Founded by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams in Cleveland in 1866, the company operates through four segments: Paint Stores Group (known as 'Sherwin-Williams Stores'), Consumer Group, Latin America Coatings Group, and Global Finishes Group.
Americas Group, known as Sherwin-Williams Paints, 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, and original equipment manufacturer product finishes and similar items. As of January 1, 2011, the Paint Stores Group operated 3,954 individual paint stores. By January 1, 2016, the Paints stores group had expanded to 4,080 stores.
The Diversified Brands Group develops, manufactures, and distributes various paints, coatings, and related products, under the brand names of Duron, Frazee, MAB, Minwax, Krylon, Mautz, Purdy, Bestt Liebco, Thompson's WaterSeal, H&C, Pratt & Lambert, Martin-Senour and Dutch Boy, to third party customers in addition to overseeing the operations maintained by The Americas Group.
Sherwin-Williams also makes its own paints under the Easy Living and Weatherbeater brand names; those paint brands are used exclusively for Sears and Kmart stores.
On August 28, 2007, Sherwin Williams purchased Columbia Paint & Coatings. On July 6, 2011, Sherwin-Williams acquired Leighs Paints, based in Bolton UK, manufacturers of intumescent and high performance industrial coatings. In late 2012, Sherwin Williams began the process of purchasing the Comex Group. Comex was the 4th largest paint manufacturer in North America. After Mexican antitrust regulators voted against the deal twice, Sherwin-Williams bought Comex's US and Canadian divisions for $165 million on Sept 16, 2013. PPG, US-based paint and coating company, acquired Comex's Mexican division for $2.3 billion.
In 2007, the company introduced its first "Idea Center" in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in an effort to provide customers with an interior design environment as contrasted with its conventional paint stores.
The Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes segment develops, manufactures, and distributes various motor vehicle finish, refinish, and touch-up products. It also licenses certain technology and trade names worldwide, as well as distributes Sherwin-Williams branded automotive finish and refinish products through its network of automotive branches. The Automotive Finishes segment opened their 200th automotive branch in Calumet Park, IL on September 21, 2007. The International Coatings segment develops, licenses, manufactures, and distributes various paints, coatings, and related products worldwide through 76 company-operated specialty paint stores, as of the above date, and by outside selling functions to other dealers and distributors.
The Sherwin-Williams Spray Source service centers offer new equipment, parts and accessories, maintenance and repairs to rental programs. There are over 100 service centers located across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. They have factory-trained technicians that provide maintenance and repairs on paint sprayers, pressure (cleaners) washers, conventional spray guns, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) systems, plural-component equipment from manufacturers like EXEL North America, Kremlin Rexson, Sames, Johnstone, Graco, Titan/Speeflo, Spraytech/Wagner, Capspray, ITW Binks, AccuSpray, Mi-T-M, Pressure Pro, and more. They provide repairs like maintenance, emergency and warranty, telephone troubleshooting support, on-site demonstrations, and training. Prior to 2008, the program was called SherWorks.
In 1929, Sherwin-Williams Mexico started operations. Headquarters is in Mexico City.
Sherwin-Williams Mexico has 109 branches and 200 dealers.
STIR magazine is a tri-annual publication delivering color news and resources to residential and commercial interior designers and architects throughout North America. The magazine is created and published by Hanley Wood, LLC. The first issue was published in 2004.
Between 1981 and 1987, Sherwin-Williams owned Gray Drug.
In March 2016, it was announced that Valspar would be acquired for $11.3 billion U.S. dollars. The merger is expected to finalize during the first quarter of 2017.
STIR magazine has won several industry awards, including a 2005 FOLIO award for best design, new custom publication, as well as a 2007 Pearl Award from the Custom Publishing Council for the best in custom Publishing category.
On June 20, 2011, Computerworld named The Sherwin-Williams Company the #58 Best Place to Work in IT.
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.
Sherwin-Williams' major competitors are PPG, DuPont Performance Coatings, BASF (through Ace Hardware and Lowe's), Behr (through The Home Depot), 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. Valspar was acquired in 2016.
In January 2014, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that Sherwin-Williams, along with 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. 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." In March 2014 Sherwin-Williams was denied a new trial.
Members of the team of attorneys who fought the case, including Mary E. Alexander of Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. in San Francisco, Joseph W. Cotchett and Nancy L. Fineman of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP in Burlingame, Calif., Peter Earle of the Law Office of Peter Earle in Milwaukee, Wis., and Fidelma L. Fitzpatrick of the firm Motley Rice in Providence, R.I. were given a 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award at the annual Public Justice Gala and Awards Dinner on July 27 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Md. 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.