One of the goals of painting a room yourself is to save money, so of course, you don’t want to buy more paint than you need. After all, you can’t return three gallons of custom-mixed paint if it turns out you didn’t need them! But you also want to buy enough; no one wants to have to run back to the paint store for one more gallon in the middle of a project. So, what’s the formula? How much interior paint should you buy for your project?
Do the Math! Square Feet Per Gallon
Most paint manufacturers claim that their paints will cover about 400 square feet per gallon. Some say 350 (so be sure to read the paint can label). To find out how many square feet you are painting, multiply the height and width of each wall, and add them together. Let’s take a room that is 9 feet wide, 12 feet long, and has 8-foot ceilings.
Walls one and three: 9 x 8 = 72 square feet per wall
Walls two and four: 12 x 8 = 96 square feet per wall
So the total area of the room is 336 square feet. However, we can subtract the size of any windows and doors. A door would be 18 to 20 square feet, and windows could be anywhere from 6 to 16 square feet.
If we only needed one coat of paint in this room, then one gallon would be sufficient. However, if we need two coats, it would require a second gallon.
Typically, one gallon of paint is sufficient for doing one coat in modest bedroom or guest room, or two coats in a typical bathroom. One gallon is usually enough for one coat in an average kitchen.
What Can I Do with a Pint of House Paint?
One pint of interior house paint can usually cover 75 to 100 square feet. This is a good size to get for painting trim, since you can usually paint one or two rooms’ worth of baseboard and crown molding from one pint. A pint is also good for painting interior doors. For example, if a door is roughly 20 square feet, you can paint each side twice with a single pint.
A pint is also handy if you need slightly more than one gallon, such as in a room with 425 square feet to paint. Get a gallon and a quart, so you don’t end up with a second gallon of paint that you hardly use.
Other Factors to Consider when Deciding How Much Paint to Buy
New drywall is very “thirsty,” and it will soak up a lot of paint. You can make it use less paint by putting on a good coat of primer first.
If you are changing the color of a wall, it may take several coats to get good coverage. You don’t want to be skimpy, and then end up with a patchy, uneven finish.
The type of roller cover you use and your style of application can change how much paint is used.
If you are going to err one way or the other, err on the side of buying too much paint. The extra can be used for touching up.
If you buy more than one can of paint, professionals recommend mixing all your cans of paint together in one bucket before painting. Otherwise, slight variations from one can to the next will show up on your walls.
Professional House Painting Company
If the DIY method isn’t for you, or if you get in over your head and need a hand to finish a project, you may want to talk to a professional house painter. A.G. Williams has been painting homes in New York and Connecticut for well over 100 years, and we would be happy to lend our experience and skill in your home!