How Much Paint Do You Need?

How Much Paint Do You Need?

Sep 1, 2010
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Great Valspar Resources for Painting:

Apartments can vary so much in size, so knowing how much paint you're going to need can be tricky. (There is a complicated math formula to help you determine exactly how much you'll need, but a quick trick is to use Valspar's Paint Calculator. Just enter your room's length, width, height, and number of windows and doors, and it'll tell you how many gallons of paint you'll need per coat.) When painting a whole apartment, we usually think of it this way: a gallon of paint covers roughly 350 square feet. Small apartment painting can usually be done with a gallon of paint but will depend on square footage, type of surface being coated and the condition of that surface.

Older flat/matte sheens may absorb paint as it is applied and priming is something that will always help the final application. Using a multi-purpose latex primer will help greatly with coverage of the paint and will also help deliver an even appearance. When painting glossy or shiny surfaces, it is recommended that they be de-glossed and washed prior to application. Primer will always help in developing a good adhesive bond with the substrate and will allow for better top coat coverage. For any application to new dry wall, a specific new construction or PVA latex primer is recommended, even if using a self priming paint. This will help to seal the surface porosity of the paper and give a surface which is formulated to accept a new paint layer.

To recap:

  • You'll need more paint if the walls are unsealed. Use an appropriate primer to save time and money on paint.
  • You'll need more paint if you plan to do multiple coats.
  • You'll need more paint if you're painting a dark color and need a primer.

(Image: Rachel Wray)

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