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As the world leaves the pandemic and quarantine challenges behind, veteran commercial painters and those close to the industry are speculating on what’s ahead for commercial painting, including predictions around potential challenges and exciting innovations.

What Challenges Can the Commercial Painting Industry Expect in the Future?

Two years post-pandemic, the world is still struggling to recover from the domino effect of massive supply chain interruptions.  From chip to lumber shortages, hardly any industry emerged unscathed – the commercial painting industry notwithstanding. 

As a result, experts in commercial painting predict some struggles ahead – particularly concerning demand, labor, and safety. Investing in these aspects will prove to be crucial in the years to come.

Increased Job Demand

The home improvement and building industries experienced a perfect storm of events during the pandemic, and the effects are lingering. As COVID-19 swept the country, shelter-in-place mandates and remote-work orders forced increased time spent at home, resulting in sizable upticks for home improvement and new build projects. 

Unfortunately, the suppliers and laborers that cater to these projects, including skilled painters, soon felt the pinch as demand outpaces supply. 

As the momentum continues, experts predict an increased demand for professional painters in the residential and commercial painting industries.

Shortage of Painters

As you may have guessed, increased job demand means the existing pool of professional painters is shrinking. Therefore, it’s no surprise that industry experts are also predicting a shortage of skilled painters as an ongoing challenge topping the list of paint trends in 2022 – and beyond.


PPD Painting is hiring as well, and although we got our work covered – we are one of the fastest growing companies in this industry, and we’re always looking for new qualified team members.

Increased Safety Requirements

Green and safety requirements are also making the list of predicted paint trends over the coming years. Safety has always been a hot topic in the paint industry; however, many companies have neglected to acquire and/or maintain important credentials, such as EPA lead certification and OSHA safety certification.

Innovations That Will Shape the Commercial Painting Industry

A lot has changed in the last ten years. Take mobile banking, for example – once a novelty, it’s now as mainstream as the ATM. Think about it – when was the last time you walked into a bank? As technology advances, so will its applications across industries, including commercial painting. Following are the innovations painting experts predict will shape the industry moving forward.

Environmentally Friendly Painting Equipment

Of the paint trends we’ve mentioned so far, this is the most beneficial to everyone, including mother nature. In the not-so-distant past, wall and surface paint included many harmful volatile organic chemicals (i.e., VOC) and formaldehyde. Increased consumer demand and new regulations from all levels of government are moving the industry as a whole away from this practice. As a result, low-VOC and water-based paints are more popular and in demand – a trend that will likely become the norm in the years to come.

Spray Painting

High-performance sprayers are already reshaping the commercial painting industry, and their popularity continues to grow. For example, existing airless technology in paint sprayers ensures uniform and flawless paint coverage on all surfaces – inside and out. As technology around spray painting solutions continues to advance, so will the applications throughout the industry. Although rollers and brushes will still have a place, the efficiency of spray painting will likely continue to win over professionals.

Automated Painting

Automation is already happening in the commercial painting industry, and it’s just getting started. As more and more companies debut fully robotic painting systems, experts suspect the trend will continue to grow. These technologically advanced, state-of-the-art paint systems can do it all – often with more efficiency than highly skilled, veteran painters. Although automated painting is especially popular in manufacturing, expect to see more applications of the technology in commercial and residential paint applications.

Smart Coatings Using Nanotechnology

Smart coatings using nanotechnology may sound very futuristic, but it’s already making big waves in paint. Nanotechnology has already contributed to the development of specialized coatings used in the aerospace, automotive, defense, and medical industries – and the research and development are increasing and slowly trickling into mainstream applications. For example, self-etching paints traditionally used on spaceships and SpaceX missiles can now be found on some premium cars.

If nanotechnology still seems too far-fetched for commercial or residential paint applications – consider this: a “self-healing” coating already exists that contains polymer-filled microcapsules. So, when the coating is damaged or cracked, the polymer is released and physically repairs the damage. 

This and other examples of smart coatings using nanotechnology are becoming more mainstream – and will likely revolutionize paint as we know it.

Accepting Cryptocurrency as a New Form of Payment

Bet you didn’t expect cryptocurrency to make this list – yet, here it is! Cryptocurrency isn’t just a buzzword anymore. According to a study done by Skynova, an invoice services provider, 32% of small-business owners said their company currently accepts cryptocurrencies. 

Fun fact – PPD Painting began accepting cryptocurrency as payment in 2017, becoming the first painting contractor in the country to accept payment for a residential painting project in cryptocurrency. 

As demonstrated by these predicted paint trends, the future of commercial painting is already embracing exciting innovation, despite some challenges ahead. At PPD Painting, we’ve always considered ourselves a “step above” the rest in the commercial painting industry – simply based on our dedication to efficient, professional, and dependable execution. 

We can only imagine how much better our services will become as innovations in the industry continue to push us to new heights!

Contact Us Today for Your Next Commercial Painting Project

in Chicago or Cincinnati

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