A person holding a roller covered in blue paint
Source: Getty Images

Supply-Chain Issues Cause Another Shortage: Blue Paint

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Oct. 21 2021, Published 11:57 a.m. ET

Commonplace items such as produce and children’s toys are becoming scarce or taking longer than normal to arrive in the U.S. due to disruptions in the global supply chain. Several industries are struggling with a lack of materials and supplies, and the home improvement sector has become yet another to feel the pinch of supply-chain issues.

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Suppliers of blue paint are reportedly finding it difficult to get their hands on substances needed to create certain shades of blue. Does this mean there will be a shortage of blue paint, and should consumers be worried?

What companies are experiencing a shortage of blue paint?

blue paint shortage
Source: Getty

Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel is reportedly having trouble getting “one basic color tint,” and as a result, is “running out of ingredients to make some shades of blue.” AkzoNobel is the name behind many brands of paint, including Alba, Apla, and Alabastine. Akzo Nobel has a reported market cap of $23.2 billion.

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Is blue paint the only shortage that home improvement companies are struggling with?

Paint is comprised of various additives and chemicals, and when one ingredient cannot be sourced, it can lead to a disruption in the creation of colored paints—including blue paint. Although there aren’t reports of other paint companies experiencing a shortage of ingredients needed to create that blue hue so many desire, there have been complaints of paint shortages in general from companies.

MK painting supervisor Joe Hingtgen shared the issues he’s experiencing in regard to the lack of paint. While Hingtgen says paint generally comes in five-gallon buckets, he and other workers have had to “run around to several different stores” purchasing single-gallon buckets when supplies run out.

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Hingtgen also shared that there are pigment shortages, particularly with dark colors. The problem has resulted in the company having to turn down jobs on occasion. In addition to paint shortages, companies sometimes cannot find supplies such as primers and tape.

Akzo Nobel is also reportedly experiencing issues with sourcing tinplate, a material needed to make the metal cans used to contain paint.

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How long is the paint supply shortage expected to last?

shortage of blue paint
Source: Getty Images

The demand for paint supplies grew after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. People began taking up DIY projects, many of which called for paint. After the demand for paint supplies grew, they became harder to come by. Now, with the disruption of the supply chain and companies unable to get their hands on the supplies needed to manufacture paint, products are becoming less available or costlier.

Amarillo Paint and Supply manager Logan Schuler explained that the company simply cannot “get raw materials in and then they can’t unload it in time off the ships.” The issue only develops into a more complex problem when companies cannot get their raw materials into chemical factories to produce resins needed by paint factories.

While supply shortages don't appear to be clearing up anytime soon, Akzo Nobel said with the costs of materials “spiraling,” shortages are likely to “last through the middle of next year.”

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