How Much Paint Do I Need? – Paint Calculator

Painting your home’s interior can be a big job, but it’s not impossible for a handy DIYer. Whether you’re painting the entire interior or just one room, knowing how much paint you’ll need is important in your planning. Making multiple trips back to the paint store is inconvenient and time consuming. 

A quick google search will turn up some resources and tools, including paint calculators and paint estimators. To do some quick math, determine the space’s square footage. Typically, you will use about 1 gallon of paint for every 350 square feet of surface you want to paint. That surface area includes walls, ceilings, trim, doors, and so on. 

How do I calculate the square footage of the area I want to paint?

To determine the paintable surface area, you’ll have to do some simple math. First, measure the length of the walls and the height of the walls. Then add together all the lengths of each wall in the room and multiply that number by the height of the room. Make sure you measure from the floor to the ceiling to get the height. The number you get is the square footage of the area you want to paint. 

If there are doors and windows, you will have to adjust your math a little. On average, you can subtract 15 square feet for each window in the room and 20 square feet for each door. If the window is larger than average, subtract an extra 5 square feet. That will give you a number close to the total surface area you will have to paint. 

How much paint do I need according to a paint calculator?

Alternatively, you can plug in the height and width of each wall in the room into an easy-to-use paint estimator like the one embedded below. 

When using this paint calculator, you must first select the shape of your room. Then put in your measurements of each wall as well as the number of doors and windows in the room. The calculator will subtract the square footage of the windows and doors for you. Then press “calculate,” and you’ll get an accurate estimate of how much paint you need for your project. This number is assuming you’ll need two coats of paint for the room.

If you have multiple rooms to paint, update the number of walls and measurements of each. Update the number of windows and doors, and then press “calculate” again. If you’re painting more than one room the same colour, add the amount required for each room and take that total number to the paint supply store. 

How does the online paint calculator work?

The paint estimator uses simple math to determine how much you’ll need for your interior or exterior painting project. As mentioned, a gallon of paint will cover about 350 square feet. The calculator subtracts 20 square feet per door and 15 square feet per window from your total square footage. Then it determines how much you need based on how many coats of paint you want to do. From there, it tells you how many gallons you’ll need to paint the room completely. This paint estimator automatically inputs that two coats of paint will be needed to paint the room.

If you want to do the math without the calculator, divide your total square footage by 350. Then multiply that by how many coats you want to do in that room. If you think you’ll need more or less than that, you’ll have to change that number in the drop-down menu option for a more accurate estimate. 

Buying a little extra won’t hurt. 

You can round uneven numbers to help determine if a little extra paint is worth buying. For example, if after rounding your paint calculator results, and the remainder is less than 0.5, order two quarts of paint in addition to the gallons you purchase. If the remainder is more than 0.5, order an extra gallon for the paint job. Often, purchasing an entire gallon is less expensive than purchasing 3 quarts. 

Having a little extra paint in your storage room will come in handy. If the wall gets a ding or scratch, you can touch it up with the same paint colour you have stored. 

How many coats of paint will I need to apply?

Generally, the average wall will require two coats of paint. If you’re painting a lighter colour over a dark wall, you might need a third coat. If you’re painting the walls a dark colour, you can consider adding a colour tint to the primer that is closest to the topcoat colour. Adding the tint, which is available for latex and alkyd paints at most paint stores, will give you better coverage and could lessen the number of coats you need. If the walls are patched up or worse for wear, they might require more coats to cover it up. 

The quality of paint you use also makes a big difference on how many coats you might need. Cheap paint has poorer coverage compared to a high-quality paint. Choosing to spend more on better paint will save you time and headaches. If you need multiple coats with cheaper paint, you’ll have to buy more, so purchasing a better paint right off the bat can save you money too. 

Painting projects that might require professional painters. 

A careful and skilled do-it-yourselfer can paint walls, but the professionals like New Look Cabinets should do some painting projects for you. For example, Calgary cabinet refinishing is a painting project that requires multiple steps and high-end equipment for the best results. New Look Cabinets can refinish your cabinets in their state-of-the-art spray centre. Not only will they know how much paint you need, but their specialized equipment will also give your cabinets a perfect finish.

If you have an odd-shaped space with many nooks and crannies or extremely high ceilings, hiring professional painters might be the easiest and safest option. They have the skills to do it perfectly and the equipment, including ladders and scaffolding, to do it safely. Performing a balancing act on high ladders in a foyer or staircase is not something you want to attempt.  

For staircases, you can hire a staircase painting service in Calgary. Painting your stairs, banister, and railings is a great way to rejuvenate the space and create a focal point in your home. A reputable painting company can ensure a professional, flawless finish. DIY stair painting can get messy if not done properly. For this task, always hire a professional company. 

Have questions? Contact New Look Cabinets!

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