About Us

In 1946, Douglas K. Rose thought there was a better way to make paint brushes – a way that would yield a superior brush.  He was in a position to know.  He was working for one of the major paint brush manufacturers at the time.  And he was the third generation to work in the paint brush business.  His father and grandfather before him both worked for the same company.  Together, the three Roses had accumulated 110 years in the paint brush business.

DKR2edit"Only one grade . . . the very best"
The Second World War took its toll on brush manufacturers.  Material and labor shortages led to steep declines in brush quality.  Mr. Rose foresaw problems for the industry in bringing back pre-war quality.  He reasoned that a new brush maker starting from scratch would have a better chance at producing a quality brush from the start.  The business started with handmade brushes made from the highest quality components.  The company’s slogan summed it up:  "Only one grade . . . the very best."

Parts Brush Division

In the 1950s, Mr. Rose, an inveterate inventor and do-it-yourself auto mechanic, became frustrated with the quality of the brushes used to clean automobile engine parts.  This led to the development of the company’s second product line – automotive parts cleaning brushes.  A line of flow-thru parts cleaning brushes was added in the 1980s.  These brushes are sold by the company’s Parts Brush Division.

In 1972, Paint Brush Corporation moved to its current location in Vermillion, South Dakota.  Mr. Rose was drawn to South Dakota by the quality of the workforce and to Vermillion, where the University of South Dakota is located.

In 2008, with the passing of Mr. Rose, leadership of Paint Brush Corporation fell to his daughter, Leslie Rose Johnson.  Mrs. Johnson promised her father before his death that she would keep the company running and keep the company’s loyal workforce employed.  To keep that promise, Mrs. Johnson purchased her father's majority interest in the company from his estate.  

New Leadership

In late 2020 the Lisle Corporation, another family owned company, located in Clarinda, Iowa purchased the Parts Brush Division.  Founded in 1903, the Lisle Corporation's specialty automotive tools, mechanic's creepers, and lubrication & tire products are the preferred line among automotive warehouse distributors and jobbers because Lisle manufactures quality products that are priced right.  The specialty automotive tool line now consists of more than 650 products, with the great majority of them being produced at the expanded site of the original factory built in Clarinda, Iowa in 1903.