Companies in this industry make paints, varnishes, lacquers, enamels, and other coatings. Major companies include Axalta Coating Systems, Benjamin Moore, PPG, RPM International, and Sherwin-Williams (all based in the US), as well as Akzo Nobel (the Netherlands), Nippon Paint (Japan), Hempel A/S (Denmark), and the coatings operations of BASF (Germany).
Demand is driven by industrial production and construction spending. The profitability of individual companies depends on technological expertise and efficient production. Small companies can compete successfully with large ones because of the large number of paints and coatings used for a wide variety of applications, including decoration, water resistance, and corrosion resistance. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest 50 companies account for about 80% of revenue.