Paint supply is running dry — and everyone’s paying the price

The latest supply shock: paint, which is seeing its highest prices since 2009.


September 27, 2021

Photo by plus49/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

If you’re planning a home renovation, you may want to stop reading this and go paint shopping, like, now.

The perfect storm of factors has created a massive shortage in paint supply, leading to the highest prices since 2009, per CNBC.

It’s a classic supply and demand story

Here’s what’s happening:

  1. Demand for paint spiked when the pandemic created a rush of interest in home projects
  2. A freeze in Texas interrupted production of petroleum, which is needed to make paint
  3. The congested global supply chain has caused shortages of epoxies, acrylics, and solvents used in paint

As a result, popular paint colors are both harder to find than usual, and also way more expensive.

But consumers aren’t the only ones paying the price

The shortage is being felt across the board:

  • Paint manufacturers are facing rising costs for materials
  • Big stores are facing the highest producer prices since 2010
  • Small businesses are struggling to get any paint at all since producers supply the larger stores first

There’s bad news and good news

The bad news? Experts believe prices will continue rising through the end of the year.

The good news? It should be temporary — the Federal Reserve considers paint part of a group of materials experiencing a period of “transitory” inflation, which they claim is already showing signs of recovery.

The best news? There’s no shortage of paint-mixing videos on YouTube, which may help you relax while waiting for your favorite color to get restocked.

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