How to Pick The Right Paint Can Sizes: Standard Wall Coverage

Different paint sizes

One of the easiest and cheapest home upgrades is painting your walls for a whole new look, and knowing the paint can sizes and dimensions will help any painter or homeowner know and estimate the amount needed to get the job done. This will also give them an idea of how much paint to buy to complete the project and the time it will take for a painting project. The cost of materials will also be covered by knowing the can sizes. [toc]

There are many benefits to knowing can size, and making sure that there is enough and there won’t be too much leftover is also integral to knowing sizes

What Size Does Paint Come In? 

Paint can sizes

Depending on what the paint job will be, paint cans are available in a variety of sizes and dimensions. The standard of them is the 1-pint, 1-quarter and 1-gallon paint cans. Although the standard may seem small initially, these are not the only size available, and bigger paint cans are there for much bigger projects. 

The most standard or most commonly bought for the bigger paint cans is the 5-gallon bucket commonly utilized for big projects. There are also half pints and half gallons of paint cans for DIY projects or even canvas painting for intermediate sizes

Standard Sizes Of Paint Cans (and Wall Coverage) 

Illustration of pain cans with table

Knowing the paint sizes is very useful, and by measuring the surface area of the wall or the project to be painted, it will be easier to determine the specific paint can needed for the work or project.

Here are some standard paint can sizes and the wall surface they will cover

Size of the 1-Gallon Can

A gallon of paint can have a height of 7.4 inches or around 19 centimeters and a diameter of 6.5 inches or 17 centimeters. This can cover a surface area of about 400 square feet painted with one coating. In terms of how much is inside, it is around 3.8 liters. 

This is the most common paint can and the go-to for many people since it can be used for painting anything from laundry rooms to pantries to bathrooms and even home offices. Depending on the room size, it’s possible to coat walls plus ceiling with a single-gallon can. 

Half-Gallon Can Size

Other than the one-gallon can, the half-gallon is also commonly utilized by many homeowners. This can hold around 1.9 liters of color and has a dimension of 5.38 inches or approximately 14 centimeters and a diameter of 5.88 inches or 15 centimeters.

The wall coverage of a half-gallon can cover an area of 200 square feet. This area can be a closet or ceiling or enough to cover an accent wall in a particular room. It will cover less area for walls but will be more than enough when painting furniture pieces. 

1 Quart Paint Can Size

This container can cover a surface of 100 square feet painted with one coat. A quarter pint is often forgotten because it is between some of the most popular can sizes, the one-pint and the half-gallon.

The 1 quart measurement can have a height from top to bottom of 4.88 inches or about 12 centimeters and a diameter of 4.25 inches or about 11 centimeters. All in all, the amount available in this can is around 0.95 liters.

This size is perfect for adding details to crown moldings and smaller pieces of furniture and enough to cover a smaller pantry. 

Can Size for 1 Pint of Paint

We are moving on to the smaller pints and start with the one-pint, which carries around 0.47 liters. Cans for this size are 3.99 inches or 10 centimeters from top to bottom with a diameter of 3.5 inches or about 9 centimeters.

For homeowners with a wall space of 50 square feet, this is the perfect size to get, although this size is best for trim works and touch-ups. It can also coat small furniture pieces. 

1/2 Pint Can Sizes

If a pint is too much for the touch-up job a homeowner or any painter will be doing, downsizing to a half-pint is the best solution to avoid waste.

Half a pint of flat coat can cover an area of 25 square feet and will stand with a height from top to bottom of 3 inches or around 8 centimeters with a diameter of 2.88 inches or 7 centimeters.

This can holds up to 0.28 liters. This size is perfect for minor trim work and touch-ups. 

Ideal Size of Cans for 1/4 Pint Paint

A quarter pint is the most miniature can size you can find in most stores, and with only 0.14 liters of color inside the can, it can cover a space of up to 12 square feet in height with the proper technique and usage.

This can size measures with a height of 2 inches or 5 centimeters with a diameter of 2.5 inches or 6 centimeters. This can is perfect for color selection or even for specific touch-up works. 

Other Paint Container Sizes 

5-gallon paint bucket

Other than all the cans listed above, there are more needs for larger projects; that is where the 5-gallon bucket bucket will come in. This bucket holds up to 19.93 liters of finish and is ready to cover an area of 2000 square feet.

This can will be enough to cover two rooms painted in the same color. The only downside to this size is that only some local stores often have them in stock, making the need to order them or go into bigger stores to purchase them for any bigger painting project. 

