Friday, 30 November 2007 17:00

Direct to Shop Sales Helps Sherwin-Williams Enable Waterborne

Written by Richard Neubauer
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Sherwin-Williams is unique among the major auto paint manufacturers in that it runs company-owned stores throughout much of North America, allowing most of its body-shop customers to buy direct. “One reason we’re so competitive with our pricing is through direct sales at our stores,” said Chris Blumfeldt, director of marketing services.

The Sherwin-Williams booth at NACE looked exactly like one of the 200 Sherwin-Williams Automotive Refinish stores, displaying everything needed to refinish a car or truck, from abrasives to spray guns to polishes.  And oh yes, paint – including the flashy new Planet Color™ custom paints that are color shifting, iridescent, textured, shimmering and more! 


“We recently opened our 200th store,” said Blumfeldt, “and we’re proud that these stores not only have a professional appearance but offer virtually everything our customers need to complete an auto paint job.” Sherwin-Williams recently renovated many of its older automotive paint branches, adding more products, brighter lighting and wider aisles. Computerized technical information on product and color selection is available in the redesigned branches. “It’s surprising just how many body shop customers will come by a store to pick up supplies they’ve run out of, ask technical questions or check out new products before they buy,” said Blumfeldt.

Clearcoat Dries in 5 To 10 Mins

One hot new product is CC931 Extreme Speed Clearcoat. Nick Bartoszek, the director of Global Product Management, said the new clearcoat can save almost 20 minutes of booth time per repair order. “It dries in five to ten minutes in a 140 degree bake cycle. And you can apply it in two coats, wet-on-wet, with no flash time between coats. That means you can be resassembling the vehicle in 15 minutes,” said Bartoszek. He explained that the improved drying time results from a unique solvent management process that is effective in both air-dry and baking scenarios.


Sherwin-Williams calculates that Extreme Speed Process will allow a shop working at top speed to produce 14 cars per booth in an eight-hour day, or one car every 34 minutes. “We understand that not every shop can keep up this pace, but it certainly gives them the ability to shift up capacity when needed without going out and adding expensive spray booths,” noted Bartoszek.

Waterborne Takes Off

The S-W Automotive Refinish stores in California are now carrying the AWX™ line of waterborne delivered basecoats and clearcoats. AWX meets the strict new VOC limits enacted in much of California while making it easy for a shop to convert. “Bottom line,” said BUBA, “is that AWX gives you compliance without complications.”

AWX is a premium Sherwin-Williams line, and the company says it is the fastest drying waterborne basecoat in the world. Further, the toner line is simple and easy to mix and the color match/blend is excellent. The clearcoats bake in only 7-10 minute cure cycles, while the basecoats are sandable so imperfections can be removed easily.

Planning and Support are Key

With conversion to Waterborne imminent for much of California, Sherwin-Williams has stepped up its tech support and is adding training facilities. “To make sure our customers get it right the first time, we work through a comprehensive facility assessment before a gallon of AWX is ever shipped to them,” said Bartoszek. “There’s very little retraining because this waterborne has application properties very much like solvent paints.”


Several recent converts in California certainly agree. “The transition from solvent base to waterborne was easily adaptable, especially with the Sherwin-Williams support,” said Ralph Lugo of Moutain View Collision Center in Upland.

“Overall, I’m very pleased,” agreed Patrick Shrewsbury of Prestige Quality Collision in Westminster. “Blending is very easy and consistent. Gun clean up is quick and easy, too.”


“Seamless and smooth,” is what Dana Bridges of North Fresno Collision, Fresno, called his switchover to AWX. “Very fast application and results, with great installation support from Sherwin-Williams.”


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