Estimating Paint Quantity

Pink shades of paint on lids

Ideally, you should buy just enough paint to complete the project and have enough left over for future touch ups. Each Kelly-Moore product has a recommended coverage area expressed in Ft2/G on the label and in the Technical Data Sheets (TDS) for that product. This number gives a theoretical estimate of how many square feet one gallon of paint will cover in one coat over a smooth, non-porous substrate.

When estimating paint quantity, it is also important to consider the following:

  • How many coats of paint will be applied? For more vibrant colors and drastic color changes multiple coats may be required.
  • What application method will be used? Airless spray application generally requires up to 35% more paint volume than brushing or rolling, as some paint will be lost due to overspray and when setting up and cleaning the spray equipment.
  • How porous is the surface to be painted? Extremely porous substrates like brick, uncoated drywall, and bare wood can require significantly higher amounts of primer or paint.
  • How smooth is the surface to be painted? Paint will spread much farther over extremely smooth and/or glossy surfaces than over rough, heavily textured surfaces.