Spray Paint Can Sizes 

Spray paint sizes

Another way to cover aging furniture is by using spray cans to make the job easier and even. There are many sizes available for spray paint, from the smaller 4.5 fluid ounces ready to cover an area of 7 square feet to 6 fluid ounces, which is impressive for quick makeovers and revamping wicker pieces of furniture

There are also bigger cans that hold up to 12 fluid ounces ready to cover an area of 20 square feet to the bigger 16 fluid ounces enough to cover an area of 30 square feet. These cans are perfect for revamping fireplaces or even window frames. 

How to Calculate How Much Paint Is Needed 

When a color is decided, the next step is estimating the amount of coverage needed for a particular space. By doing this, there is less purchased to avoid wastage which will help save the owners some funds during the makeover job. 

Total Square Footage 

Estimating the amount of finish needed for a job is easy to do and will only require basic math that any homeowner can quickly do. All it requires is dividing the space’s square footage by the available can size

To illustrate: if a homeowner has a room 16 by 22 feet in floor area with a ceiling 8 feet high, a double door, and a couple of windows. The initial thing to do is to calculate the total square footage of the walls in the room

The room perimeter is 16 feet plus 22 feet which will yield 38 feet, now multiply this number by two, and you will get a perimeter of 76 feet. Now, calculate the total wall area by multiplying the perimeter of 76 feet by the ceiling height of 8 feet, giving a product of 608 square feet. 

Subtract Windows and Doors 

The next thing is to subtract the door area, which is often standard at 21 square feet and the windows, which are standard at 15 square feet, from the total wall area calculated (608 square feet.)

That is 608 square feet minus a double door of 21 square feet and a couple of windows at 15 square feet, yielding a total of 536 square feet. So the total wall area to be covered and painted is 536 square feet. 

How Much Paint and Primer Is Needed? 

Paint quantity formula with man painting a wall

For a wall space of around 536 square feet, like the one example above, the wall primer and enamel can be easily calculated. The thing to do is to divide the total wall area, or 536 square feet, by 200 square feet, which is the coverage of a half-gallon can of wall covers.

All in all, you will get 2.68 gallons. That is about 2 one-gallon cans plus a half-gallon covering a bedroom that big. All homeowners must do is follow this process to determine how much acrylic and primer they need for a specific space. 

How Many Ounces Is a Standard Paint Can?

The ounces in a standard enamel can depend on what particular can a homeowner wants. A gallon with 3.8 liters of color inside is around 128 fluid ounces. A half-gallon with 1.9 liters inside will be 64 fluid ounces.  

Any homeowner can use one of the many different conversion tools on the internet or calculate and convert liters to fluid ounces to get the liquid ounce value they need to make their search easier. 

Is 1 Quart Of Paint Enough for One Wall? 

If the wall is only 12 square feet, a quarter pint will be enough to cover it with one coating, but anything more extensive than this size will be inadequate.

A quarter pint only has 0.14 liters or 4.73 fluid ounces of color, enough for touch-ups and smaller furniture upkeep, but it will not be enough for standard wall coverage. They are great for painting color samples but not for complete wall coverage. 

Does Paint Come in Half-a-Gallon? 

Yes, a can of wall coating comes in half a gallon with 1.9 liters or about 64 fluid ounces.

This is one of the most common can sizes after the giant gallon utilized by many homeowners and painters, and cans for this size will stand with a height from top to bottom of 5.38 inches or about 14 centimeters and a diameter of 5.88 inches or 15 centimeters. 

How Much Does One-Half Gallon Paint Cover? 

With 1.9 liters inside, a half gallon of acrylic finish can do a lot when it comes to home improvement and furniture revamping. For the standard sizes, it is the second most popular after a gallon with the things it could cover. Overall, a half gallon can can cover 200 square feet of wall space.

This will be enough to cover small areas like bathrooms, pantries, or laundry rooms from the floor up. They can also supplement gallons if not enough for painting a total wall area of a given space. 

Will One Gallon Of Paint Cover a 12×12 Room?

Newly painted room with step ladder

If any homeowner has a room 12 by 12 feet with a ceiling height of 8 feet, more than a gallon of enamel is needed to cover the whole wall space.

The homeowner’s best bet is to get a half gallon more to ensure that it will cover the complete wall space from the edge of the wall to the floor up to the highest wall tip to the ceiling. It will also ensure that they will have enough for the color to pop, which will often require multiple coatings

What Is the Smallest Paint Can Size?

The smallest can of enamels and finishes anyone will find is a quarter pint. With only 0.14 liters inside the can, it is mighty enough that it can cover a wall space of around 12 square feet all in all.

The best use any homeowner can get with a quarter pint is doing touch-up work for a newly painted wall or adding details to an already painted one. 

Visit our guide to paint brush sizes for more related content.

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