Established just 15 years apart and still going strong today, Layton and Dunn-Edwards were founded on similar principles: premium customer service, continuous improvement, and delivering the best value. With that shared devotion to the customer, it’s no surprise we’ve come to work together on numerous projects over the years. In fact, Layton has completed nearly a dozen projects for Dunn-Edwards.

Getting Things Dunn the First Time Around

Although Layton and Dunn-Edwards had never worked together, when the teams met it became clear their core values and business practices would mesh well. “The Layton Construction team really put together a top-notch presentation,” said the late Mark Alling, former vice president of manufacturing for Dunn-Edwards Corp. “They were prepared and put in a lot of thoughtful effort to help resolve cost challenges.” The feeling was also mutual. “Culturally, Layton and Dunn-Edwards fit really well,” says Darcy Gray, senior project manager from Layton. “There was a lot of synergy, and that’s why the project was a success.”

Taking Challenges Head On

The fact that Layton’s team wasn’t afraid of ambitious and unique project elements wasn’t lost on the Dunn-Edwards team. “They recognized how we were going to do the project, and they weren’t intimidated,” Alling said. “They knew we would have design changes and they knew the path would be challenging, but they were on board.”

For example, the manufacturing processes used by Dunn-Edwards are unique to the industry and involve complicated controls and setup on the mechanical side. In fact, much of the equipment was custom built and had to be connected precisely to ensure the quality of product expected from Dunn-Edwards and their customers.

Layton’s preparation was due in large part to well-communicated expectations from Dunn-Edwards. They clearly laid out their expectations from the beginning. From there, we just had to execute.

Go Time

When it did come time to execute, Layton did just that. Our Phoenix team fit-out an existing 351,000 SF facility to bring Dunn-Edwards’ paint manufacturing processes under one roof, with distribution channels in place to make delivery smoother than ever.


Before, Dunn-Edwards had operations spread among several locations throughout the Southwest, making it less efficient in meeting the needs of clients. Yet with its completion, the facility increased the capabilities of the Southwest’s leading paint supplier and made it easier to get products to customers in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. It also met the company’s anticipated future growth with 50,000 SF of room for expansion.

Layton worked hard to overcome challenges quickly and find solutions to unforeseen problems. “Overall, things went really smoothly for such a big project with so many moving parts,” Alling said. And as for the future? “Layton Construction would be the only ones on the list, as far as I’m concerned,” Alling says. “I can’t legitimately think of a single negative from the experience of working with Layton.” Once again, our team felt the same.

Layton x Dunn-Edwards: Still Building

Though we had left our mark on that initial project together, we weren’t done. From retail tenant improvements to paint lab renovations, Layton has continued to maintain the strong partnership with Dunn-Edwards and deliver successful projects throughout Arizona. That’s not to say, however, that we’ve been limited to the state. With DE’s corporate HQ in Southern California, and our presence as a national builder, working together once again to update and improve their space was an easy call for both parties.

Dunn-Edwards’ two-story headquarters in Commerce, CA includes office space, R&D labs, and a warehouse area—all of which the Layton team upgraded alongside a floor-to-roof elevator, exterior painting, and site improvements. Not to mention, the project achieved LEED certification. Looking closer, the refreshed and redone HQ boasts:

  • A color lab
  • Marketing/technical lab
  • Analytical lab
  • Application lab
  • Raw material storage warehouse and dock area
  • Wet lab
  • PD dry lab
  • Lab storage rooms

Outside the various labs, the team also completed a break room, kitchen, dining areas, file storage room, payroll and HR rooms, rooftop paint exposure testing racks, five conference rooms, 44 enclosed offices and two large open office spaces, boardroom, break room, restrooms, mother’s room, huddle areas, and a pre-function lounge.

Finally, modern interior finishes provide a high-end look and feel with a mix of acoustical, wood lattice, and open-air ceilings. Outside, Layton provided new landscaping, fencing, a patio with BBQ island, EV charging stalls, and refurbished parking surfaces.


Practiced Precision Yields Aligned Missions

Though our achievements on each project are all shining points, it’s the continued work in general that we feel most complemented by. Layton charts its success as a contractor by how much repeat work we’re awarded. We are committed to quality and presenting our clients with the facility they envisioned—a predictable outcome—with no surprises. The same can be said of Dunn-Edwards.

Layton regretfully acknowledges the passing of
Mark Alling in March, 2015. We continue to celebrate
his lasting legacy of leadership, and his contributions to construction. 

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