History . Paint
Benjamin Moore was founded by brothers Benjamin and Robert Moore in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York. They started with just $2,000 and began by producing a wall coating product called Calsom Finish. Despite a fire destroying their first location in 1884, the brothers quickly reopened in a new location and continued their success. By 1889, Benjamin Moore had established a New York corporation, and soon after, they incorporated in New Jersey, which is still the company’s headquarters.
Benjamin Moore distinguished itself from competitors by charging premium prices for premium paint, whose durability and high-quality pigment they considered worth the cost. They quickly developed a reputation for creating innovative products, such as Muresco, a ready-mix paint made from a recipe that included Irish moss and Pennsylvania clay, which became the best-selling calcimine paint in the U.S. during the first part of the 20th century.
Throughout the company’s history, they continued to innovate and develop new products such as Sani-Flat, a non-shiny, lead-free oil paint that stood up to repeated washings, and Unilac, a quick-drying enamel that could replace lacquer. The Moores began expanding in 1897, opening factories in Chicago and Cleveland, and soon after, incorporated the Canadian branch of the company in 1906. Benjamin Moore hired its first chemist in 1907 and established a research department.
Rather than simply making and selling paint, Benjamin Moore sought to educate consumers about house painting. In the early 1900s, the company began printing decorating brochures for customers, and in 1929, a department of home decorating was added. Members of the department answered painting questions in person or by mail. From the 1930s until the ’60s, Betty Moore, a fictional character played by various actresses, provided house painting tips in a series of weekly radio programs.
Benjamin Moore managed to grow and stay afloat through World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, and in the postwar era, industrial coatings that the company had developed for the war effort were adapted for house painting. Another postwar development was the rise of latex paint, which was far more eco-friendly than any previous kind of house paint and easier to apply and clean.
In 1957, Benjamin Moore rolled out Regal Wall Satin, an easy-to-apply latex paint, and in 1972, Regal Aqua Velvet arrived, boasting a low-gloss eggshell finish that stood up to scrubbing. Four years later, in conjunction with the National Park Service, Benjamin Moore released its Historic Colors Collection, based on NPS archives of historic homes. In 1982, the company’s Computer Color Matching System became operational, allowing any sample to be matched, not just Benjamin Moore’s own color chips.
Throughout the 1990s, Benjamin Moore sold its house paint only through certified dealers. The organization has long been known for keeping the specifics of its business operations closely guarded. At the same time, Benjamin Moore has repeatedly shown itself to be an early adopter when it comes to both cutting-edge technology and environmental sensitivity.
Today, Benjamin Moore is one of the largest paint makers in North America, with seven plants, 22 distribution facilities, and roughly 4,000 independent retailers in its network. Some of Benjamin Moore’s most recent developments have been among the most dramatic in its history. In 1999, the company released EcoSpec, a house paint made without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or solvents, and thus less harmful to both the planet and consumers. In the subsequent decade, VOCs emerged as a major issue for the paint industry. Benjamin Moore found itself ahead of the curve.
Benjamin Moore Paint is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company led by billionaire Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway acquired Benjamin Moore in 2000, and the paint company has continued to operate as a subsidiary.
As for its distribution system, Benjamin Moore Paint products are sold through a network of independent retailers. These retailers, often family-owned businesses, are authorized dealers who have undergone training to sell and promote Benjamin Moore products. The company has around 4,000 independent retailers in its network, spread across the United States and Canada.
Benjamin Moore also has its own distribution facilities and plants to manufacture its products. The company operates seven plants, located in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, and Quebec, Canada. These plants produce the company’s paints and coatings, which are then shipped to the distribution facilities.
The distribution facilities are located throughout the United States and Canada, and they serve as warehouses for the products. These facilities allow Benjamin Moore to efficiently manage its inventory and provide timely delivery of products to its network of independent retailers.
Overall, Benjamin Moore has a well-established distribution system that allows it to efficiently manufacture and distribute its products to its network of independent retailers. The company’s commitment to quality and innovation has helped it maintain a strong presence in the paint industry for over a century.
Many house painters choose Benjamin Moore paint for several reasons, including:
Quality: Benjamin Moore paint is known for its high-quality and durability. The paint is formulated with high-quality resins, pigments, and additives, which ensures that it goes on smoothly, covers well, and lasts a long time.
Color selection: Benjamin Moore offers a wide range of colors, including popular and trendy shades, which makes it easier for painters to find the perfect color for their clients’ homes.
Consistency: Benjamin Moore paint is known for its consistency in terms of color and performance. This means that the color of the paint will remain consistent throughout the painting process, and the paint will provide a smooth and even finish.
Environmental sustainability: Benjamin Moore is committed to producing eco-friendly paint products that are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which makes them safer for both painters and homeowners.
Customer service: Benjamin Moore offers excellent customer service, including technical support and training for painters. This ensures that painters can get the help they need when using Benjamin Moore paint products.
Overall, the quality, consistency, color selection, environmental sustainability, and customer service are some of the main reasons why many house painters choose Benjamin Moore paint for their projects.