Company History

Victor Franer still remembers the day in 1992 when he was painting a ceiling in his house. His wife kept pointing out spots he had missed causing him to make repeated trips up and down the step ladder. If you’ve ever painted a ceiling, you can appreciate the frustration of working over your head, glare, shadows, and usually painting white over white. Franer, a retired 3M chemist with 15 patents, recognized a problem and figured there had to be an easier way.

 Relying on his 37 years of experience at 3M Corporation, Mr. Franer dusted off his lab coat, rented lab space, and went to work to solve the problem. During the next four years Mr. Franer worked long days until he was able to engineer a paint with a dissipating tint.

 The newly developed disappearing tint named Color Guide has the potential of revolutionizing the painting industry. At this point “Color Guide” was patented, and Quality Paint Products, Inc. was formed. The next step was proving there was indeed a demand for such a product in the marketplace.

QPPI leased a building in Minneapolis and began manufacturing paint utilizing this concept. Their first product called “Ceiling Magic” was a ceiling paint that went on blue and dried white within 24 hours.  The product was quickly distributed to local hardware stores including Ace, Tru-Serve, and Hardware Hank Stores. Despite the lack of advertising and heavy competition from mass merchandisers in the Minneapolis-St Paul market, the paint was well received and became known as the “Magic” paint. Some dealers were skeptical at first, but quickly became believers after receiving favorable consumer feedback.  Through “word of mouth” selling, demand for the product grew until the product was placed into the distribution system of a major hardware chain in the Midwest . Shortly thereafter, another large distribution company in the Midwest accepted it.

 It was now apparent the product was a hit with the consumer, but we also realized our growth potential would be limited unless we could expand the concept beyond our own paint.  We made the decision to shift our focus from selling paint,  to marketing technology by licensing paint manufacturers. This process would include formulating their paint and selling the additive directly to them for distribution in their own paint. This process would give “Color Guide” the exposure it needed to grow and gain immediate access to the entire US and world markets.

 Since marketing our paint was successful initially at Ace Hardware stores, a logical step was licensing Ace Hardware, which occurred in January of 2002. Ace Hardware introduced their first product  “Simply Magic” in October of 2002, a ceiling paint that goes on blue and turns white within 24 hours. This product became an instant success and continues to do well in their stores.  

 The success story at Ace Hardware has now ignited the market, thus creating further demand for our product in the in the marketplace worldwide. We’re currently working with numerous paint companies around the world to further this concept in their products.  

 The real value in the D-I-Y market is the customer’s confidence in their ability to do a good job every time. “Color Guide” gives the painter that confidence. We see this as being the most revolutionary change in the industry since the introduction of latex paint.

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