Jon Kosmoski of House of Kolor and reality show Fast N’ Loud star KC Mathieu
“It takes some training,” said Kosmoski. “An average painter can’t pick up a gun and be a kandy painter.”
He said House of Kolors’ Kandies and clears are developed with a more advanced formulation. Whereas an average company uses 1 ½ percent UV absorbers, HOK’s products far exceed that amount, providing a longer-lasting, more beautiful finish for custom creations.
Also, the newly revamped Kandies and basecoats, with advanced technology, are compliant in all areas and meet the most stringent VOC requirements. Kosmoski said kandy painting became popular in the early 1950s when custom car builder and painter Joe Bailon debuted a candy-apple-red-painted car. The name was coined after the transparent color of a candy apple.
Bailon, who is now 92 years old, is often referred to as “Candy Apple Joe” and Kosmoski said he can still be seen working in his shop.
Kosmoski founded House of Kolor in 1956 and used to paint a car a day while he owned his own shop. He closed it in 1981 when his custom paint took off and went into manufacturing. His Kosmic system was introduced in the fall of 1982 and in 1997, House of Kolor became part of the Valspar Automotive Coatings Division.
In addition to House of Kolor, Valspar’s brands include DeBeer Refinish, Valspar Refinish and newly acquired brands, Prospray Automotive Finishes, Matrix Automotive Finishes and U.S. Chemical & Plastics (USC). In May of this year, Valspar announced it had acquired the performance coatings businesses from Quest Specialty Chemicals. These include automotive refinish brands Matrix, Prospray and USC, and industrial coatings brands Patriot Paint, Raabe and Precision Color brands.
During NACE, Autobody News spoke with Laura Yerkey, Director of Marketing – Americas, for Valspar Automotive, about the company’s recent announcements. “The thing that really differentiates whether or not a refinish coatings company is going to be successful is the technology behind it—the color, the products and the tools, and the ability to develop the technologies that shops are going to need moving forward,” she explained. DeBeer is Valspar Automotive’s premiere brand.
“The color technology driving the DeBeer basecoat system is world class,” said Yerkey. “Already, OEM manufacturer’s Ford, GM and Chrysler have approved the DeBeer 900+ Series. This line delivers optimal solutions to any large shop or MSO with proven success.”
Prospray is the company’s other European refinish brand, made in the United Kingdom. Basecoat technologies are made in both solvent and waterborne.
“The Prospray line is a beautifully simple and task-driven system,” said Yerkey. “The all-liquid intermix system can be mixed in various solids levels, depending on need, and provides excellent match and coverage, especially with import vehicles. The clears and primers are streamlined and backed by universal activators and thinners.”
The color system uses a chromatic tool for color matching. Matrix is the company’s American paint brand, delivering productivity, color and value. Matrix is more recently best-known for developing a true low VOC basecoat system, MPB-LV. Every component on the Matrix MPB-LV system, from toner to binder, is low VOC compliant.
“With Matrix low VOC basecoat, compliance is a really seamless and an easy transition for the body shops,” said Yerkey. “You’re going to get the same amount of coverage and color match is going to be the same as with a national rule product. There is no learning curve.” She said body shops aren’t sacrificing quality or ease when they use Matrix’s low VOC system.
“It’s going to perform for them.”
All Valspar paint brands are backed by warranties and deliver in-field technical service and support. U.S. Chemical & Plastics, established in 1950, was the original body filler manufacturer in the United States. With the introduction of the aluminum Ford F-150, Yerkey said the company has recently conducted extensive testing on the new product lineup in regards to the specific aluminum alloy that Ford is using.
“We ran extensive testing at the technical and research facility on AG47 and Icing Lite, alongside best-selling competitive products, to test adhesion and overall strength,” said Yerkey. “We ran blind lap sheer tests to gauge ultimate stress (PSI) adhesion results and found performance was up to 48 percent better than the competition.”
Growing up in the automotive refinish industry, Yerkey said her grandfather, Pete Peterson, founded Ohio-based Montana Products in 1976. Peterson taught his granddaughter about the various disciplines of the business and the importance of the ”voice of the customer.”
Montana Products was later sold to ChemSpec. Yerkey was hired at U.S. Chemical & Plastics and Prospray in 2003. In 2013, the brands were acquired by Quest Specialty Chemicals, consisting of three divisions: automotive, industrial and construction.
Yerkey became Quest Automotive’s marketing director and then was promoted to corporate, Quest Specialty Chemicals, to head up the marketing strategy and communications for the three divisions, as well as assist with mergers and acquisitions. Now as marketing director in the Americas for Valspar, she said she plans to build out the optimal marketing organization that will focus on needs-driven solutions for every segment in the collision repair industry as well as specialty industries where the products are a good fit. Yerkey said,
“As a company with all of our brands now, and the technology and talent we have from both teams, we [Valspar Automotive] are really poised to become that preferred provider in the industry.”