kelly moore paints
Kelly-Moore Paints abruptly closed all its nationwide stores Jan. 12, including its Watsonville location at 1405 Freedom Blvd. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Kelly-Moore Paints, a household word for the past 78 years in residential and commercial paint, has abruptly closed.

With a Watsonville, Aptos and Santa Cruz location, and 61 stores sprinkled around the San Francisco Bay Area, the paint giant officially announced last week that it is “shutting down and closing every store nationwide.” 

A hand-scrawled “closed” sign was posted on the door of the Freedom Boulevard location Monday.

“I’m extremely disappointed and saddened by this outcome, as the entire Kelly-Moore team made incredible efforts to continue innovating and serving the unique needs of professional painting contractors,” CEO Charles Gassenheimer wrote. “Sadly, no matter how great the Kelly-Moore team, products and reputation for service, we simply couldn’t overcome the massive legal and financial burdens that have been weighing on the company for many years.”

With more than 30 years on the courtroom floor over legal issues about asbestos use in Kelly-Moore’s cement and texture products, the ongoing cases continue to stack up around $600 million in case filings.

“I am shocked and I am sad to hear about Kelly-Moore closing,” said Dave Herry, owner of Dave Herry Construction and Development Inc. of Santa Cruz who has completed numerous construction jobs around the Pajaro Valley. “They have been the best by far for paint and painting supplies. They have consistently helped me with any problem I walk through the door with. And they have helpful workers with reliable products.”

During the wind-down process, the company will continue to fill previously placed customer orders based on existing inventory in its Union City distribution facility. 

“All the company’s other facilities will be permanently closed effective immediately, including Kelly-Moore’s manufacturing facility in Hurst, Texas, and its retail stores, all of which were leased,” the Kelly-Moore statement read. “Kelly-Moore employees will be fully compensated for regular time worked, and management will continue its efforts to collect receivables to pay all accrued benefits including paid time off.”

“I could not be prouder of what our talented team accomplished under extremely challenging circumstances,” Gassenheimer said. “My deepest sympathy goes out to our loyal employees, customers, industry partners and the communities where we do business, who have supported Kelly-Moore throughout its long history.” 

Previous article3.4 magnitude earthquake shakes Pajaro Valley
Next articlePHOTO: Stolen car recovered following chase in Watsonville
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here