Interior and Exterior Painting Market Watch

Market Watch: Purchasing Trends in Paint and Coatings

Feb 08, 2023

Paint is used in count­less con­struc­tion, ren­o­va­tion and home improve­ment projects. Whether it’s used to give a room a fresh look, update tired kitchen cab­i­nets or pro­tect a building’s exte­ri­or, paint plays a crit­i­cal role in both the aes­thet­ic and func­tion­al aspects of homes.

The home improve­ment mar­ket has soared in recent years due to an increas­ing num­ber of ren­o­va­tion and remod­el­ing projects, ris­ing dis­pos­able income, and a grow­ing soci­etal focus on home aes­thet­ics. As a result, the demand for paint and coat­ings has steadi­ly increased. How­ev­er, the col­lec­tive of home improve­ment indus­try experts pre­dict that growth in the cat­e­go­ry will slow in 2023. It’s now up to pro­fes­sion­als in the paint and coat­ings indus­try to deter­mine the best approach for how to respond to chang­ing mar­ket conditions.

At the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute, we ana­lyze past pur­chas­ing trends and future mar­ket out­looks. Here’s what you need to know about the state of paint.

Paint Industry Growth and Performance

The paint indus­try had a remark­able past two years. In 2021, prod­uct pur­chase inci­dence of paint and sun­dries was the high­est record­ed in eight years at 61%, up from 53% in 2019.

Dur­ing this time, the aver­age annu­al num­ber of pur­chas­es in the cat­e­go­ry also increased from 4.9 in 2019 to 5.7 in 2021, while the aver­age total spend increased from $165 to $263.

Much of this growth occurred as a result of the response to Covid. In par­tic­u­lar, the increase in dis­pos­able incomes drove the upward trend in the paint and coat­ings mar­ket, as home­own­ers looked to update their homes and improve their liv­ing spaces. Addi­tion­al­ly, more time at home led to the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of do-it-your­self projects. This, in turn, boost­ed the paint indus­try, as more home­own­ers com­plet­ed their own projects rather than hir­ing professionals.

Look­ing ahead to the remain­der of 2023, demand is expect­ed to cool slight­ly for con­sumers, but the mar­ket will con­tin­ue to grow among pro­fes­sion­als and overall. 

Take a look at near-future fore­casts for the pro­fes­sion­al and con­sumer categories:

HIRI Interior and Exterior Paint Market Forecasts for 2023

Pro­fes­sion­al Market

  • Paint & preser­v­a­tives: $13.7 bil­lion (+4.1% growth)

  • Paint sun­dries: $3.3 bil­lion (+6.9% growth)

Con­sumer Market

  • Paint & preser­v­a­tives: $14.9 bil­lion ( – 1.1% growth)

  • Paint sun­dries: $9.1 bil­lion ( – 1.0% growth)

HIRI Interior and Exterior Paint Market Forecasts for 2026

By 2026, demand for paint among con­sumers will have rebound­ed and con­tin­ue grow­ing, along­side con­tin­ued growth, but slow­er growth rates, in the Pro­fes­sion­al market.

Pro­fes­sion­al Market

  • Paint & preser­v­a­tives: $15.2 bil­lion (+1.4% growth)

  • Paint sun­dries: $3.8 bil­lion (+1.1% growth)

Con­sumer Market

  • Paint & preser­v­a­tives: $15.9 bil­lion (+4.1% growth)

  • Paint sun­dries: $9.9 bil­lion (+3.2% growth)

Short term, the pro­fes­sion­al mar­ket is pre­dict­ed to retain a high­er growth rate than the con­sumer side. This could be due to reces­sion­ary pres­sures that home­own­ers are fac­ing. Many home­own­ers are defer­ring funds to oth­er pri­or­i­ties because of finan­cial con­straints, which impact their repair and remod­el­ing spend­ing deci­sions. They will con­tin­ue invest­ing in repairs on an as-need­ed basis and defer major projects and aes­thet­ic that aren’t necessities.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers needn’t fear a long down­turn, how­ev­er: This fore­cast is in line with pre­dic­tions from oth­er experts who believe the remod­el­ing indus­try will slow in 2023, only to pick back up in 2024 and beyond. 

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Purchase Behaviors and Project Decision-Making

Now, let’s take a look at the forces dri­ving cus­tomers to par­tic­i­pate in paint­ing projects and the moti­va­tors impact­ing their pur­chas­ing. HIR­I’s project deci­sion study that sur­veys house­holds com­plet­ing inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or paint­ing projects in 2021 sheds light on key insights.

Why and when do homeowners take on a painting project?

Home­own­ers report the fol­low­ing as the top rea­sons for under­tak­ing an exte­ri­or paint­ing project:

  • They need to repair or main­tain their home.

  • They want to update their home’s look.

Mean­while, inte­ri­or paint­ing projects are large­ly dri­ven by:

  • A desire to update the home’s look.

  • Emo­tion­al ben­e­fits, such as the sat­is­fac­tion that comes from a job well done and the enjoy­ment that stems from work­ing on the house.

Both inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or paint­ing projects may be trig­gered by per­cep­tions that the time has come for a repair or update. How­ev­er, because exte­ri­or paint­ing is con­duct­ed out­doors, the tim­ing of sea­sons and weath­er plays an above-aver­age role in dri­ving demand for exte­ri­or paint­ing projects.

