Sherwin Williams grays potentially colorful neighborhoods


The classic logo and slogan of Sherwin Williams Paints seems innocent, but underneath there perhaps lies something far more sinister. Photo courtesy of Todd Lapin.

Carter White

The Eastern Sector of Atlanta is known for many things: thriving shopping scenes, abundance of businesses, even top tier restaurants. On top of all that, Eastern Atlanta has one more thing that truly sets it apart. Or rather, seven more things. East Atlanta has seven Sherwin Williams paint stores.

In the five mile vicinity around DHS, there lie 7 Sherwin Williams shops. To this reporter, that is just too many.

Within a five mile radius of our own Decatur High School, seven Sherwin Williams shops exist. Eight, if you include one in the Old Fourth Ward, which is 5.1 miles away. Overall, Atlanta has eighteen Sherwin-Williams stores. And now it seems that a nineteenth will be added to the ATL S-W family, as word on the street is that a new paint shop will open adjacent to local hang-out and queso depository Taqueria Del Sol. Sherwin-Williams’ official slogan is “Cover the Earth”, but it seems that the real slogan is “Cover this one (5^2)() mile area of America’s 39th biggest metropolitan area”.


I wanted to contact Sherwin-Williams corporate and find out exactly why we had so many of the same shop in such close proximity. I went to their home page and clicked the “Contact Us” link, and went to the press tab which then took me to a new page. I hit the “Contact Us” link on that page and was then looped back to the original “Contact Us” page. It seems this is a question that the bigwigs at Sherwin Williams don’t want to answer.


One may be asking themselves now: “Why is this a big deal? Why is this worth writing a long editorial about?” The reason, dear reader, is rather personal. I grew up in Kirkwood, less than a mile from Decatur. At the end of my street sat an abandoned, greying building. It was there for years, wasting away and serving no purpose but to depress passersby. Every day when we drove by, my father and my brother and I would say “One day that’ll be something cool.” We daydreamed of what business would occupy it, maybe a barbecue restaurant or a bookstore. Something to really enliven the neighborhood. Then it looked like it was being renovated and our hopes were as high as ever. New glass was put in the windows and the boards were taken off the door. And then, as our imaginations were running at their peak, the logo went up. Sherwin-Williams Paints. A boring old paint shop we would never have a reason to use. It didn’t add to the community, it only made use sad. So is my reasoning overly biased? Perhaps. But imagine if you were given the choice between a trampoline park or a taco shack and a paint store to move into your neighborhood. Which sounds more attractive? Which sounds like it would actually add to the environment?



2007. Photos courtesy of Google.
2012, a glimmer of hope.
2017, an unfortunate reality.

So why does Atlanta contain so many Sherwin-Williams paint shops? Couldn’t that space be used on businesses that…aren’t paint shops?

If another Sherwin Williams moves into that space next to Taqueria, it feels as though we as a community are being robbed of something better. Literally anything better. It is in our best interest to resist this Sherwin Williams take over. They must be stopped from “covering the Earth” so we can have cooler spots to visit in our neighborhoods. When you see that old abandoned space finally being renovated do you imagine a new paint shop? Or do you imagine something glorious?

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!