Blue paint is the latest unexpected shortage to hit the consumer market, continuing the bizarre list of items that have been difficult to get hold of, from building materials to swimming pool chlorine. So, if you’re set on blue room ideas this season, you may find it difficult to find blue paint, depending on your chosen brand and shade. 

Why is there a blue paint shortage?

As with other product supply issues this year, there is more than one factor at play. The biggest problem is the shortage of some of the additives used in making blue paint specifically. A spokesperson from Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel told Insider (opens in new tab) that ’to make paint you would need between 50 and 60 ingredients’ and some are ’extremely difficult to get’ at the moment. This includes the color tint used to make blue paint. Then there is the problem of the rising costs of raw materials. The cost of making paint has increased by over $323 million in just one year because of these rising costs.  And to add insult to injury, paint manufacturers are having trouble sourcing the tinplate necessary for making the metal cans, so that paint cans have to be shipped from one location to another to coat them.  The result? A shortage that the company says will last well into 2022. And it’s not just the Dutch manufacturer that’s been affected. Sherwin-Williams is experiencing similar problems. The company’s CEO told CNN (opens in new tab) that ’the persistent and industry-wide raw material availability constraints and pricing inflation we have previously reported have worsened, and we do not expect to see improved supply or lower raw material pricing in our fourth quarter as anticipated.’ 

Can I still buy blue paint?

It’s highly unlikely that there won’t be any blue paint left, but you may notice that some shades of blue are temporarily out of stock. According to Akzo Nobel, this is a ’transient situation’ that should be resolved in six to nine months.  What you may notice is the rising cost of paint, and that won’t just apply to blue paint colors, as companies experiencing shortages are likely to rise all their paint prices.