From a small, family-owned paint shop in Safed to a global paint and construction materials company. This is our story, and it is made up of 80 years of high-quality activity, dozens of innovative developments, thousands of private and national projects and millions of clients who find themselves right at home with Tambour.
The 1930s: how it all began
Tambour was founded in 1936 by the Wolfgang family who had immigrated to Israel on a Zionist mission to help settle the Jewish Yishuv. The inspioration for the name Tambour came from the wholesome childhood habit in that age, of banging on paint tins instead of tambourines. The name first appeared above the entrance of a small paint and construction material shop in Safed, and soon became synonymous with paint, and Tambouria – a generic name for paint and hardware shops.
1940s: Picking Up Speed
In 1944 Tambour is acquired by British Jenson and Nicolson Ltd., and begins growing as an internationally-renown paint company. In 1945 Tambour gains national recognition as a reliable quality brand happened when Tambour paint is chosen to adorn the walls of the first national theater, Habima.
1950s: Development and Innovation
In the 1950s Tambour begins investing in advertising, giving birth to its first tagline, “Tambour paint – for beauty and elegance”. Its branding becomes embedded in public consciousness through store signs, and the term Tambouriya becomes a common Israeli expression. Many significant events take place during this decade: Tambour paint is chosen to decorate the first Israeli car, Susita, and the company creates Israel’s first color cards, simplifying the color selection process. This is also the decade in which Tambour shifts from oil paint (tambouline) to synthetic (superlak), and puts great effort and resources into developing advanced products such as Hammerton anti-rust paint, so named for its hammered texture.
1960s: A Decade of Scientific Breakthroughs
This is a decade of countless changes on a global scale, and paint undoubtedly dominates the 60s. Flower-power and kaleidoscope colorfulness leave their mark on Tambour and many new products are introduced. The era’s tagline is “Thinking in color.” In 1963 the company launches one of its flagship products – Supercryl, which quickly becomes Israel’s best and leading interior wall paint. Polysid is another innovation of the period, replacing hydrated lime.
1970s: A Decade of Purchasing and Expansion
Tambour develops camouflage paint for IDF military bases after Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, on a routine flyby, notices all military bases in Southern Israel are clearly visible. The paint also turns out to be a pretty good flea repellant, and once the concrete walls of military posts across the Suez Channel are painted with Tambour paint, the fleas are gone for good. In 1972 Tambour acquires Haifa Paint and then Askar in 1974. During this decade, Tambour expands the Israeli paint market, educating the public on paint design and leading a revolution by turning paint from a merely functional product to a fashion statement influenced by trends. The fitting tagline of the period is “Look what paint can do.” In the 1970s Tambour begins to offer shade-matching consultation services. The company also begins manufacturing emulsion paint and establishes the first emulsion plant in Israel.
1980s: Increasing Knowledge of Exterior Covering
Several iconic projects take place in the 1980s which establish Tambour as a leader in its field. The company continues to expand, crossing international borders as a huge residential neighborhood in Nigeria successfully counters a severe mold problem with the aid of Tambour paint. Hotels in Ghana and Nigeria’s 90,000-seat Lagos Stadium are painted in Tambour Tamglas. New hotels in Eilat are also painted in Tambour paint, and Tambour revolutionizes the local market following Tel Aviv city engineer’s approval to use Tamglas. Public institutions and iconic buildings are painted in Tamglas, including Beit Gibor Sport, Beit Yachin, the antenna tower at HaKirya military base, Rambam Hospital, Tel Aviv Dan Hotel and many others. The Council for a Beautiful Israel holds a contest for the most beautiful IDF base, and every IDF base is painted in Tambour paint, while every police station in the country is painted in mocha Supercryl. Tambour dominates all Tel Aviv beach-front hotels and Kikar Atarim. Many new products are launched, including Tambourtex, a grainy ‘orange peel’ paint, and Supercryl M.D. which replaces Supercryl as the choice paint for exterior walls. The tagline for the period: “Tambour paints the world.”
1990s: A Successful Public Company
As technology progresses in great strides, the industrial world begins to incorporate digital technologies. Tambour does not lag behind, and in 1991 goes from manufacturing solvent-based synthetic paint to water-based paint such as Supercryl 2000 and Varnit – clear water-based varnish for wood, which replaces the solvent-based Polyton. Tambour expands its global activity in shipyards in China and Germany, and takes part in monumental projects in Israel such as the painting of Azrieli Towers, the Power Plant docks in Hadera and the Israel National Trail. It is in this decade that Tambour launches Tambourmix, a tinting system that revolutionizes the paint market. Tambour also acquires 50% of Serafon building materials company and becomes a public company traded in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The period’s tagline: “Tambour – the national paint.”
The 2000s: Facing the Future – Tambour enters the world of construction and gypsum
Globalization, technological advances and design trends expand Tambour’s selection of products and services. The 2000s were a decade of paint effects, featuring Antique (antique effect paint), Wash (cloudy effect), Fantasia (metallic glaze), Sparks (metallic glitter for metal painting), Suede (suede effect), and Safari (wild dune effect). Tambour’s international activity is also on the rise: painting submarines for the German Navy, projects in Jamaica, bridge painting in Russia, and many more. The bull statue project in Tel Aviv and strawberry statue project in Ramat Hasharon are painted by leading artists using Tambour paint. In 2007 Tambour takes part in the remodeling of Habima Theater, and in 2008 unveils Tambour House – Tambour’s paint consultation house in Ramat Gan. In addition, Tambour establishes the most advanced gypsum factory in the Middle East. The era’s taglines: “Bringing color into life” and “Look at what paint can do.”
In 2014 Tambour was acquired by international infrastructure and construction material corporation Kusto. Since then Tambour has been establishing itself as a leader in the construction material market, offering a wide range of products, including plaster, adhesives and sealing agents, plasterboards and gypsum blocks, as well as countless concrete products produced in collaboration with BASF. Tambour is a collaborator on many national projects such as the light rail, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train tunnel project, the Dizengoff Center parking lot repainting project, and the greatest concrete reconstruction project to date, the Tel Aviv Lighthouse, while still remaining the leader of Israel’s paint market. The period’s tagline: “Only Tambour in my house.”