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.
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:
Paint & preservatives: $13.7 billion (+4.1% growth)
Paint sundries: $3.3 billion (+6.9% growth)
Paint & preservatives: $14.9 billion ( – 1.1% growth)
Paint sundries: $9.1 billion ( – 1.0% growth)
By 2026, demand for paint among consumers will have rebounded and continue growing, alongside continued growth, but slower growth rates, in the Professional market.
Paint & preservatives: $15.2 billion (+1.4% growth)
Paint sundries: $3.8 billion (+1.1% growth)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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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