Steps Involved in Building a HouseSpike's Calculators

Wall Paint Calculator

Spike's Calculators

How much paint do you need?

First to confuse matters;

In the US paint is sold in a 5 gallon bucket, a 1 gallon can, and 1 quart can.

Canada uses the same sizes except it shows the metric equivalent for the US gallons and quarts on the label. But when you go to the store in Canada you can still ask for a gallon of paint.

5 gallon bucket =  18.9 liter
1 gallon can    =  3.78 liter
1 quart can     =  946  milliliters

On the paint can the manufacture will indicate what the sq. footage is that the can of paint will cover. Depending on the brand and type of paint you can get anywhere from 250 to 400 square feet of coverage per gallon. The actual coverage will depend on the texture of the wall and the colour you are using to paint. A smooth wall will take less paint than a rough textured wall. Covering a lighter colour wall with a darker colour paint will take less paint than painting a lighter colour over a dark colour wall. In addition to all that, the way you apply the paint, equipment you use to paint with and how much paint ends up on you or the floor versus the wall, will have an impact on how much paint you need. Take the indicated sq. footage of coverage with a grain of salt and make sure you have enough paint on site to complete the job. If the calculated result of the paint = 0.75 gallons you could buy 3 quarts, but these 3 quarts most likely will cost you more than if you purchased the same paint in the gallon size. Keep in mind that it is always good to have a bit of paint left over for touch-ups at a later time.

Length of Wall: ft
Height of Wall: ft
Window/Door Openings: ft ²
Area covered by one
gallon of paint:
ft ²
How many coats: #


Total wall area: ft ²
Wall area minus openings: ft ²
Paint needed per coat: gallon
Paint needed in gallons: gallon
Paint needed in liters : liters

To use this calculator:

  1. measure the length of your wall and enter it this result in the "Wall Length" field.
  2. measure height of the wall from above the baseboards to the ceiling and enter this in the "Wall Height" field.
  3. if there are windows and doors in your wall calculate the total square footage of these and enter that in the "Window/Door Openings" field.
  4. if you know the coverage of your paint add that to the "Area covered by can of paint" field.
  5. enter the number of coats you require in the "How many coats" field.
  6. The results will give you the total square footage of the wall, square footage of the wall minus openings, amount of paint needed per coat, and the total amount paint in gallons or part thereof, you need depending on the amount of coats you required.

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