TIME: Twenty First Century
TITLE: Painter meets an engineer . . . they begin a journey that will revolutionize an industry.

It was a hot, humid, summer afternoon in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, when Chris Frosztega, a painter, met his neighbour, Frank McDonnell, an electrical engineer with experience in building things. Chris stated a problem and Frank suggested a solution.

Together they built prototypes and composed patent applications. It took them 7 years to build and test 5 prototypes and master the art of using computer control for blending paints on location, on demand. In the process, they have assembled a team of mechanical, chemical, software, networks and robotics engineers.

With the help of talented graphic and industrial designers who understood the potential of being able to realize gradients and eventually theme rooms, product brands have been developed.

The founders gratefully acknowledge the receipt of advice from The Molson School of Business, equipment from Turbinaire®, improvements and applications from interior decorators, technical expertise from engineers, artistic creations from graphic designers, seed funding from relatives and friends, and support and encouragement from all of the above.

The founders are currently considering the involvement of one or two of the TOP 25 global paint companies who share the same vision for the future of interactive decorative painting.



TIME: 150 years ago
TITLE: The Alchemist Painter . . . painters mix their own paints.

“Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job.” SOURCE

Paint had to be custom made, starting from milling pigments, mixing and blending it with the medium. This all changed on Jul y 16th, 1867 when D.R. Averill patented ready-mixed paint. However, it took another 13 years and a paint company that is still one of top 5 paint & coatings manufacturers, to commercialize this invention.


“In 1870 a paint company named Sherwin, Dunham and Griswold had to make a decision. One of the partners, Henry Sherwin, had come up with the strange idea to develop ready-mixed paints. The partners were all against it. They were sure that people wanted to mix their colors at home – to get it just right. Sherwin disagreed. The result was that the company was dissolved, and Sherwin found another partner, Edward Williams. Sherwin-Williams embarked on a long period of research to perfect a way to premix paint in a consistent and convenient manner. After their ready mixed paint was introduced in 1880, it signaled a revolution in do-it- yourself painting. No longer were houses left bare. It seems that home owners didn’t like the hassle mixing their own paint. Sherwin-Williams was right after all.” SOURCE



In those days, people enjoyed the customization benefits of mixing their own paints. However, with proper marketing and retailing, they started to enjoy the convenience of premixed paints. This goes to prove that for every Mr. Sherwin and Mr. Williams there are Mr. Dunham and Mr. Griswold.

This “ready mixed paint” revolution took some time to get going as it required another Sherwin invention . . . the 1877 resealable tin paint can. We know them now as the Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE: SHW) . . . with an interesting history as innovators in paint manufacturing and retailing.



TIME: 30,000 years ago
TITLE: Cave painters mix pigments and experiment with spray painting.

It all started with cave painting about 30, 000 years ago. Caves were considered to be magical places and spiritual entrances to the underworld. Use of pigments and paint application methods have greatly evolved since then and according to Webexhibits section on pigments:



“Historians hypothesize that paint was applied with brushing, smearing, dabbing, and spraying techniques. Large areas were covered with fingertips or pads of lichen or moss. Twigs produced drawn or linear marks, while feathers blended areas of color. Brushes made from horsehair were used for paint application and outlining. Paint spraying, accomplished by blowing paint through hollow bones, yielded a finely grained distribution of pigment, similar to an airbrush. The oxides of iron dug right out of the ground in the form of lumps were presumably rich in clay. This consistency was conducive to the formation of crayon sticks and also could be made into a liquid paste more closely resembling paint. Historians believe that the lumps were ground into a fine powder on the cave’s natural stone hollows, where stains have been observed. Shoulder and other bones of large animals, stained with color, have been discovered in the caves and presumed to have been used as mortars for pigment grinding. The pigment was made into a paste with various binders, including water, vegetable juices, urine, animal fat, bone marrow, blood, and albumen.”