How Much Paint Will I Need?

man in decorating shop looking at tin of paint

How Much Paint Should I Buy?

As a rule of thumb, 1 gallon (4.5 Litres) of paint will cover approximately 400 square feet (37 sq m).

A small room measuring 12 ft by 12 ft (3.7m by 3.7m) with standard sized walls, 8 ft (2.4m) high, will need approximately 1.5 gallons (7 Litres) of paint.

However, there are several factors that will affect the actual amount of paint you need?

  • The type of surface being covered – is it a rough or smooth texture?
  • The type of paint you intend to use
  • Colour change – are you changing your wall color from light to dark or dark to light. If you are going from dark to light, you may well need to apply more coats.

We suggest talking to a paint specialist in store when you have found the paint you want, they will help you make an informed decision on how much paint to buy?

Calculating the Square Footage of Your Room

Were you paying attention in maths? If so, you will know that you simply need to measure the length of all the walls, and add their lengths together. Next, measure the height of the walls and multiply both numbers together.

E.g. In our example room above 12 ft x 12 ft x 8 ft high (3.7m x 3.7m x 2.4m high). There are 4 walls each 12 ft in length (12 x 4 = 48) and the height of the walls is 8ft. The answer is 48 x 8 = 384 sq ft.

In meters: 4 walls 3.7m in length (3.7 x 4= 14.8m) and the height of the walls is 2.4m. The answer is 14.8 x 2.4 = 35.5 sq m.

Handy Tip: All the major DIY stores and paint centres have ‘Paint Calculators’ on their websites, that will deduct square footage/square metres for the doors, windows and trim for you. Good news, it won’t make any calculating errors, and you can use it for free. What is not to like about that?

Wallpapering Too?

If you’re painting with a view to also wallpapering, why not try WallpaperBuddy™? It makes wallpapering easy.

WallpaperBuddy™ holds wallpaper away from the wall at an ideal angle for aligning and smoothing, and helps to reduce bubbles and creases. The telescopic design allows you to progress down the wall at a pace that is perfect for you, working with both hands free the entire time. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional, why not DIY with WallpaperBuddy™.

How To Use WallpaperBuddy™

person hanging wallpaper on ladder with wallpaperbuddy

We hope you found this article helpful, and we would appreciate it very much if you shared it with someone else you feel might benefit from it.


Need more painting help?

Different Types of Paint 

A Beginners Guide To Painting A Room 

What Order Do You Paint A Room?