How Much Paint Will I Need?

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Measuring a Room Correctly

There’s nothing worse than being so close to finishing a painting project and realizing you’re just about out of paint. It’s hard to plan ahead and know exactly how much each situation will require, depending on if you’re painting furniture, brand new drywall, going from dark to light colors, etc.

All of these factors make choosing the correct quantity of primer and paint hard to figure out. There are online calculators that make it easier, but if you are painting something that is irregularly shaped, the calculators aren’t as useful.How Much Paint Will I Need

Let’s start with the primer. You have to consider how much surface area, but also the type of surface, the desired finish and color, the durability required, and the efficiency of the paint:

Less paint may be needed if you are painting a smooth, primed or sealed surface, or your color change is subtle. Also, the more “unpaintable” features the wall has, such as windows and doors, the less paint you will need.

If you are painting a porous, rough, textured, previously unpainted surface or you are making a dramatic color change, you may need more paint for those additional coats.

How Much Interior Paint to Buy for your Home

Paint And Primer In One

Many paints today are paint and primer all in one, so that eliminates the need to apply them separately. However, depending on the situation you may still need to buy more than what the can of paint states.

The creator of this video gives some advice for the question, “How much paint will I need?” when purchasing self-priming paint:

As you can see, you need multiple types of paint to finish a room correctly, with flat paint for the ceiling, semi-gloss for the doors, trim, and baseboard, and satin or egg-shell finish for the walls. Planning ahead is critical.

As mentioned earlier, estimating the amount of paint or stain needed for an irregular shaped item like a piece of furniture is a little different. However, you can still use a tape measure and figure it pretty close.

Figuring Square Footage of Furniture

This site provides some basic instructions for assessing the amount of paint for something that isn’t easy to measure:

Step 1: Measure the width of your item in inches and then multiply times the height.Measuring Furniture For Paint

Step 2. Multiply the width and height of all sides to be coated (including the top).

Step 3: Add all of these totals together and divide by 144 to determine the total square feet you will need to cover. Each kit includes enough coating to cover 35 square feet.

Wood Refinishing Calculator

It’s always better to have too much paint and store it for a future project as opposed to running out, especially if it isn’t a common premixed color. If you aren’t the DIY type, consult with a Denver interior paint contractor for advice.

Even though you can expect one gallon of paint to cover approximately 400 square feet, factoring in other elements like walls that are unfinished, heavily patched, or dark in color will keep you from making extra trips to the paint store.

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