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About Us


History of Topline Paint

Topline Paint is a South Australian family owned business that had its start in a small factory in 1 Tobruk Ave, St Marys in 1962.

Even back then Topline Paint worked to not just make paint but to solve customers’ problems. Most of our early products were made for specific customers requirements. Over the next 16 years Topline’s business grew and so do did our need for space. We grew from occupying number 1 Tobruk Avenue to occupying numbers 1 to 7 Tobruk Avenue and in 1978 a decision was made to construct a purpose built factory at Lonsdale.

The new factory was opened in 1979 by the then Industrial Affairs Minister, Dean Brown. This new facilities at Lonsdale included a showroom, offices, production facilities, storage space, and a fully equipped laboratory for quality control and research and development of new products. The original Topline site at St Marys was maintained as a sales outlet for many years.

Topline Paint Pty Ltd


To tell the story of Topline we must also tell the history of Shipway Spescoat, Adelaide’s specialist paint shop and manufacturers of the Spescoat and Forminex paint brands. Shipway Spescoat started life as BL Shipway Decorating and began operating in South Australia in 1955. In the early 1980’s BL Shipway Decorating was purchased from BL Shipways by the then Manager of the division, Rob Swanney and his wife Nadine. Running as the independent company, Shipway Spescoat Pty Ltd, Rob and Nadine proceeded to build a reputation for service, quality and knowledge second to none.

In 1989 Shipway Spescoat responded to the need for specialised timber finishing and floor coating products by developing and manufacturing the Spescoat brand of coatings.

In 1997 Shipway Spescoat purchased the Sydney based Forminex and Marine Systems brands of industrial and marine paints and moved the plant to Adelaide. (Since then Marine Systems products have since been incorporated into the Forminex branding.) With the acquisition of Forminex, they inherited over 45 years of paint manufacturing expertise. This new range included specialised, premium-quality coatings for almost all surfaces including flooring, marine, industrial, food processing plants, wineries, bath-tubs, pools, spa's, and anti-graffiti.

Shipways Building

In August 2007 with the retirement of Rob and Nadine, Topline Paint purchased Shipway Spescoat. The combination of Topline's manufacturing capabilities and technical abilities was just the right match for Shipways retail presence, reputation and specialised products.

Today, Topline is a specialty paint manufacturer with a significant manufacturing capability backed by ISO 9000 quality accreditation and years of experience. We are Shipway Spescoat – Adelaide’s Paint store that other paint stores send people to. And we are also Style by Shipways, a unique interior design store and service with qualified interior designers and backed by the resources and technical know how of the entire Topline group.