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Valspar Company History Timeline


Founded in 1866, our Company has spent the last 155 years creating a legacy of growth, creativity and innovation to meet the needs of our dedicated workforce and our growing global customer base.

Valspar is proud to be a part of the Sherwin-Williams Company, which has been in business since 1866.

In 1866, Henry Sherwin spent his life savings of $2,000 to buy a partnership in the Truman Dunham Company of Ohio.

By 1866, both Stimson and Merriam had retired from the group and the company name was changed back to Valentine & Company.


In 1870, Valentine & Company relocated to New York City and acquired the Minnesota Linseed Oil Paint Company.


In 1877, the Sherwin-Williams & Company transformed into The Sherwin-Williams Company.


In 1878 Valentine & Company entered the Midwest market via a Chicago branch office.


Henry Valentine succeeded his brother as president in 1882, taking over a company with operations in Boston, Chicago, New York City, and on the west coast of the United States Later, their operations expanded to Pennsylvania and Paris.


In 1884, Sherwin Williams made their smartest move.


In 1888 Sherwin-Williams opened a manufacturing plant in Chicago.


In 1903 Valentine’s grandson, L. Valentine Pulsifer, joined the company.

Lawson Valentine's grandson, L. Valentine Pulsifer, joined the company in 1903 after receiving his degree in chemistry from Harvard University.

In 1903, Lawson Valentine’s grandson, L. Valentine Pulsifer, a Harvard-educated chemist joined the company.

Pulsifer had joined the company in 1903 after earning a degree in chemistry from Harvard University.


In 1905 the Cover the Earth trademark was developed, and Sherwin Williams forever became known for a bucket of paint that doused the earth.

After three years of experimentation, he created the clear varnish, which went into production by 1905.


In 1906, Pulsifer unveiled a new kind of varnish which was the first coating for wood that retained its clear finish when exposed to water.

For most of its long history Valspar was a relatively small manufacturer. Its sterling reputation was built on the Valspar varnish, which was unveiled in 1906 as the first coating for wood that retained its clear finish when exposed to water.


The first such exhibition involved a boiling water test at the Grand Rapids Furniture Show in 1908.


In 1920 Sherwin Williams made its biggest move as a company by going public on the stock exchange.


Valentine & Company acquired Con-Ferro Paint and Varnish Company and Detroit-Graphite Company in 1930.


In 1932, the Valentine & Company began to operate as a subsidiary of the newly formed Valspar Corporation.

In 1932, the Valspar Corporation was formed, with Valentine & Company retained as a subsidiary.


Inver Group was founded in 1934 and specializes in liquid and powder coatings products as well as resins that are used in a variety of industrial applications including off-road equipment, auto and off-road parts, architectural aluminum windows, railways and trams.


In June 1970, privately held Minnesota Paints, Inc. of Minneapolis, with annual sales of $24M, merged with Valspar, with annual sales of $27M.Once again, Valspar's headquarters changed, this time to Minneapolis.


In 1973 C. Angus Wurtele former president of Minnesota Paints assumed the helm.

The influx of cash from this latest acquisition boosted Valspar's acquisition power, and by the end of the decade, the company's annual revenue had increased by $74 million. Its former president, C. Angus Wurtele, became chairman of Valspar in 1973.


The next two decades saw increased growth with the company buying out more large scale paint operations like the $100 million acquisition of the Mobil chemical coating business in 1984, which moved Valspar from the 10th to the 5th largest coatings company.

In 1984, the company acquired Mobil's coatings division for $100 million, which was a low price because the division represented less than 0.5 percent of Mobil's total business.


1987 Enterprise Paint Companies, maker of Enterprise Paint and the Federal floor care line, was purchased for $60 million.


1989 The McCloskey Corporation, with $42 million in sales, was acquired.


1990 The company acquired certain assets of DeSoto, Inc., which had combined revenues of approximately $45 million.


1991 Hi-Tek Polymers, Inc. was acquired from Rhône Poulenc.


1993 The company announced an agreement to acquire Cargill Inc.'s resin products division, which had $190 million in revenues, but the deal would not be consummated as an outright acquisition.


