Canada’s Paint and Coatings Industry

A Vital Sector

Canada's paint and coatings companies comprise a robust and highly visible arm of the chemical processing industry with a significant economic impact across the country. 

  • Approximately $10 billion in direct and indirect sales to consumers of decorative, industrial and automotive products. 
  • Half of the paint products in all categories are manufactured in 261 production establishments across Canada and the remainder is imported for sale in Canada. 
  • The automotive and construction markets are among the key economic drivers in Canada generating significant economic impact with the construction industry and the automotive paint refinishing sector producing direct and indirect jobs estimated at 32,800.

With the popularity of home renovation TV shows many now appreciate the role of architectural coatings in home renovation and design. The nightly news regularly talks about crumbling infrastructure and the need for new investment. Industrial coatings are critical in the protection of infrastructure such as bridges, buildings and ships. As new cars roll off the production line the first attraction is the colour, but the coatings also serve as protection, sustaining one of our most important investments: your automobile. Indeed, the paint and coatings sector preserves many products that are an important part of our everyday life. What would the world be without colour and the protective qualities of our coatings? 

Three Main Product Types

The main categories of paint and coating products are:

Architectural paints: Consumers and paint contractors use these in homes and other structures to beautify or protect surfaces. This category includes interior and exterior paints, wood stains, primers, varnishes, lacquers and other products. The architectural paint sector represented 42.4 per cent of the dollar sales and 56.4 per cent of the volume of sales of our industry in Canada in 2011.


Industrial coatings: Manufacturers use these, sometimes to beautify surfaces but more often to protect them. Products in this category are used with furniture, appliances, aircraft and farm equipment, and other products. The industrial paint sector represented 40.1 per cent of the dollar sales and 32.6 per cent of the volume of sales in Canada in 2011.


Automotive coatings: Automobile manufacturers, body shops and some consumers use these products to protect and beautify surfaces. The products decorate new automobiles or add lustre after improvements or repairs. The automotive paint sector represented 17.5 per cent of the dollar sales and 11.0 per cent of the volume of sales in Canada in 2011.


Contribute and Receive Critical Industry Statistics

Whether you’re interested in critical national or regional baseline market information or a look at data that can confirm your figures, you have good reason to join the CPCA Statistical Survey Program.

Contributing Members have relied on the CPCA Statistical Survey Program for more than 25 years. The absolutely confidential Program will help survey participants understand and monitor industry growth and product trends.

Critical Information About Your Sector

As a contributing Program Member, you will receive quarterly sales bulletins. These offer unique, timely, accurate, unbiased sales figures and market trend analyses for the following paint and coating manufacturing sectors: 

  • Automotive OEM
  • Automotive refinish
  • Industrial
  • Architectural (Trade and Stain)

Members also receive annual reports on:

  • Compensation
  • Financial performance & Paint Manufacturing Benchmarking

In addition, our survey participants receive the CPCA Quarterly Pulse, which summarizes statistics, market insights, economic forecasts and market research studies gathered from sources such as Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, federal and provincial government websites, economic and financial reviews, market research firms and paint web portals and magazines.

Informing Key Stakeholders

While the Statistical Survey Program helps industry manufacturers participants directly, other CPCA members have access to punctual assessments of general national and provincial paint shipments, imports and exports, the performance of select market segments and niches as well as economic impact analysis and general trends in usage of raw materials and specific chemicals. These assessments are derived from the general information obtained from the CPCA statistical program and from special CPCA research. The CPCA statistical program helps respond to other CPCA committees or individual members’ needs as well as to government or general public inquiries.