How to Calculate the Volume of Paint

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One thing you don't want, for a home project, is a lot of extra paint. Extra paint means money needlessly spent. In addition, you will either need to find a spot for those extra cans or find a way to dispose of them. You can avoid these headaches by making a careful calculation of the volume of paint you'll require for your job. The area calculation of your walls or surfaces is the first part of this job, then you figure your paint volume needs. In addition, if the surface is properly prepared with sanding, patching and priming, you will be more likely to get the maximum coverage possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
  • Measure the width of your first surface.

  • Measure the height or length of your first surface.

  • Multiply length and width. This is the area of the surface. For instance, a wall that is 22 feet by 8 feet is 176 square feet.

  • Repeat the previous steps for all surfaces.

  • Add the areas together for an aggregate area.

  • Divide the aggregate area by the coverage area of your selected paint. For most household paints, a volume of one gallon covers 400 square feet. As an example, if your aggregate area is 1,078 square feet, the volume of paint required is 2.695 gallons for a normal paint. Buy three gallons. For very textured surfaces or improperly prepared surfaces, your coverage will be less, so round up on your paint calculation.

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