Thinking of renovating your home? Paint is now in short supply and prices are going up

Supply chain challenges are slowing production at two leading paint makers: Sherwin-Williams and PPG.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If you're in the middle of renovating your home, you may have to cough up some extra cash for certain materials. Paint is becoming scarce, therefore it's becoming more expensive to buy.

Store owners like Bill Suplee, who has been a painter in Southern California for 40 years, said he's seeing the impact first hand.

"I see some companies, the bigger companies, Dunn-Edwards, Sherwin-Williams, some of their shelves are bare," he said.

Owner of Catalina Paints in Los Angeles David Cohn said he and his team are seeing some delays and believes it's due to events out of his control.

"I think we're doing better than most, but it's still been a struggle," he said. "There was the deep freeze in Texas, and that affected all the raw materials and chemicals, and it happened in the winter so we saw it a couple of months later. All of a sudden, we're having trouble getting certain things."

In February, a winter storm hit Texas with its many oil refining and chemical manufacturing facilities. Millions of households and businesses, including the chemical plants, lost power and heat. Pipes froze and more than 100 people died.

"Anything related to base chemicals - they've had a hell of a year," said Tom Derry, CEO of the Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers. "It's been the hardest year for logistics and supply chain managers. They always say the most stressful job in the world is being an air traffic controller at any airport ... I'd venture to say that being a supply chain manager is that - or worse - this year.''

The shortages are slowing production at two leading paint makers, Sherwin-Williams and PPG. Both have raised prices and downgraded their sales guidance, saying the outlook for additional supply remains dim.

Sherwin-Williams sent ABC7 a statement on Monday which states in part, "These production disruptions, coupled with surging architectural and industrial demand, have pressured raw material supply and rapidly driven prices upward. We have been highly proactive in managing the supply chain disruptions to minimize the impact on our customers."

There is also a shortage of truck drivers. Cargo ships parked out in the Pacific have been seen unable to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Painting tools, which often come from China, are on back order for months.

"Realism is that you have shortages of major materials across the board ... plywood, dimensional lumber, paint," explained Ron Paz, owner of Paz Construction.

For painters and contractors, time plays a key role in their business. Summer is usually the heart of the painting season.

Cohn said there is pent-up demand to get the work done and employees at his stores are often on the phone with other stores scrambling to find items.

"We have a good relationship with our supplier, and they're doing the best they can, but they say this is going to keep going on for four or five months," he said.

Though Sherwin-Williams reported strong second-quarter profits, it said that a lack of raw materials cut sales by 3.5% for the period. CEO John Morikis said Sherwin-Williams raised prices in the Americas by 7% in August and an additional 4% this month. More increases are possible next year, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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