Testor's History

The Testor Corporation has been manufacturing products for hobbies and crafts for more than eighty years. Since 1929, the oval Testors logo has been associated with quality and integrity. Testor paints, glues, airbrushes and accessories are sold world-wide and are still proudly made in the USA.

The company started back in 1929, when Nils F. Testor, a young Swedish immigrant, purchased the assets of a small Rockford company making an adhesive product called “Karlson's Klister.”

Klister was an adhesive made for mending women's stockings, and chiefly used by local cobblers for making and repairing shoes.  As the glue became more popular other applications were developed.

The young company eventually fell on hard times.  Axel Karlson, the founder, sold his interest in the firm and returned to Sweden. Nils Testor recognized the need for this kind of adhesive and stepped in and took over what was soon to become the Testor Chemical Company.

Testor quickly realized that this product would be useful in a wide variety of applications and began to market the glue as “Crystal Clear Household Cement.” The adhesive was still sold in bulk to the shoe repairmen, but it was now beginning to carve a niche for itself on the home front. Household Cement was—and still is—used to mend china, glassware, leather goods, and any number of common household products. Glue sales increased dramatically and became so popular that, for many years, Testors and glue were virtually synonymous. Even now, the Testor Consumer Relations Department frequently receives mail from folks who have been using Household Cement for decades. While times have changed, demand for this cement is as strong as ever before!

In the late 1930’s, hobby enthusiasts began using Testors cements and adhesives for their modeling projects.  The Hobby Industry of America was formed in 1940 and the Testor Chemical Company was a founding member. Testor products were now selling very well.  The company was building a solid base and a complete product line and this continued for the next forty years.  The portfolio included Testors branded Enamel and Acrylic paints, Model Master branded Enamel and Acrylic Paints, as well as the Aztek Airbrush system with “Ready To Spray” Acrylic Paints.

In 2012, Testor introduced CreateFX which has stimulated learning and creativity in school, club and craft and hobby projects.  CreateFX is a comprehensive line of finishing products that enhance detail, texture and effects – making projects come to life.

Today, Testors continues to broaden its offering to address emerging market trends that include personalizing, customizing and “making it your own”.  The “Do It Yourself” trend has never been stronger and the high quality, trusted paints from Testors provide solutions to make this happen.  There truly is a Testors for every surface and every project.  We are inspiring creativity everyday and giving kids a reason to grow up with Testors all over again.

Testor is now part of The Rust-Oleum Group which has No. 1 brand recognition and market share in the U.S. and Canada in the rust-preventative, decorative, specialty and professional segments of the small-project paint category.