Case Studies

Sparkle Painting Co. Inc.

Leading the Industry with Experience and Dedication

Sparkle Painting Co. Inc. (SPC) was founded in 1979 with only three employees and a handful of basic painting tools. SPC has grown in the 33 years since to be one of metro Washington, D.C.’s leading commercial painting and wall covering companies, and SPC is defined by its commitment to quality workmanship, industry expertise and dedication to each of its customers. Today, the company is based out of Lorton, Va., and employs over 70 professionals to handle everything from interior and exterior paints, urethanes, epoxies, Polomyx, Zolotones, stains and varnishes, all applied with the top level of service that SPC clients have grown to expect.

In its early years SPC was a small company with basic equipment, but paired with great ambition. Today, the company maintains the same commitment to the client that helped spur its growth over 33 years and a broad spectrum of commercial markets. “It’s our dedication to making sure the customer is 100-percent satisfied that sets us apart,” asserts Ray Armstrong, vice president of SPC. “We believe that it’s a thin line between failure and success, so we treat every day like a new opportunity for us to make our clients happy.”

Ray runs the company with his wife, Cindy Armstrong, president of SPC, and the power couple’s three sons: Graham, who serves as project manager, Eddie, who works on the preproduction side, and Lee, who works in estimating. Cindy’s sister, Sheila Eck V.P, also works at SPE as general manager. SPC is certified as a Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program (LDBE).

Over the course of its history, the SPC team has applied coatings to a variety of jobs of all sizes, starting as low as a few hundred dollars to the extent of jobs exceeding millions of dollars. Painting commercial buildings from class A office space to hospitals, parking structures, movie theaters, warehouses, shopping centers, laboratories, high-security buildings, new condos and apartment buildings, SPC can tackle any project with ease. The SPC team subcontracts only the rare item to a trusted industry contact and remains directly involved even with strategic partners, so clients receive the benefit of a single point of contact. As a result of its comprehensive management of turnkey services, the SPC has been fortunate to work with some of the area’s most respected general contractors.

SPC is involved in a joint venture between Clark Construction Group LLC and Beatty Balfour Construction, which will oversee the construction of an office complex for the Department of Defense’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. When fully completed in late 2011, the project became the largest ever delivered to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since the Pentagon was completed in 1943, and the largest project registered as LEED Gold certified with the U.S. Green Building Council.

The campus is located in Fort Belvoir, Va., and includes five buildings with a 2.2 million-square foot office building to house 8,500 employees, as well as a visitor-control center, Tier III Enterprise Data Center, central utility plant and parking garage. SPC was brought on as a painting subcontractor and used a special low-volatile organic compound paint to adhere to the building’s LEED-certified goals. The buildings were completed by mid-July 2011 and handed over, so SPC and the other crews could complete all the interior finish work in time for a September opening.

Simultaneously, the SPC team had crews completing work at the new administrative office building for the Department of Defense in nearby Alexandria, Va. The Mark Center campus is commonly referred to as the BRAC 133, as it is the product of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program that seeks to streamline operations and consolidate branches into secure spaces.

Clark Construction’s subsidiary, Shirley Contracting, served as the general contractor and was challenged to work closely with the project developer, Duke Realty, to complete construction five weeks ahead of schedule despite a one-year delay in construction. Ultimately, SPC worked with the project’s team to complete work in September 2011, and the facility opened to 6,400 employees and 24 branches of the Department of Defense.

Two Steps Ahead

Though new construction is sluggish nationally, the SPC team benefits from a loyal customer base and the flexibility of its experience. “The Washington, D.C., area is insulated with government work and we’re very fortunate to be a part of that effort,” reflects Ray.

In addition, the company has pushed through the past three years by reaching out to its customer base and finding new ways to lend a hand. As a result, the company has uncovered a small niche in supplying painting services to waterproofing industry partners, whose projects often involve the complete repainting of large projects.

In the coming months the SPC team will be hard at work for Fairfax Hospital expansion in Falls Church, Va., again focusing on providing the high level of service that clients expect. The company has proven itself capable of more than surviving the economic downturn.

SPC took home the Associated General Contractors award for 2011 Best Paintings & Wallcoverings, which is a new award. SPC also snagged three consecutive titles in the Associated Builders & Contractors Best Painting Subcontractors category from 2008 to 2010.

SPC’s mission is to provide products and services in an honorable way that exceeds the expectations of each and every one of its clients within the industry. Backed by 33 years of experience and a network of industry affiliations to keep the team ahead of the game, Sparkle Painting Co. Inc. has the resources to keep its loyal customer base happy and capitalize on new opportunities in the future.

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