawsuit Over Peeling, Chipping, Cracking". January 17, 2018.
  38. ^ "Sherwin-Williams Wants Wood Deck Stain Class Action Tossed". Top Class Actions. May 22, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  39. ^ " - CBSi".
  40. ^ Painting Florida
  41. ^ Mitchell, Robert L. "No. 58 Best Place to Work in IT: The Sherwin-Williams Co".
  42. ^ "2015 BUILDER BRAND USE STUDY RESULTS". Builder. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  43. ^ "Fortune 500 Companies 2018: Who Made the List". Fortune. Retrieved November 23, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]