CAPE CORAL, Fla. — If you’re looking to spruce up a room with a fresh coat of paint, you might want to press pause on that project.
Paint is super hard to find right now and it’s not just here in Southwest Florida.
“I went to North Fort Myers, then Southwest Cape,” said Joe Mulhern of Proper Painting. “I wound up having to hit Home Depot on Pine Island.”
Mulhern, better known by his customers as Joe the Painter, can’t get his hands on the crucial tool he needs for his job: Paint.
“Calling every story like ‘Hey, let me know. Let me know,’” Mulhern said.
Major manufacturers like PPG and Sherwin-Williams blame a rare February deep freeze in Texas coupled with Hurricane Ida for impacting their chemical plants.
See the statement from PPG below:
“A number of global suppliers have been impacted by the weather events in February and subsequent loss of energy supplies in Texas and other southern U.S. states, as well as recent Hurricane Ida impacts. At the same time, there has been a significant increase in demand in some markets we supply due to increased consumer demand for our paint products for residential renovations. PPG continues to take an aggressive approach to securing materials and carriers to minimize the impact to our customers.”
Greta Edgar, PPG Communications Manager
Sherwin-Williams, who also makes Valspar, said the COVID-19 pandemic added to problems like supply chain disruptions.
See the statement from Sherwin-Williams below:
“In an already-challenged supply chain due to COVID-19, the February natural disaster in Texas further impacted the complex petrochemical network causing significant disruptions. These production disruptions, coupled with surging architectural and industrial demand, have pressured raw material supply and rapidly driven prices upward. Recovery from the disaster is still incomplete. More recently, Hurricane Ida has impacted chemical facilities in Louisiana, putting further pressure on the supply chain and raw material availability. The pace at which capacity comes back online and supply becomes more robust remains uncertain. We have been highly proactive in managing the supply chain disruptions to minimize the impact on our customers.”
Julie Young, Sherwin-Williams Vice President of Global Corporate Communications
Leonel Ferrer, the co-owner of Royal Blue Painting Contractor, said he currently has six houses sitting, waiting for paint.
No paint means no work, and no work means no money.
“If we don’t get paint, we can’t keep going,” he said. “We can’t keep working. I actually got three guys that quit and now they’re working in the restaurant.”
Ferrer’s so desperate, he saddled up and drove more than two hours to load up on what’s becoming like a sort of rare jewel.
“I drove all the way to Tampa like a month ago to get 85 gallons of paint,” he said.
Paint professionals aren’t the only ones struggling. Residents trying to freshen up a room are having to spread supplies thin. That’s all because the paint supplies just aren’t there.
“These shelves are usually full of paint,” said Brandon Lepe at A&E Paint Centers in Cape Coral.
On Tuesday, A&E Paint Centers was full of empty spots on their shelves.
“Most of these shelves right here that are empty, are the ones that we can’t get ahold of,” Lepe said.
While the shelves might look full of paint, Lepe said what they have in store is nothing.
“That’s probably the most we’ve seen in stock for a while,” he said. “We get pallets in and they’re pretty much out the next day.”
Interior paints are hard to fight right now, including satin and flat finishes being rare to spot on shelves.