• Like

  • Follow
Bookmark and Share

Estimating how much paint to buy

In order to determine how much paint you will need, you will first need to consider how much surface you want to cover. The second factor to consider is coverage and this will vary paint to paint and is printed on the label.

The third factor to consider is the condition of the surface. A porous, rough surface absorbs much more paint than a primed or top coated surface.

Remember that estimating is not an exact science and you can only return standard colors but not custom ones. Always try to keep some of the custom colors in a safe place for touch ups and for the next time you want to repaint in the same color.

Use the following guide to figure out how much paint to buy.

First, find the total area of the surface you want to paint.

1. For walls, simply add the length of walls and multiply by height. This is the total area.
For a ceiling multiply the rooms width by length. For the exterior, it is a little more complex. Break the surface in to rectangles, multiply length by width for each rectangle are and total them up.

2. Account for windows and doors
To calculate the total paint able area, you will need to deduct for openings such as windows and doors. Doors are usually approximately twenty square feet and windows about fifteen square feet. Add all of these up and subtract from the total area.

3. Make a preliminary calculation of gallons required. Now that you know the area to be covered, divide that number by the number of square feet per gallon the paint you want to cover.
Factor in surface conditions. The coverage stated on label applies under typical circumstances. For example, a quality latex topcoat applied over a primed smooth surface covers about three hundred and fifty square feet. You rarely get as much coverage as the label states.

Wood shingles will require more than the states coverage. Wood shingles will require more than the stated coverage. On lap or bevel siding you must factor in the underside. Similarly you use more paint if you're painting interior walls or ceilings that are finished, heavily patched or dark in color.

You should make allowances for the following conditions
  • Porous material

  • Rough surfaces

  • Cornices or other trims

  • Overlapping surfaces

  • Unprinted, unseated or unfinished surfaces

Rate This Article From 1 (Lowest) to 5 (Highest)

In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

Relocation.com's survey was recently featured on the front page of USA Today. The headline entitled "Moving in Hard Times" highlighted our results that moving and relocating behaviors were only moderately influenced by the economy.


Our lifestyle survey found that Americans are seeking smaller homes and a suburban lifestyle. These riveting results were recently featured on USAToday.com in an article entitled "American dream shrinks as smaller homes gain favor."

"This user-friendly site includes a blog and a subscription-only newsletter, too"

The Washington Post

"Relocation.com provides you with all the tools you need to get quotes quickly from movers in your area."


The Business Week