Best Painter: Lawton Painting | SteamboatToday.com

Best Painter: Lawton Painting

Kyle Lawton and his crew have been named best painters in the 2016 Best of the Boat contest.

Whether it's helping people on the slopes or painting their house, local Kyle Lawton is the man.

Those were the accolades heaped on him this year, tying for first with John "Pink" Floyd for Best Ski Patrol and taking the top rung of the ladder as Best Painter.

It's fitting that Floyd is by his side on the patrol podium; Lawton started his painting company with him in 1997 before keeping it going on his own in 2000. He's now approaching his 20th year wielding spray guns, rollers and brushes in the 'Boat, with 14 full-time seasonal employees from May through Thanksgiving and a smaller crew come winter.

The company specializes in exterior/interior re-painting, as well as home maintenance, remodels and small new construction. "Exterior-interior re-paints are where we do the most business," says Lawton, who moved to Steamboat in 1992 from Plano, Texas.

It's his dedication to his clients that sealed his place on the painting podium. "The biggest thing is quality," he says, crediting his crew for his company's success. "It's just being honest and doing a great job. I never imagined the company would grow like it has. It's pretty much all been word of mouth."

Doing a great job will get you far in this town, as word spreads like a puddle of paint. On any given work day, Lawton — who juggles business and family duties with his wife, Amy, and sons Kade, 9, and Bridger, 7 — will help set up his crews and then "try to work at one of the jobs every day I can."

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"I love being able to work outside," he says. "I also like taking a project that needs some love and turning it into a great product that both the client and we are proud of. Within a week, we can turn something from being pretty neglected into something that looks great."

Above all, however, just like helping skiers and riders on the slopes, it's all about the people.

"I love building and creating relationships and the loyalty we have to our clients," he adds. "Once we do a project, we almost always get hired on to maintain it as well."

-Eugene Buchanan