Central Painting is one of Canada’s leading painting and floor coating contractors for commercial and industrial projects. Commitment to real timelines and real solutions has ensured excellence in floor to celling painting and sealing since 1990. Founder David Graham found his passion for painting when working with College Pro Painters during his university days. After finishing his degree, he put his painting experience and construction background to work, opening Central Painting’s head office in Barrie, Ontario and growing the brand into Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Calgary and London/Cambridge.
Graham, and his Alberta operations team, Jim Divall, Scott Gribbon, and Ben Anderson discuss how Central Painting is changing, and challenging, the commercial painting market.
“Our quality control program sets us apart,” says Graham. “Anybody can expect a paint job, so we go above and beyond. We work with our clients’ needs, be it a weekend, reduced schedule, a colour change, etc. We always strive to work closely with our clients so we can deliver upon their expectations.”
Gribbon adds, “Central Painting’s strength is internal and external relationships. Relationships are key to everything. That and innovation, which is another passion of the company.”
Divall agrees, saying, “We treat our people very well. We are there when they need us, and they are there when we need them. We look after our staff and clients.”
“We are also known for our quality, high-end painting and craftsmanship,” Anderson adds to the list.
While many think of Central Painting as “just a painting company,” the actual scope of services – and innovation – is very broad. Central Painting developed a low temperature paint that can be applied outdoors, even in -30°C. The company also does parking lot lines, has a full fireproofing division, and coats floors through its sister company Industrial Floor Systems. Graham launched Industrial Floor Systems in 2005 to meet the groing demand for floor coatings and polished concrete.
“Everyone in this company is dedicated to customer service. To that, we have implemented a number of software programs to keep our clients informed of our processes and safety practices,” says Graham. “Yes, we are a contractor, but we are a service company and for us, it always comes down to providing great customer service.”
Some of Central Painting’s notable jobs in Alberta include numerous stores across the Loblaws brand; the AGLC building, which was completed in 18 months; Champion Petfoods’ new headquarters, which was completed under the very tight deadline of six months; and the JW Marriot in ICE District. Although each project has its challenges such as weather delays, working in an occupied building and tight deadlines, Central Painting always aims to deliver on time and on budget, while ensuring customer satisfaction.
“A lot of times a client will need a project completed in a matter of weeks,” says Graham. “We never say no. We don’t always know how we are going to accomplish the job at the time, but we always do! We simply don’t say no to our clients.”
Divall points out the role of teamwork in the company’s success, saying, “From province to province we are all team players and we rely on communication to ensure consistent training and customer service across the brand. Clients know that with us, they can get the same experience in Edmonton as they can in Vancouver, or Barrie.”
Part of being a business leader is supporting the community, which, for Central Painting, is a natural part of its brand identity. The leadership and team members support numerous causes including hosting a charity golf tournament annually; partnering with fundraising drives from industry partners such as Home Depot, and Loblaws; donating services in kind, and supporting the MS Run.
Recently Central Painting received a Top Job Award from American Painting Contractors (lead on the project was Sean Hamill) and while they are happy to receive industry recognition from their peers, Central Painting is most proud of being an inclusive, safe and innovative workplace, an industry leader and a reliable contractor for its valued clients.
Graham concludes, “Central Painting averaged 15 per cent compound growth annually over the last few years. During COVID 19, we have taken the opportunity to upgrade our systems and processes, so we are poised and ready to step into the post COVID world. Central Painting’s goal is to be our clients’ one-stop-shop for all their coatings needs, regardless of whether that is a floor, ceiling, wall or even roof or fireproofing coatings.”
The leadership team believes that Central Painting’s success has been facilitated by a strong and dedicated team coast to coast who have made these past 25 years possible. Central Painting would like to express gratitude to all employees for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence. The company would also like to thank their loyal clients for the opportunities they have provided for the past quarter century.