About – General Paint

Built with a legacy of uncompromising quality and product innovation, General Paint has earned the highest degree of customer satisfaction for each of its brand products in all residential, commercial and light industrial applications. With MPI approval on many lines we continue to focus on achieving the highest quality standards and consistent performance to maintain a competitive edge on our selection of paints and coatings.

Servicing our loyal independent dealer network and Reno Depot in Calgary, General Paint remains one of the most respected manufacturers in the Canadian paint industry.

General Paint History


In the spring of 1911, Alan J. Ayres and his son Tom start the Ayres Varnish Company in Vancouver. It’s a humble beginning. The warehouse is a three square-metre cooking shed and the office is just as small. There is no electricity or plumbing. Office lighting is provided by two stable lanterns, and the only water on-site is rainwater caught in large barrels. The city of Vancouver is in the early stages as well with just 137,000 residents.


As the city grows, so does the company. In 1920 the business is renamed the Ayres Varnish and Paint Company to reflect its expanded offerings. 1921 marks the year the first General Paint store opens in Vancouver, BC. In July 1929, tragedy strikes when a fire caused by spontaneous combustion guts the main paint factory. Everyone pitches in and replaces the damaged areas.


The company name is changed to General Paint Corporation of Canada.


The growing demand for superior product is met with an increase in our retail presence. More stores are opened across the country and customers fast become loyal to the General Paint brand.


The number of our stores almost triples from 22 in 1979 to 65 by 1990. General Paint expands even further, by opening our first store in China.


General Paint launches the “Lasts For Ages” billboard campaign that ran for three years.


We apply for and receive ISO 9002 accreditation. This high standard of manufacturing excellence is maintained year after year, affirming our products meet the highest degree of quality standards in the industry. General Paint launches it’s first website to the world wide web.


Professional Paint Inc., a newly formed corporation, purchases General Paint and three other North American paint companies. This new local ownership creates opportunities for improving the synergies and interactions between the four companies. The new century brings us to Eastern Canada. We open five stores in Ontario.


We purchased Ideal Paints in Ontario. Ideal Paints was known in the Ontario market for their contractor-based business and was in operation for 20 years. This acquisition paved the road for General Paint and maximized our potential to expand our business.


We launched a zero VOC paint line called “Z-Coat”. General Paint was one of the first companies in Canada to launch a true Hi Performance zero VOC product line that releases no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) We enter into Russia with a dealer agreement. Our first container was shipped in the winter of 2005. There are now four General Paint Dealers in Russia and growing.


General Paint launches an award winning, state of the art colour system – ColorLife exclusively designed to offer distinctive and unique colour solutions to people who want to create unmatched environments. The complete colour chart offers more than a thousand possibilities to experiment with and express your creativity.


We re-launch our website which includes the use of the latest technology and ease of navigation. This re-design addresses our customer’s need for more information and an array of products systems.


A century of paint We define ourselves as a successful and triumphant company that has achieved the greatest reward by reaching 100 years within the paint industry. “Achieving the dream ~ building on the legacy”


2013 General Paint is acquired by Sherwin-Williams, an industry leader in the development of technologically


2016 General Paint launches a new Logo and new Color Journeys colour system

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