Stanford company plans $2 million expansion, hiring boost amidst crafts boom


STANFORD, Ky. (WTVQ) – In May 2020, DecoArt, a Kentucky manufacturer of acrylic water-based craft, DIY, and fine art paints celebrated its 35th anniversary.

It was not exactly the milestone anniversary celebration the company had planned. Having just reopened the factory doors after being shut down for seven weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DecoArt was focused on welcoming back staff.

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Much has changed for DecoArt during the past year.

Sales of its products have skyrocketed by over 300%. As families are staying home and finding new avenues to occupy their time, people who never considered painting have started painting.

he increase has led to a  shortage of DecoArt paint on retail store shelves.

“It is now hard to find our products anywhere because we simply cannot make enough paint,” DecoArt President Stan Clifford said. “I have heard over and over again that having overwhelming demand is a great problem to have! Unfortunately, this ‘great problem’ leaves us with challenges we have never faced before – how to meet such a demand surge in a short period of time.”

DecoArt has initiated two phases of manufacturing equipment expansion and a hiring boom to meet this new demand.

An estimated 50+ positions will be added to the Stanford locations.

These new openings include over 40 positions on both 1st and 2nd shift and in the warehouse and manufacturing plant and multiple support roles within Purchasing, Operations, Quality, Distribution, Human Resources, and Information Technology. 

The manufacturing expansion includes initiavets divided into Phase I and Phase II including:

Phase I

  • Implement additional lean manufacturing concepts that allow for quick change processes when it comes to bottling lines, including over 3,500 colors.
  • Expand the output of our product dispersion capabilities with the addition of state-of-the-art mixing equipment that will more than double our base making capabilities.
  • Increase bottling capacity with 3 new production lines to support the filling of all product lines.
  • Maximize line speed (MLS) initiatives while utilizing a fill rate monitoring information system that will be visible in real-time to understand production challenges.
  •   Renovating the roof, restrooms, and break rooms to support an influx of additional staff

Phase II

  • Long-term expansion plans of manufacturing and distribution centers to at least double in capacity.

“While we believe we will eventually see a decline in the COVID effect on the arts & craft paint market, we also believe – and are excited about – the gained percentage of this newfound business.  Our estimate of this new business remaining varies from 30% to 50%,” Clifford said.

Since 1985, DecoArt® has manufactured one of the broadest lines of acrylic paints and finishes for general arts and crafts use in the world. The line includes all-purpose acrylics for professional artists, crafters, and students.

Located centrally in the United States, DecoArt® manufactures numerous specialty paints that are designed specifically for surfaces like glass, ceramics, fabric, and metal, from its Stanford production facility.