The owners of Azul Painting Corp. in New Rochelle, NY

The Painting Life: Azul Painting Aims To Be The Best in the New York Market

In each issue of Pintor Pro magazine, our editors go behind the scenes with successful painting company owners for our series, The Painting Life. This issue’s featured commercial contractor: Azul Painting Corp. of New Rochelle, New York. We sat down with co-owner Cinthya Aguilar to find out what she and her husband Mainor Barrantes have learned over their 20-plus years in the painting business serving the Westchester County, New York and Fairfield, Connecticut markets.

How did you first get involved in the painting industry?

I owe much of the success of our company to my business partner and husband Mainor Barrantes. He has an unwavering passion and dedication to his craftsmanship. While I always dreamt of being a business owner, I followed suit and entered the corporate world upon graduating from Syracuse University. I worked for several Fortune 500 companies until destiny had a different plan for me. While I worked my way through corporate America, my husband worked his way through the ins and outs of the craft both in Costa Rica (our home country) and in New York (our current home).

In 2019 we decided to join our passions and open Azul Painting Corp. The first year we spent many long days and nights learning the ins and outs of the local market, requirements for starting our business and what we wanted our company to truly represent. We started with our first job in a high-end residential area with a full exterior – we had basic tools, a team of two painters and we went to it. From that job we reinvested into the company until we became what we are now. Through hard work, dedication and perseverance we have made our way to 2024 with three trucks, eight full-time employees and an additional six complementary employees dedicated to some of our specialty offerings such as wallpaper hanging and flooring.

What kind of work do you do most often?

We focus predominantly on residential repaint, and our niche is high-end residential repaint. We truly believe in the quality of the work that we do. We stand 100 percent behind it and know that we can deliver to the highest of expectations. It also gives us gratification to work with clients who appreciate the craftsmanship behind what we do – it’s not just paint on a wall, it’s a true work of art that is done with precision and care.

Every now and then we will do commercial but only if requested – this typically comes to us through current clients who have already worked with us.

You also offer a number of specialty services – how has this helped your business?

We try to bring a different set of offerings to our clients. By offering specialty services such as faux finishes (venetian plaster, glaze walls, wood graining), wallpaper hanging and mural paintings, we can provide our clients with a different set of options to bring beauty to their homes. Faux finishes add a different level of complexity and depth to a surface, and this can be just what a client is looking for when they are unsure of how to make a large space feel a bit warmer or if they are looking to add some texture to a space.

With so many executives working from home nowadays, faux wood graining is another offering that has become popular. Not too long ago we painted a home office in Greenwich, Connecticut where we did a glaze finish on the walls and faux wood graining on a coiffured ceiling to match the wood trims in the office. It was a very handsome office that radiated boldness and confidence.

Having the technical ability to provide these offerings allows us to give our clients different options for their homes. It also allows to have a competitive edge when compared to others that may not have the technique in house to do this.

What are your preferred paint products, and how do they help you provide the best quality for your customers?

We have our go-to products for just about everything. For ceilings we use SuperPaint® Flat – the coverage it gives is incomparable for us. For trim, we use Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel as it provides a luxurious finish, resists yellowing and provides a durable finish.

For walls, we use Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex for the most part. It is washable, provides excellent coverage and provides a delicate fine finish. We also use Duration® and Cashmere® often as it provides good coverage at an excellent price.

In general, what role does Sherwin-Williams play in your day-to-day business?

It’s extremely rare that we go more than two to three days without at least touching base with our Sherwin-Williams sales representative or the store, and if I do, they will be sure to reach out to me in case we need anything. From day one, Sherwin-Williams has supported us and our business. They have ensured we use the right products for each job and that we are aware of new product offerings including tools available to us and our clients.

My Sherwin-Williams team often goes above and beyond. For example, they will come to our job sites if we ever have a question on the substrate being painted, the products being used or if we come across any potential issue. When necessary, they will drop material off to our crews and in extreme weather conditions include some Gatorade! We appreciate the team greatly!

In another example, we recently donated our time to paint the local Little League field and the local Sherwin-Williams store donated a portion of the material for the job. Together we were able to partner in providing a much- needed paint job for the local kids – a field they can be proud of.

Any final thoughts?

As we look back on our individual careers and our business, we cannot help but feel grateful and blessed to be where we are today. We always say to our customers and our audience that when you support a small business you are fueling a dream, and in our case it really is just that.

While the pandemic was a difficult time for everyone on a global scale, we as a company thrived. Through the difficulty of the situation, we had an abundance of work trying to help people find a new normal. We were thankful that in many cases we were able to provide a new start, sort of speak, for families new
to the suburbs of New York City. With so much tragedy we were able to find triumph in beautifying homes for many new and first-time homeowners.

Cinthya Aguilar of Azul Painting Corp. has been named as a charter member of the Hispanic Customer Advisory Board, a new nationwide industry initiative from Sherwin-Williams. Watch for more details about the advisory board in the Summer 2024 issue of Pintor Pro magazine.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of Pintor Pro. ©2024 Fusable. Cinthya Aguilar was interviewed by Mike Starling, Pintor Pro Editorial Director. Photography courtesy Azul Painting Corp. Read more stories about successful painting contractors in the Pintor Pro magazine archive.