Our history

Founded in 1946 by William M. Barr, the company quickly became an icon in the home improvement and automotive repair industries. Fifty years later, with the sale of the business to our employees, W.M. Barr has become the model of a successful ESOP company. Through the talent, vision and hard work of our employee owners, we have continued to introduce innovative new products, acquire new businesses and brands, and achieve exceptional growth and profitability. And we've only just begun.

  • 71 years of success

    For more than seven decades, W.M. Barr & Company has grown by responding to the needs of businesses and homeowners. By combining technology and biology, we will continue to bring value to everything we touch for years to come.

  • 1946

    William M. Barr founds company with the market's first non-flammable paint remover.

  • 1968

    First contract signed for custom blending and packaging services.

  • 1969

    Barr founder and owner William M. Barr passes away.

  • 1973

    Finished construction and moved into a new office and manufacturing facility. Increased operations to provide for continued growth.

  • 1977

    Increased operations size to provide additional new products and services for a growing market.

  • 1978

    First Home Depot store supplied.

  • 1984

    Completed construction on a new state-of-the-art distribution center.

  • 1987

    Acquired KWIK.

  • 1994

    Acquired Wood Finishers Pride.

  • 1996

    Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) starts with 100% buyout of company stock.

  • 1997

    Acquired Armor All Home Care.

  • 1998

    Acquired CitriStrip.

  • 1999

    ISO 9001 certification obtained.

  • 2003

    Acquired DampRid.

  • 2006

    Acquired Solutionex.

  • 2008

    Acquired Jasco, Bix, Trask Research, and Goof Off product lines.

  • 2011

    Mold Armor acquires the rights to the patented delivery method for hose end products that feature a bleach-based formula.

  • 2011

    Acquired Microban.