Is the cost of a can of paint really going up 40%?

Even though price increases are coming there's still some good news


Published on 10 May 2021

Is a 40% increase in paint on the horizon?

The cost of a can of paint has already seen increases in the last 5 years, but that’s nothing compared to what industry sources are warning us is coming,” explains Murphy Bros. Paint & Fine Finishes Manager Dan Flaherty. “In my 30 plus years in this industry, I’ve never seen anything like it.”


In a recent letter from Hirshfield’s, a key supplier to Murphy Bros. and other professional finishing companies, increases to us are expected to range between 6% for some paint/stains all the way up to 40%.

Increases will vary based on the type of paint and formula.

An average bedroom, in good condition, professionally painted by us has been running between $500 and $600, depending on the type of finish and trim involved. That is expected to jump by $100 to $200 or more as these price increases hit the market and the demand for smaller home improvements continues to explode.

"But don't forget all the sundry items you need to pick up no matter how big the job is are also increasing in cost," explains Flaherty. "The tape, the tarps, the scrapers, the brushes, the rollers, it all adds up and it's way more than you think."

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There is a silver lining however

"We will always be able to buy paints and stains cheaper than you can. That can of paint you get at a big box store for say $59 today (soon to be $79?) is still only going to cost you around $29 if we buy it through our wholesales relationship with Hirschfield’s. That’s going to be increasing of course, but it still accounts for only about 30% of the overall cost of a professionally painted room,” explains Flaherty.

“Painting a room is still the quickest and most affordable way to improve your home,” says Flaherty. “But, I would advise anyone thinking about an interior paint project or something like refinishing cabinets to get that project going ASAP,” concludes Flaherty.

A fresh ceiling and new paint color for walls and stairs transformed this home overnight!

What’s behind the increases?

The increases are due in large part to shortages in raw materials and labor, as well as disruptions in supply chains and manufacturing resulting from global responses to the pandemic and an overall hughe increase in demand. In addition, raw materials such as titanium oxide—which are a key component in paint formulations—have also been affected by recent accidents in Tennesee and natural disasters such as the winter storm in Texas.

Dan Flaherty—"We're not as busy now as we will be in a few weeks, so I'd advise everyone to call us now."