Our History

More than 150 years of innovation in the coatings industry

From the inception of our business in 1866 to the manufacture of next-generation, environmentally compatible products demanded in the 21st century, we have continued to evolve. What has not changed is a tradition of quality, technology, innovation, and leadership that puts our customers first and positions us to innovate smarter surface solutions for better living and a sustainable future.

Jump to: 
1800s   |   1900s   |   2000s


Herberts, the original producer of Standox® paint products is founded. Today, Standox is among the world’s leading producers of vehicle refinishing systems



Spies Hecker® is founded, with its first facilities in London and Cologne



Breakthroughs in enamel technology with Permanent® colors add speed, durability and improved appearance to vehicle finishes



The automotive industry takes on new life when the first Duco® color paints are used on cars. Advances in the manufacturing of nitrocellulose lacquer make it possible to apply paint with spray guns (instead of by hand) while also reducing paint drying times from days to hours


Dulux® alkyd enamel coatings take advantage of new baking and curing technologies, making them more resistant and durable


The first mixing-machine tinting system is developed, leading to greater accuracy, productivity and quality


Our ColorMaster™ colorimeter is commercialized, improving color design and matching for OEMs and refinishers alike


Our scientists develop the first L, a, b color cube-root equation for color, which becomes part of the foundation of modern color science


Imron® polyurethane enamel is introduced, bringing brilliant coatings to transportation vehicle manufacturers around the world


Alesta® powder coating is launched, providing decorative finishes for customers in new industries


The first waterborne OEM coatings are introduced in North America, featuring lower VOC levels and a reduced environmental impact


The debut of Voltatex®, the world’s first line of insulation coatings to deliver faster hardening and better handling


Our Cromax® waterborne refinish basecoat offers improved appearance while meeting more aggressive environmental goals


We extend our commitment to safety and sustainability with the introduction of lead- and tin-free e-coats


Our EcoConcept paint technologies are launched, making it possible for OEMs to reduce the number of coating applications


Acquire Plus EFX™ is created. This advanced spectrophotometer looks deep into a paint film to gather color and flake characteristics that are the key to better color matching


Axalta Coating Systems is established as the leading global company fully dedicated to coatings


On November 12 Axalta becomes publicly traded, NYSE: AXTA


Axalta Coating Systems celebrates 150 years in the coatings industry


Axalta enters industrial wood coatings business with acquisition of Valspar North America


Axalta opens new 175,000-square-foot Global Innovation Center in Philadelphia


Axalta opens new regional warehouse and training facility in Western Sydney


Axalta acquires U-POL, a leading supplier of paint, protective coatings and accessories primarily for the automotive aftermarket


Axalta commits to new sustainability goals for 2030 on our way to becoming carbon neutral in our operations by 2040


Axalta unveils its new Purpose -- We innovate smarter surface solutions for better living and a sustainable future -- along with updated Values and Behaviors


2023 marks 10 years as Axalta – backed by more than 150 years of breakthrough innovation and impact

We’re proud of our legacy and excited about what’s next!


Axalta launches Irus Mix, a fast and efficient, fully automated and completely hands-free mixing machine for the automotive refinish industry


Axalta, in partnership with Xaar, introduces NextJet™, a next generation, sustainable digital paint technology for the transportation industry that allows for precise paint placement