Profile America: Paint

Types of paint have been used by people starting tens of thousands of years ago to enliven cave walls. In more recent centuries, paint was applied to make signs or decorated objects.Until 152 years ago, paints had to be tinted and mixed by the user.

The first premixed paints were developed by D.R. Averill of Newburg, Ohio in 1867. His product did not succeed, and was surpassed in 1880 by the Sherwin-Williams Company, which a few years earlier introduced the re-closable paint can.


Sherwin-Williams, founded in 1866, remains as the third largest paint manufacturer in the world. Nationwide, there are about 1,400 businesses manufacturing paints and coatings, and generating annual revenues of some $27.4 billion.

Profile America is in its 23rd year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email