About Us

Deft has been providing coatings since 1938 and has become the leader in innovative coating technology. Through our innovations, we have been able to eliminate millions of pounds on Volatile Organic Compounds that pollute our global atmosphere every day by creating a line of primers and topcoats that do not contain VOC. We have also been able to eliminate and replace the use of hazardous chemicals in coatings such as carcinogenic Hexavalent Chromium compounds, Lead and Cadmium to mention a few. Through innovation, we see a brighter and cleaner tomorrow.


The long established history of Deft dates back to 1938 when William J. Desmond and Cyril J. Desmond founded a chain of retail paint stores in the Los Angeles area labeling them the Desmond Brothers Paint Company. By 1940, the Desmond brothers were manufacturing their own brand of wood finishes and marketing them throughout the Southern California area via their own established outlets. The Desmond brothers opened up their first official manufacturing facility in Torrance California in 1950 and three years later established the nationally recognized "Deft Wood Finish" line along with national distribution. In 1956, the brothers purchased a Standard Oil facility in Alliance Ohio to expand on an East Coast and Midwest presence.

Deft Incorporated was formed in 1962 when William J. Desmond purchased the remaining stock from Cyril J. Desmond. In 1965, William J. Desmond invited Irwin "Bud" Levine to establish Bud's vision of an Industrial and Military coatings division thus embarking on a long history in the Aerospace and Industrial markets. By 1967, Deft was providing Polyurethane and Epoxy coatings for the United States Government and found that they needed to expand to a new 44,000 sq/ft area Irvine California facility in 1974. Deft's patented water reducible epoxy primers were then developed in 1975 and received seven worldwide patents and an IR100 award for being a low VOC Water Reducible Solvent Based Epoxy while maintaining the unique film characteristics of a Solvent Based Epoxy. The U.S. Navy was the first to apply the new technology to a P-3 aircraft in 1979 and the Boeing Aircraft Company qualified and was applying the primer to commercial manufactured aircraft in 1991 to present day. Other major manufacturers such as Freightliner Trucks and Caterpillar Tractors also began use of this technology as well as some of the other Deft polyurethane topcoat technology.

In 1997, Deft introduced a Zero VOC Water Reducible Polyurethane Topcoat and a Zero VOC Water Reducible Epoxy Primer for Military applications. By 2003, an Exempt Solvent Polyurethane Topcoat is introduced into the Amusement Park Market, in Municipal Transit Authorities and for general industrial applications. Also, Deft's patented Non-chrome primer is approved for use on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as Boeing Helicopters Apache Aircraft. Other aircraft platforms soon followed.

In 2008, Deft provided the first UV Curable Paint that is applied to an F-16 Aircraft as a stencil coating and then later applied to a C-130. In 2009, Deft provided the first complete non chrome pretreatment and primer system that was applied to an F-15 at Warner Robins AFB.

As our History does seem unique and impressive, we look forward to many more years of making history by providing cutting edge technologies to meet the current and the future requirements of the coating market.
Sales and Service

Deft Incorporated provides an experienced and highly trained Sales Force and Service Staff as well as our wide network of qualified Global Distributors. The Deft Sales Force is a set of highly skilled professionals with technical knowledge and backgrounds not only of our products, but also a wide variety of materials and their application. Our staff is trained on current methods of application equipment that includes conventional, HVLP and electrostatic spray equipment as well as plural component mixing devices. Deft customers can be assured of receiving prompt attention because our sales staff prides itself on providing the best service and customer satisfaction in the coatings market.

At Deft, customer satisfaction is our primary goal. Our Technical Service Staff stands by ready to answer your coatings questions or provide technical assistance via phone or email for all of your coatings needs. Our Inside Sales Staff stands by to provide you instant information on pricing, product availability and to make your order process as easy as possible.

With this kind of service and support that is combined with our innovative product development, it is our goal to show that we are committed to provide our customers with the best value and experience that any company can provide in the coatings market.
Research and Development

Deft's Corporate Research & Development department is based in the Irvine California headquarters. Our experienced Bachelor to PHD degreed chemists formulates custom coating systems per a customer's specific request or specification requirement. Our chemists work closely with our Sales Force and customers to provide the highest degree of performance in our coatings for a particular application while conforming to all of the customer and environmental requirements. Our chemists pride themselves on being the leaders in innovative coating technologies that lead the industry. That is why you will always be able to count on Deft to try to meet your toughest technical coating challenge.

The goal of Deft is to provide the highest quality products from our Irvine California, and Alliance Ohio manufacturing facilities to all our customers throughout the world. Our Irvine plant is our main manufacturing facility for the Industrial Division, while the Ohio plant serves our Consumer Products Division. Machinery used at these facilities is the latest in technology in order to provide a minimal number of defects while keeping with Deft's commitment to be an environmentally and quality conscious company.

We pride ourselves on the fact that we hold many process control approvals and quality awards and we strive on receiving many more in the years to come. We measure product quality through a program of internal audits and customer response. Our SPC programs insure that we maintain consistent product acceptance levels above 98%. By working closely with our customers to eliminate non desirable coating performance, we are able to create a high level of customer satisfaction. We also have created a number of other ongoing internal quality programs. These include but are not limited to production operators being monitored via SPC techniques and responsible for their own quality. Many of our quality programs have been driven or developed with the participation of our customers and with their well being in mind.

Deft also requires, via periodic vendor audits, that all vendors maintain similar type programs for their own operations assuring that they maintain the same high quality standards that we require.

In May of 2013, PPG Industries (PPG)  completed its acquisition of certain assets of Deft Incorporated. "With the acquisition of Deft, we are now able to offer an even broader portfolio of innovative coatings that benefit our customers and reduce the impact on the environment," said Barry Gillespie, PPG vice president, aerospace. "Deft's waterborne and chrome-free technologies complement PPG's existing coatings capabilities, particularly in the aerospace industry, and support PPG's ongoing commitment to sustainability."

Link to complete Press Release.