Coating the Kalahari: Experience Key to Painting the Country’s Largest Indoor Waterpark

In each issue of PPC, we go behind the scenes to interview pro painters about some of their most challenging projects. This time: the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, Texas.

A massive job

Kalahari. The name is well known in the resort and convention industry for building America’s largest indoor waterparks. But beyond that, they also offer authentically- African themed resorts, state-of-the-art convention centers, world-class dining, luxurious spas, diverse shopping experiences, and cutting-edge arcades and theme parks – all under one roof.

The latest Kalahari Resort in Round Rock, Texas is a massive facility covering some 223,000 square feet. It required a professional painting contractor that would excel in a project of this magnitude. That company was Cherry Coatings.

Established in 1968, the family-owned firm is a leader in providing new painting construction, industrial flooring and maintenance coatings to the largest commercial real estate projects in Texas, Tennessee and Arizona. PPC sat down with the company’s Austin-based division to learn more about their successful completion of the new Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.

Your company has completed numerous large, high-profile jobs. What were the biggest challenges of this particular project?

At the Kalahari Resort, our biggest challenge was finding a coating system that would be durable to maintain a 10-year warranty, and educating the general contractor, architect and owner.

Cherry Coatings along with Sherwin-Williams provided recommendations and mockups, and performed third-party testing to establish the best possible high- performance coating system for the steel substrates.

Another major obstacle was proactively placing one large order of 10,000 gallons of wall paint to the distributor early during construction to accommodate the logistics of loading paint and supplies onto each hotel floor before the buck hoist came down, which occurred early in the construction project schedule. Cherry Coatings and Sherwin-Williams partnered effectively and cohesively to implement without incurring problems.

Cherry Coatings is known for innovation and as a pioneer in advanced techniques for a wide variety of coating projects. How does your paint supplier assist you?

Over several decades our partnership with Sherwin-Williams has resulted in successful project outcomes for our clients. As technology and innovation develops, Sherwin-Williams assists our teams to define the right coating products for each commercial construction project, as well as assists us with conducting testing to ensure the products recommended are the best long-term solution for each unique application.

For example, at one point on the Kalahari project, we were spraying Sher-Loxane® 800, which was a new application to the market at the time and required a trained team to implement. There was no supply in stock at the local distribution center, and our order needed to arrive within a week. The only place that had any product in stock was in Reno, Nevada. The local store manager assembled a team of drivers to get the product transferred over the weekend and assisted us along the way to keep the job supplied with additional material. Our relationship with Sherwin- Williams is one that goes above and beyond expectations.

What were some of the most important products on this job and how were they instrumental to your success?

Macropoxy® 646 is a fast curing, polyamide epoxy designed to protect steel and concrete exposure to natural weathering. Sher-Loxane is a high-gloss, high performance, two component polysiloxane (epoxy siloxane hybrid) that combines the properties of both a high- performance epoxy and a polyurethane finish providing effective long-term corrosion control and weatherability. Both applications were a big part of our coating success on this project, enabling Cherry Coatings to offer a 10-year warranty.

How did it feel to be part of the team completing the country’s largest indoor waterpark? That has to feel like quite an accomplishment for everyone at your company.

There have been a lot of great projects Cherry Coatings has had the fortune of coating over the years. However, there’s only a handful of unique large entertainment facilities built in the U.S. In addition, the opportunity to partner with Hensel Phelps, a nationally recognized general contractor, to bring families together for a variety of fun entertainment within the world’s largest waterpark, and to be a part of this team was an outstanding accomplishment.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 issue of PPC magazine. Story by PPC Editor Mike Starling. Photography courtesy Cherry Coatings and the Kalahari Resort. Read about other successful painting projects in the PPC magazine archive.