Made in Michigan: RepcoLite Paints

9:38 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - A West Michigan company is helping to make a brighter future for the state's economy, one color at a time. RepcoLite Paints in Holland makes paint that's been used for anything from from homes to street traffic markings.

"Color plays a huge role in attitudes and just how you feel about a certain place," says Dan Hansen, Marketing Director for RepcoLite Paints.

The original owners came from humble beginnings in the 1940s. 

"They started making paint from the basement of a chicken pantry," says Hansen.

Eventually, they turned a gas station into the paint shop.

"They would drop paint off at different contractors sites, and then take orders for the next day, almost like a milk delivery," says Hansen.

Now, the company, which is still family owned, employs 50 people at five different Michigan locations.

"A lot of small paint companies like ourselves have been scooped up by larger paint companies and there are very few of us left," says David Sumner, Plant Manager for RepcoLite Paints.

All the paint is made from scratch, by mixing a number of materials, such as pulverized limestone, with water.

"It's like putting together any recipe like you would make at home, except its with chemicals," says Sumner.

In the lab, a twelve year veteran, Glenn Palmbos, makes the special formula.

"I'm proud of coming up with formulas that work for our customers," says Palmbos.

Its mixed by Tim Kamphuis, who's been with the company for 25 years.

"When people  find out I work here they say, 'I use your paint a lot and it works really good'," says Kamphuis.

About 70% of the company's business comes from Michigan homeowners.  

"One small business in Michigan, put it all together,and it makes Michigan successful," says Palmbos.

RepcoLite Paints makes 300,000 gallons of product each year.  The company says it recently came out with a new paint that is environmentally friendly.


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