Image of the raw material for paint making circa 1926

History of Passonno Paints

Fred Passonno worked in a small paint store in Troy before he worked as a salesman for the Benjamin Moore Company of New York.  In the early 20's Fred was transferred to Cleveland as the General Manager of the Benjamin Moore Mid-West Division.  During this time, he obtained the actual experience required to operate a paint factory.  Passonno Paints began operation in 1926 under the name of the Passonno Hutcheon Company in Cleveland, Ohio.  the paint sold under the OLO label (meaning Old Linseed Oil).  The company was sold in 1946 when Fred Passonno's 

family wished to return to the Albany area.  A few months later, Passonno Paints, as it exists today, was formed when Fred Passonno and his three sons purchased the James Roy Woolen Mill buildings on the banks of the Hudson River in Watervliet, NY.  The Passonno Corporation manufactured and operated the normal dealer supply trade sale type business during the early years.  Charles Passonno, Fred's son designated part of their office for the first retail store.  

As the retail business grew, more space was devoted to a larger store and corporate offices in the neighboring remodeled Hooker Blind Building.  In 1976, the first off-site outlet store was opened in Queensbury, NY. Passonno Paints has 4 factory outlet stores today.  In addition to the Watervliet and Queensbury stores, you will find us in Albany and Amsterdam.  

House Paint & More

Image of the varnish thinning room circa 1926

In addition to a complete paint line, Passonno Paints manufactures driveway sealers and roof coatings. Passonno Paints formed partnerships with Axalta to distribute high-performance epoxy and Imron finishes, Graco spray systems, and other specialty coatings. Passonno Paints distributes Pittsburgh PPG paints in all our locations. PPG paints are specified regularly by architects. The company features a wide selection of wallpapers and decorators services at the Albany location.

Today, Richard B. Cunningham, son-in-law of Charles Passonno, is President and CEO of Passonno Paints.  Richard is committed to seeing Passonno Paints survive.  His commitment is prevalent not only in the community but through local trade groups like Chemical Alliance and Chief Executive Network.  There are less than 400 independent paint manufacturers remaining in the country, thus it is a constant struggle to stay in this competitive, fast-changing market.
While all paints from cheap to the very best look and feel the same, Passonno Paints success is from producing high solids 100% Acrylic latex paint and selling in the Northeast at prices below what the nationals sell their very best products. 


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Image the exterior of the shipping room circa 1926