Valspar went ahead with the purchase, a $76 million in cash deal concluded in February 1994, and divided the combined resin operations into two separate companies: McWhorter Technologies, Inc. and Engineered Polymer Solutions, Inc.


The operations acquired from Dexter, which were particularly strong in Europe, had 1997 revenues of $208 million, vaulting Valspar into the number one position worldwide in packaging coatings.


During 1998 the company purchased Anzol Pty.

Valspar's consumer unit, meantime, also expanded internationally, through the 1998 acquisition of Plasti-Kote Co., Inc., a maker of consumer aerosol and specialty paint products in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.


In 1999 Valspar celebrated a milestone of 25 consecutive years of record earnings.

Also in 1999 Valspar sold their Flexible Packaging Coatings and Marine Coatings product lines in order to focus on achieving and maintaining leadership positions in other, more strategic coatings markets.


In February 2000, after 30 years as a director of Valspar, including 25 years as Chairman of the Board, C. Angus Wurtele resigned his position from the Board.

In June 2000, Valspar acquired Lilly Industries, Inc., a leading industrial coatings company with an extensive global presence, strong technologies and product lines complementary to Valspar’s.

By the end of 2000, Valspar had acquired the remaining 49 percent of their joint venture with Coates in South Africa and the remaining interest of their joint venture partner in Mexico.

In 2000, Valspar acquired Lilly Industries for $1.04 billion, which required Valspar to divest its mirror coatings business to conform with United States antitrust law.


In 2001, Valspar opened a new facility in Shanghai and began construction of a new wood coatings laboratory and color studio in Dongguan.

Because of the cooling economy, restructuring charges from 14 plant closings in 2001, increasing raw materials prices, and higher debt servicing costs, Valspar's 26 consecutive years of earnings growth ended.


By 2002, 25 percent of the sales took place outside of the United States.

By 2002, 25 percent of total sales were made up of sales outside the United States.

A focus on safety improvements placed Valspar in the elite class of safest manufacturers in the United States, with an improvement of 20% over 2002 performance.


Sales of all product lines increased in 2003, led by Valspar’s consumer products.


In 2004 Valspar achieved record revenues of $2.5 Billion, revenue growth in all major business lines and in every geographical region of the world, record net income, record earnings per share and its 27th consecutive year of annual dividend increase.


In February of 2005, Bill Mansfield succeeded Rompala as President and Chief Executive Officer, and Tom McBurney was elected non-executive Chairman of the Board in July.

And by the end of 2005, Valspar saw its 199th year of doing business in the coatings industry.

In 2005, Valspar bought Samuel Cabot Incorporated, known for its Cabot brand interior and exterior stains and finishes.


Valspar celebrated its 200th year in the coatings industry in 2006 and sales reached nearly $3 billion.


Beginning in 2007, Valspar is introducing, “If it matters, we’re on it™” as the expression portraying its history as a leader in the coatings industry, while capturing the integrity and spirit of Valspar.


In June 2013 Valspar acquired European industrial coatings company Inver Group expanding its presence in the $6 billion European industrial coatings market.


On March 20, 2016, Sherwin-Williams announced its intention to pay $9.3 billion to acquire Valspar.


The giant Sherwin Williams and Valspar merged on June 1, 2017, Sherwin Williams and Valspar combined forces when they merged.

The acquisition finalized on June 1, 2017. (en)

Sherwin-Williams acquired Valspar on June 1, 2017 in an all-cash deal valued at $9.3 billion.

In 2017, the company purchased Valspar.


The Valspar Championship has raised over $43 million for Tampa Bay-area charities, including over $2.2 million in 2019.


©2021 The Sherwin-Williams Company

Company Founded
Minneapolis, MN
Company Headquarter
Henry Valentine,Lawson Valentine,Samuel Tuck
Company Founders
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Valspar may also be known as or be related to The Valspar (Malaysia) Corp. Sdn. Bhd., The Valspar Corporation, Valspar and Valspar Corporation.