nibca member highlight


Schoening's Painting and Decorating, Inc.

Established in 1923

Karl Schoening, founder of Karl Schoening & Sons, Inc., established one of the best know decorating concerns in the Rockford area. Born in Hoexter, Westphalia, Germany in 1880, his background is both thoroughly substantial and interesting. After the rigid rules and trade school of an apprenticeship, his first business was established in Germany.

In 1923 Karl left Germany to come to the United States where a real freedom awaited his ability and ambitions. His remarkable talent for Cathedral decoration soon became apparent to architects both in the East and the Central West of the U.S. From then, his progress was assured; however, not without hard work and many denials.

Karl’s very fine work in churches in the East, Chicago and Milwaukee was called to the attention of the local architect, Wybe VanDerMerr, who encouraged Mr. Schoening to relocate to Rockford, where he subsequently opened Karl Schoening and Sons, Inc.

In the spring of 1952 Karl Schoening died and Karl Schoening, Jr. assumed leadership of Schoening’s. The company was incorporated in 1954 and another previous employee, Joe Maring, began his apprenticeship in his late teens shortly after arriving from Germany in 1960. In 1983, Mr. Maring and his wife, Maniena, assumed total ownership of Karl Schoening & Sons, Inc. Under their joint leadership, Schoening’s was still the Rockford area’s leading painting and decorating contractors.

Karl Schoening’s & Sons started out as a paint and wallpaper shop and continued to grow as a union shop steering towards the commercial and industrial business. They steered towards this because of the “Do It Yourself” shops that had started to move into town. In the spring of 2013, as Joe and Maniena were to retire, Robert and Michelle Schlensker took ownership and have established it as Schoening Painting and Decorating, Inc. Robert has now worked for the Schoening corporation for over 20 years. His expertise in the installation of particular wallcoverings, stain matches for woods and attention to detail has keep Schoenings thriving!

It is now a Woman Owned Business and continues the tradition of professionalism, guaranteed work with attention to safety and environmental issues as a priority. We are established with the Painters District Council No.30/NIPDI/FCAI (Local Union 607), SBSP, WOSB Program, SAM, NIBCA and Certified as a Women Business Enterprise with the City of Rockford.

We have been one of Rockford-area’s leading Painting and Decorating Contractor for commercial, industrial and institutional projects for more the 94 years. In this time we have also provided expert color matching and architectural coating, wood finishes and high performance industrial coatings.

Our employees’ are OSHA-certified and we are constantly upgrading safety issues such as, but not limited to, First Aid and Respiratory/CPR. Our safety initiative ensures safety training and Hazard Analysis Programs that are successfully implemented and enforced.

Project Portfolio Includes

Hamilton Sundstrand, Bemis Toyota, Newel Rubbermaid, Mondelez (formerly Warner Lambert), Harlem School Dist., Rockford School Dist., Belvidere School Dist., Mercy Health System, Swedish American Hospital, Rockford Memorial Hospital, OSF-St. Anthony Hospital, Crusader Clinic Rockford, Van Mader HealthSouth Rehabilitation, Stillman Bank, Bank One, Amcore Bank, Dean Foods, Excelon Nuclear, Freeport High School, Northern Illinois University, Rock Valley College, Rockford College, Cherry Vale Mall, Rockford City Hall, Loves Park City and BMO Harris Bank Center (formerly Metro Center).


Owners - Robert and Michelle Schlensker


Delicate Restoration of City Hall


Robert Schlensker and Tom Heflin


Schoening's installed a mural created by local artist Tom Heflin for Swedish American Hospital's 100th anniversary in 2011.

 The hospital was founded in 1911, opening its doors in 1918 following a period of fund raising. The mural shows the original building from 1918 and some of the additions  from the 40's and 50's.  

Content for this page was provided by Schoening's Painting & Decorating.