Case Studies

General Coatings Corp.

Time-tested Turnover Backed by a Superior Staff

After nearly 30 years in business, General Coatings Corp. (GCC) has figured out how to perform painting, water proofing and wall coverings better, faster and more effectively than the average contractor. The California-based company now runs between 700 and 1,000 jobs annually and is capable of turning over large estimates in a single day.

“Our advantage is our size,” shares Craig Kinsman, president and CEO of GCC. “The average coatings contractor typically employs 20 or 30 workers in the field, and we have as many as 250. We have the ability to get the most difficult and challenging projects done far faster than the competition.”

But that doesn’t mean GCC sacrifices quality. The company provides an extensive line of high-quality coatings service, ranging from general and high reach painting, architectural floor coatings to sand blasting and concrete restoration. The company works with general contractors, property managers, developers, owners and homeowner associations in the commercial and multitenant marketplace.

Starting Small

While GCC now offers a broad array of services, the company started out as a small house painting contractor. “My good friend Phil was painting homes and I had been in real estate sales for about four years,” recalls Kinsman. “I had always dabbled in construction but when Phil and I partnered up I was tired of working with my hands so I told him, “I’ll sell the jobs and you run the field,’ that’s how we started and it’s worked great ever since.”

Kinsman started GCC as Wall Works in 1983 but it wasn’t until 1987 that the company incorporated, adopting its current designation. “In 1989, I bought out my partner and we began to expand our services,” he recalls.

GCC remains based in San Diego, though the company also has an office in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., boasting approximately 250 full-time employees and a fleet of 60 vehicles. “We service all of southern California,” reveals Kinsman. “Our services cover a lot of markets – multitenant improvement and repairs, government work and private jobs – but new ground-up and tenant improvements are still our largest sectors. We do commercial painting, inside and out, architectural floor coatings and fluid applied floors for a variety of clients but the majority of work is in the private sector.”

The In-house Advantage

Kinsman reveals GCC is fully capable of complete in-house coatings of all kinds. “The only service we tend to subcontract out is wallpaper and we work with the Donato Company, which we’ve been partnering with for 27 years,” he says.

GCC’s crews will go just about anywhere, from a high-rise building such as One American Plaza to luxury condo projects. GCC delivers any number of services, including stain and custom finish work, stucco repair and retexturing, sand blasting, hydro blast cleaning, high reach painting, concrete prep and restoration, faux finishing, elastomeric painting, industrial coatings, waterproof coatings, wall coverings, wall panels and a large array of architectural floor coatings.

The company is currently working on the 21-story Harrah Rincon Hotel and Casino, in addition to the San Diego airport extension, San Diego library and new FBI headquarters. “One of the most challenge and interesting jobs to-date is the Vermont Street Bridge,” notes Kinsman.

However, that is not all Kinsman has to boast about. “The 440-footlong foot bridge spans from the 163 on-ramp to Washington Street,” he continues. “We had to scaffold the entire bridge over the main thoroughfares with heavy traffic. To eliminate the dust and debris caused from sandblasting we had to shrink-wrap and encapsulate the steel because we couldn’t have anything falling on cars below.”

Although Kinsman says GCC is busier now more than ever in the past, the company has had to overcome significant challenges. “Learning to manage and run this business during the Great Recession was a huge challenge,” he shares. “The recession was a big hurdle. I had to let a lot of people go when things really hit a low point. The people who couldn’t perform were let go and we promoted the ones who really stepped up to the plate but we also brought in younger project engineers.”

Kinsman says it is repeat business that keeps GCC moving. “We have a lot of kudos from clients over the past 30 years,” he adds. “We have a good backlog and there hasn’t been anything we haven’t been able to do and not succeed. I have a great crew that can pretty much do anything.”

Above all else, Kinsman remains optimistic, which is important. “The fact that we survived the recession and we’re still highly profitable feels great,” he continues. “I see some steady growth in our future, but nothing too rapid.” General Coatings Corp. continues to focus on doing what it does best, delivering timely, responsive service backed by one of the best teams in the business.

Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!

Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing tag) where you want to display our review banner.


Spring 2018



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.