Regard­ing exte­ri­or paint­ing projects, sur­vey respon­dents report that:

  • Con­sid­er­a­tion of an exte­ri­or paint­ing project might begin any­time dur­ing the first half of the year (78%).

  • The go-ahead deci­sion for an exte­ri­or paint­ing project is usu­al­ly made dur­ing spring or ear­ly sum­mer (58%).

  • 64% of exte­ri­or paint­ing projects are start­ed May through July, and an equal per­cent­age are com­plet­ed dur­ing that time peri­od (warmer weath­er pro­vides an impe­tus for these projects).

Inte­ri­or paint­ing project time­lines, on the oth­er hand, con­form with oth­er projects:

  • The idea to do inte­ri­or paint­ing begins to emerge in Jan­u­ary (19%), with the most intense con­tem­pla­tion through June.

  • The deci­sion to take on the project might be made any­time Jan­u­ary through August, but rarely thereafter.

Where do consumers shop for paint supplies?

HIRI research indi­cates that there is some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about perus­ing store aisles for the per­fect paint swatch.

Accord­ing to sur­vey respondents:

  • Home cen­ters are the most-used sup­pli­er for paint prod­ucts (74%).

  • In-store pur­chas­es make up most over­all trans­ac­tions (83%).

  • Online trans­ac­tions make up 12% of purchases.

When asked why they select­ed their pre­ferred retail­er, sur­vey respon­dents report­ed loca­tion con­ve­nience and one-stop shop­ping as the top two reasons.

While sev­er­al fac­tors are like­ly at play, con­sumers report that when they can cov­er all of their shop­ping needs at one or a few stores, this leaves con­sid­er­able time for the project itself or leisure activities.

How­ev­er, con­ve­nience isn’t the be-all and end-all to a pur­chase deci­sion. In fact, 33% of con­sumers still report­ed shop­ping for paint sup­plies at mul­ti­ple loca­tions, pri­mar­i­ly due to vari­ety and avail­abil­i­ty issues.

When asked why the paint item was­n’t pur­chased at the retail­er shopped, respon­dents report­ed pri­ma­ry rea­sons being that:

  • They did­n’t have the size, col­or, style, etc. of prod­uct I want­ed (40%)
  • They did not have the prod­uct in stock (35%)
  • It was too expen­sive (31%)
  • I want­ed a brand they did­n’t stock (30%)
  • I had a bad expe­ri­ence with the store (16%)
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How Paint and Coatings Manufacturers Can Respond

Man­u­fac­tur­ers should take advan­tage of trends in paint project deci­sion-mak­ing to con­nect with key audi­ences at the right time and enable chan­nel dis­tri­b­u­tion part­ners to bet­ter ser­vice the end customer.

Despite a slight­ly cool­er 2023, plan­ning for 2024 mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives can begin now.

Here are some ways to con­nect with audi­ences who are con­sid­er­ing an inte­ri­or or exte­ri­or paint­ing project:

  • Con­tin­ue Use of Social media: Brands can use social media plat­forms such as YouTube, Face­book, Insta­gram and Twit­ter to engage with con­sumers and show­case projects first, and prod­ucts second.

  • Invest in Influ­encer Mar­ket­ing: Con­sid­er col­lab­o­rat­ing with influ­encers in the home improve­ment and design spaces to show­case your paint brands and reach new audi­ences. Influ­encer mar­ket­ing can be espe­cial­ly effec­tive in reach­ing DIY­ers and home improve­ment enthu­si­asts, and dri­ve demand dur­ing the con­sid­er­a­tions stage of the buy­er’s journey.

  • Improve In-store Expe­ri­ences: Man­u­fac­tur­ers can cre­ate a unique and engag­ing in-store expe­ri­ence for con­sumers through the use of inter­ac­tive dis­plays, prod­uct demon­stra­tions and hands-on work­shops. Devel­op sales enable­ment mate­ri­als for your chan­nel part­ners to improve their abil­i­ty to aid a shop­per in choos­ing the right prod­uct (of your brand) dur­ing their pur­chase process. Good end to end shop­ping expe­ri­ences help build brand loy­al­ty and estab­lish a con­nec­tion with customers.

  • Inno­vate Prod­uct Sam­ples: Prod­uct sam­ples pro­vide anoth­er type of in-store expe­ri­ence man­u­fac­tur­ers can offer. Allow­ing con­sumers to try your prod­ucts and see the results for them­selves can help build trust and encour­age them to choose your prod­ucts over com­peti­tors. Con­sid­er ways to increase sam­pling of your paint and paint sundries.

By con­nect­ing with con­sumers in these ways, brands in the paint indus­try can estab­lish a strong rela­tion­ship with tar­get audi­ences, build brand aware­ness and cred­i­bil­i­ty, and dri­ve sales.

For full access to data from the HIRI sur­veys men­tioned above, includ­ing the raw data files your ana­lysts need to per­form their own tab­u­la­tions, join HIRI as a mem­ber today.

Not sure if mem­ber­ship is right for your com­pa­ny? Sched­ule a con­sul­ta­tion to assess what HIRI mem­ber­ship would mean for your cross-func­­­tion­al teams.

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