Old Masters was founded in 1953 by paint salesman, Richard Ketcher. For
awhile, Ketcher lived in St. Paul, Minnesota and worked for Sherwin Williams.
Later he joined the Morris Paint Company in Omaha, Nebraska. As his sales
territory expanded, he relocated to Nevada, Iowa while working for Morris Paint.
At that time Ketcher, with the support of his wife Dorothy, started
experimenting at home with various formulas to be used in wood graining and
"antiquing". By 1953, after much trial and error (sometimes with disasterous
results in Dorothy's cooking pans), he logged the perfect formula! Ketcher
contracted with Diamond Vogel Paint to make base paints and Old Masters was
At first, Ketcher made sales from the trunk of his car. That was short lived, as
orders soon became large enough to be shipped by common carrier.
His business flourished; Old Masters products were available nationwide. In
1969, Ketcher sold his growing company to the Darworth Corporation. Eight years
later, with the popularity of antiquing beginning to dwindle, the company was
sold again. This time to Vogel Paint, Inc. The Old Masters division employed
In the 1980's, new products were added to enhance the company's position in the
interior wood finishing/refinishing market. Those products included a quicker
drying, tintable penetrating stain, a full line of oil-based urethane clears and
TM paint removers.
A decade later, Scratchide touch-up pens and H2O Waterborne Clear Finishes were
introduced and the existing product line was given a "facelift".
The early 1990's saw the launch of a new sales focus, one that developed a
relationship with two-step paint sundry distributors, marketed by independent
sales representatives. This aggressive program was designed to promote Old
Masters commitment to service to the independent dealer by offering wider
availability. Many smaller independent dealers preferred Old Masters but simply
did not have enough volume to buy direct.
That having transpired, as the old saying goes, the rest is history! Old
Masters, which is currently available in the United States, Canada and Mexico,
has more than doubled its sales volume since the early 1990's.
To remain competitive and establish new business, Old Masters continues to
introduce additional products including Clear Wood Finish Brushing Lacquer,
Quick Dry Varnish, H2O Waterbased Wood Stain, Deep Red Penetrating Stain and Gel
Stain, which is used and recommended by the premier fiberglass door
manufacturers throughout the United States.
In 2002, Old Masters expanded its sales territory even further by developing
California and Arizona Volitile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant products. That
line has proven successful with two full-line stocking distributors and 126
The employees of Old Masters embrace the future with enthusiasm as they
celebrate 50 years in business this year!