Paint Quantity Calculations: Six Steps to Success

One of the trickiest tricks to nail when it comes to painting your home is that of working out how much paint you need. On one hand, you don’t want to run out at the worst possible time…only to then find there’s a shortage at your chosen stockist. Likewise, there’s also no sense in buying way too much of the stuff, which will inevitably lead to wastage. Nevertheless, most seem to find this the kind of balancing act that’s easier said than done. You think you’ve figured it all out, but reality tells a different story once you get underway!

pastel paint colors

Which is why we thought we’d share with you a brief yet (we hope) useful guide on the subject of buying the right amount of paint. Technically speaking, you should have all the information you need right there in front of you, making it difficult to go wrong. Follow these six steps and you should be able to strike the ideal balance – not too much, never too little:

1. Measure Your Room

For obvious reasons, the first and most important thing to do is measure your room. Measure the width, length and height of the room in order to find out its total surface area. Then make the necessary subtractions for the ceiling, floor and any walls you don’t intend to paint. Alternatively, measure each wall separately and add it all together. You’ll need these measurements when the time comes to buy your chosen paint, so make sure they’re as accurate as possible.

2. Don’t Forget Windows & Doors

One hugely common mistake is that of taking accurate measurements, only to then forget to add or subtract the doors and windows into the equation. If you’re planning to paint the windows and doors around the room/home, then of course they’ll need to be included in your measurements. However, if you’re not planning to paint them, you’ll need to measure their surface area and subtract them. When painting the whole of your home, buying too much paint having forgotten to subtract doors and windows can see you needlessly overspending.

3. Buy the Right Amount of Paint

Here’s the thing when it comes to buying the right amount of paint – not all paints are created equally. As a very general rule of thumb, it’s typically said that a bucket of paint with 4-liters of the stuff will be enough to paint a surface of 32 square meters. However, if you pick up the shoddiest paint money can buy, it isn’t going to come anywhere near this. Likewise, invest in the most outstanding paint on the market and you might find it covers a much bigger area. So it’s best not to take this rule as gospel, but instead see what your chosen paint manufacturer or store has to say about it.

4. Count the Coats

You should be able to work out from the quality of the paint you choose how many coats are going to be needed. More often than not, you’ll be needing two if you’re planning a major colour change, or painting a raw material following application of primer. Though again, it all comes down to the quality of the paint you choose. For obvious reasons, if you’re going to need two coats of paint, you need to double the amount you’ve calculated using the measurements of your rooms.

5. Application Method

The tools you use to apply the paint to your walls can also make a big difference to how much you’ll need. For example, a bargain-basement roller that splatters the stuff all over the place is always going to be more wasteful than a premium brush. Likewise, using a paint sprayer in the wrong conditions (i.e. outdoors in the wind) can also lead to wastage. Always use the best tools you can lay your hands on, in order to keep wastage to a minimum.

6. A Little Extra

Last but not least, it’s important to always buy at least a little more paint than you need for two reasons. First of all, there’s a good chance you’ll make a few mistakes along the way and could end up needing it. Secondly, if you don’t need it now, you definitely will a little further down the line when touch-ups are required. So it’s a good idea to buy it now, rather than risk not being able to get hold of the same shade when you need it.

For more information on anything to do with interior painting, get in touch with the Homm CPS team today.