How Painters Determine How Much Paint To Buy
So you decided it’s time to paint. You picked out the color you want, you got all the brushes and equipment you need and now you need to figure out how much paint it will take to get the job done. This is going to require some math. You will need to figure out how much area you are going to be covering in paint. Here’s how you can determine that:
How To Figure Out Painting Surface Area
1. Figure out the square footage of the room. To do this you will need to measure the length and width and height of the room. Add up the four lengths of the wall and multiply that by the height of the room to get the square footage.
2. Now assuming that there are doors and windows in the room which you won’t be painting the same color you can subtract the width of each of those from your calculations to figure out how much surface area you will have to paint.
Now That You Have Your Surface Area
Okay, so it’s great that you now know the surface area that needs to be painted, right? But how much does a gallon of paint cover anyways? Well, as a general rule of thumb a gallon of paint covers 350 square feet. This is a general rule of thumb because there are some things you will need to factor in. If you are painting unpainted drywall, then you will need slightly more as it absorbs more paint. You will also need to factor in how many coats of paint it’s going to take to cover the area. Walls that are unfinished, heavily patched, or dark in color may require two coats of paint. And the paint you purchase might cover differently. So check the can to see how much surface area a gallon of paint will cover.
Now That You Know How Much A Gallon Of Paint Covers
Are you ready for more math? Now that you have the square footage of the room, minus the unpaintable areas, and you know that a gallon covers 350 square feet, you will need to divide the square footage by 350. This will tell you how many cans you will need. If it doesn’t work out evenly then you can either go up to the next gallon or just purchase a quart or two along with the gallons. Sometimes buying the extra gallon can be a cheaper choice though. Having extra paint on hand for touch ups is a good thing. Buying a little more than what you think you’ll need is going to save you a trip back to the paint store and the possibility of not getting an exact match if you had them mix a special color.
If you’re still unsure how much paint to get speak with the paint person at the store. They might be able to help you figure out how much paint you need. This method is a pretty fool proof method to determining how much paint to get though.