Rising paint prices chipping away at earnings for those in construction business

A shortage in paint is causing prices to increase

San Antonio – Spring is a prime time for many to get going on their home renovation projects. But if painting is on your list, make sure to plan ahead.

Danny Garcia, owner of Pintura Paint, said there’s a shortage of paint that is causing prices to go up.

“We had an influx of customers coming in that we’ve never had before because they wanted to paint walls. So to try to appease everybody is really, really hard. We have customers residential and then we also have commercial customers, too. So different playing fields for everybody,” he explains.

Garcia’s team is on the phone for hours a day trying to find paint from suppliers to meet customer needs. His warehouse looks pretty stocked, but he said it hasn’t been easy.

“Everything requires paint. I mean, you look at this little color cards and any kind of piece of wood, any road sign that you’ve seen -- road paint, traffic paint, field marking paint. Paint is everywhere,” he said.

He said a series of problems is driving up the cost. First there was the COVID-19 labor shortage, followed by supply issues like the aluminum shortage. Aluminum is used make paint cans.

Then there was the Texas freeze in February 2021, which ruined material and impacted chemical plants.

“There’s a couple of warehouses that Benjamin Moore has [in Texas]. There was raw material stored outside and so that when the freeze happened, it affected the the raw materials. So those were no longer good,” he said.

Garcia is also a contractor and he said building supply prices are on the rise as well.

“Supply and demand. We’re not just trying to, you know, make more money. It’s we’re being charged more so we have to pass along the cost,” he explains.

Some paint is just hard to find, such as paint for metal, road signs, traffic signs and even sports fields. For some contractors, it means a delay in getting paid.

“Painters aren’t getting to finishing their jobs because the builders won’t pay them until they’re finished. And so homes are taking longer to finish and it just makes things a little bit more difficult,” he said.

His supplier tell him things are expected to get better around the second quarter of 2023.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.