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Sapolin Decorative Paint of New York City

July 21st, 2011 · 17 Comments

By Garland Pollard


NEW YORK – Sapolin was once a great decorative paint brand; like Rustoleum they specialized in unique colors for metals anduses other than walls. Here, a can that’s about 20 years old. It’s main ingredients are listed as xylene and toluene, toxic AND flammable but certainly able to make great gold leaf.

Sarah Chiffriller of PetalsSarah of Richmond, Virginia had this tiny can of the paint in her floral and design studio; it was given to her by a neighbor.

Curious if Sapolin Paints are still around; apparently their building was in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.

Tags: News

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carol Smith // Dec 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    my dad worked for Sapolin paint from the 1950’s through the lat 70’s. The factory building in Brooklyn is now a storage company. I believe another company bought the name and is manufacturing under that name, but it’s not the same. Sapolin also made Woolsey Marine paint.

  • 2 Ronald de Groot // Dec 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I have a can of Sapolin as shown in your picture,
    can you let me know how much it is worth.

    Thank you


  • 3 Ed Raabe // Apr 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    My Grandfather, Father and Uncle were executives at Sapolin /Woolsey Spanning over 50 years. The Company moved to Danbury Conn. and closed in the 80’s

  • 4 Dave // Apr 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Ed, I have a photo of a Sapolin party at Tavern on The Green restaurant in NYC, 1940’s?..early 50’s.? My wife’s aunt worked for them. And we just retrieved this from the attic. Please get in touch, I can send a copy of this to you.
    Dave K.

  • 5 John Engel jr. // Oct 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    My Dad worked for Sapolin 1930 thru 1950

  • 6 Bill // Aug 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    My father owned a paint and hardware store in NJ from 1956 to 1988 and was a Sapolin dealer.

    Great products. The company sponsored a dealer plan in the late 60’s where an early airless spray manufactured by Graco was used to paint houses etc for a price of $16.99 a gallon applied to the house.

    Painted around 50 houses in 2 years before the program was canceled…

    Can’t remember the salesman’s name but do remember he was a great guy.

  • 7 Hayden // Apr 25, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Found a sapolin letter opener in a old house in new Zealand made from copper with a address on it 229 e 42d st NY USA be keen to know how old it may be

  • 8 Ed Raabe // Aug 25, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Please contact me if you would like to share your Sapolin stories. The Sapolin Paint company is a big part of my family’s history, Cheers, Ed Raabe

  • 9 Dave // Nov 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Looking through some old bottles, came across sapolin gold glaze. The top of the container is got about 2 Oz of gold flakes. I was wondering about the story behind it and it’s value. Thanks dave.

  • 10 Mercedes // Dec 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    My best friend in highschool was Clair Raabe (New Fairfield CT). I remember her father and family well!

  • 11 Larry McCully // Feb 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I have an Original Sapolin Badge ,It was used to promote Sapolin into Australia. Any collectors interested can contact me : I will send a photo back.

  • 12 LALIT BARMAN // Mar 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Ed [Raabe]:
    How are you? It would be nice if you please contact me. You may send me email at my above address. We would then go from there.

  • 13 carolina salguero // May 3, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    My non profit is researching waterfront history in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Sapolin made some marine paint. Anyone on this list (Ed Raabe and others) please get in touch if you want to share info or photos

  • 14 Jane // May 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I have a can of:
    Hot Pipe Aluminum
    Its very Art Deco looking and was used to fix leaks in stove pipes. The lable was to attract Women who usually had to deal with this problem and couldn’t wait. Great marketing!

  • 15 Bob Ruehl // Sep 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Sapolin Paint was made and distributed by Insl-x Coatings Co, formerly of Stony Pt, NY, and Yonkers, NY in the 1990’s. When Insl-x bought Bruning Paint, Baltimore, NY, they condensed both lines into the Bruning brand. In the early 2000’s, the company purchased Coronado Pt, Edgewater, Florida, and made that brand the leading consumer paint for the company, keeping the Insl-x industrial coatings untouched. Insl-x was then purchased by Benjamin Moore Paints in 2008-2009. Bob Ruehl, former NY/NJ Salesman

  • 16 Tara icke // Sep 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I have two bottles of powder one is silver leaf the other
    Gold leaf. it looks really old it came with bottles that had a liquid you mixed with the powder in a tin cup. This stuff is amazing gold and silver leaf. I
    Am wondering what kind of liquid was mixed with the powder since it’s not viable anymore. Says it was for decoration and wouldn’t be washed off. Sure wish you could buy this stuff today. So if anyone knows what was in the bottles. Laquer? Shellac!??

  • 17 Maureen // Nov 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Watching the Marathon and they just did a little story on the paint company that they use to paint the blue stripe for the Marathon course. Made me think of Sapolin Paint Co. where my dad, Vincent Caragher, worked during the 50’s till 9/64 when he passed away of a heart attack at the age of 48. He loved his job and the people he worked with. Really enjoyed just reading all the comments about Sapolin. Just wanted to share this.

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