Paint is getting harder to come by, and that’s likely to have an impact of people aiming to do summer home improvement projects. It’s also delaying the construction of new homes, as builders are forced to wait for supplies of more paint.
The paint shortage is primarily due to the COVID-19 restrictions that have led to major disruptions of supply chains in various different industries, experts say.
“Some of the most commonly used paints are out of stock,” said Mike Marcewicz, founder of Mike’s Painting and Home Improvements in St. Petersburg, Florida, in an interview with Bay News 9.
But it’s not only the supply chain disruption that’s causing a shortage of paint, because natural disasters have had a negative impact on its availability too, industry insiders say.
A spokesperson for Sherwin-Williams, one of the biggest paint companies in the U.S., told BestLife last month that the February winter storm in Texas caused a slowdown in petrochemical production, and that led to a significant disruption for paint manufacturers. Petroleum products are essential for paint manufacturing operations and there has been a shortage.
“Recovery has been significant in recent weeks and is improving—but is still far from complete,” Sherwin-William’s spokesperson said. “The pace at which capacity comes back online and supply becomes more robust remains uncertain.”
The paint shortages are being felt keenly because demand for the product is increasing as the weather improves, experts say. It will likely get worse too, because with summer approaching we’re entering into “painting season”. The summer weather is ideal for painting outdoors, and lots of people have projects planned for the warmer months, so demand for paint is expected to increase.
Even if paint is available in the store, consumers can expect to find that it’s a lot more expensive than they would have assumed. That’s because paint companies are increasing prices due to the shortage and rising pricing of the raw materials they use. And further price hikes could be on the way.
"We likely will need to take further pricing actions if raw material costs remain at these elevated levels," said Sherwin-Williams CEO John Morikis during a company earnings call in late April.
It’s likely that professional painting services will follow suit. With paint prices rising from anywhere between $6 and $40 per bucket, depending on the color, Minnesota-based home design firm recently warned that the price it charges to paint a bedroom will rise by around $100 to $200.
The paint shortage is impacting builders too, and that only brings more woes to the construction industry at a time when it is already suffering from shortages of key building materials such as lumber, and household appliances. Builders and contractors across the U.S. have reported being put on waiting lists to receive the paint they need for their projects, causing yet more delays at a time when they’re already under huge pressure to help relieve housing inventory shortages.