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How Much Paint Do You Need

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  • paint calculator, painting, home decorating, DIY, dulux paint calculator
  • Posted date:
  • 01-01-1970
How Much Paint Do You Need

When taking on home painting projects, you find yourself wondering if you have enough paint. How many coats do you need, and how much paint for your home decoration project? This article will explain how much paint you need for home decorating? . 

How much paint do I need?

If you find yourself calculating exactly how much paint you need per square metre measurement of your home, it can be confusing and daunting. 

Using a measuring tape along the doors and windows and every wall you intend to paint will give you a rough idea of the paint required. These wall dimensions, the length and width, are only an estimate, and you will benefit from leftover paint for touch-ups and two coats. 

The amount of paint needed does depend on your project, and there is no one answer. The more square metres you're painting, the more coats needed. Porous walls will need extra coats compared to one wall, and if you're using the same colour across multiple surfaces in the same room, you will need to be sure you have enough for more than one coat. 


How Much Paint You Need for Home Decorating

If you find yourself asking, "How Much Paint Do I Need?" and you're consulting online paint calculators all to no avail, we want to make your decorating project as straightforward as possible.

After you have measured the walls, doors, skirting boards and more with a tape measure, you can begin to decipher how many litres and how much paint you need per coat. 

Most leading paints on the market will cover anywhere from 10-12m2 per litre, which is why measuring the room beforehand is vital. 

How to calculate paint quantity

Calculating the paint you need for your decorating project makes the difference between having enough extra coats of paint and running out of coverage. Paint cans can be purchased in set dimensions and measurements, giving you an idea of the quantity you will need.

Most commonly, you can buy 1 litre, 2.5 litres, 5 litres, and 10 litres. 

Obviously, if you require extra coats, you can buy an additional 1 litre on top of your initial measurements. 

On average, you will need more than one coat for any surface, but you need to take into account the porosity of the door, window and space you're painting. 

For example, you will need to use watered down paint as a primer with new plasterwork to allow for complete absorption for your later coats, even if you use the same colours. 


When painting the walls of your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, you should measure the length of all walls in the room and calculate the total.

From there, the room's height should be measured, and you multiply that number with the wall length. 

One example would be a room that is 6 metres wide and 8 metres long, giving you a total of 48 metres.

Multiply this value by the room's height, which on average is 2.5 metres - 3 metres, and you will get 120 square metres. 

Once again, you have to double this for two coats, so you need enough paint for 240 square metres. You will need to remove windows and doors from the overall measurement as you're not painting them. 


If you plan to paint a ceiling, you can begin to calculate the required paint by measuring the length and width of the floor area and multiplying them together. 

You will need to cover the ceiling twice, as this number of coats is recommended. If the space measures 5 metres wide and 7 metres long, this paint calculation is 5 x 7 = 35 square metres. 

Since two coats are required, you will need enough paint to cover 70 square metres.  

General Calculation Tips

Always ensure you have enough paint for two coats, as you will need to top up the first one afterwards. Remove windows, doors, baths, cabinets, cupboards and anything else from your measurements and ensure they are correctly covered during the painting process.

You can use painting calculators online, giving you a rough estimate of the quantity of paint you will need. The area of each wall is calculated individually to help reach the room's total square footage. 

The Dulux Paint Calculator

Try The Paint Calculator

The Dulux Paint Calculator is used by decorators and designers alike to reach a paint quantity for redesigning a room. Using an online paint calculator is easier than you may think and can stop you from buying too much paint.

The final calculation is reached by every 10m2 per litre of paint, which is a standard measurement across the industry. You input the measurements of the walls and ceiling you have recorded with your tape measure, subtract the dimensions of any windows and doors and you are given the correct amount of paint to buy.

If you have issues using the calculator, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team today via phone or email. If you want to try the paint calculator, then you can below:

Common room sizes

To understand how much paint you'll require for common room sizes, we have broken it down into the three main house rooms that are painted. 

Small Child's Bedroom

If you can fit a single bed, table, window and a small wardrobe in your child's room, you will need on average 4 litres of paint. 

This will cover the walls and ceiling in two coats each, but you should, of course, complete these measurements yourself to double-check. 


Medium Master Bedroom

In adult rooms that feature a king-sized bed or a regular double, you will need approximately 5 litres of paint. 

The ceiling may require 2.5-3 coats depending on the shape and age, along with the walls needing two coats. 

If you can buy one more litre, you may find yourself benefitting from it for touch-ups.  

Large Family Living Room

If you are painting your standard living room with sofas, a coffee table and a television, you are looking at approximately 6 litres of paint. 

2 coats for the walls are regular, but the ceiling will need 4-5 coats in some cases.


Differences Between Professional Trade Paints And Retail Paints

The retail paints you buy over the counter differ from professional trade paints, and you will notice a significant benefit from buying professional products. 

Trade paints generally cover further and spread better across walls, thinning less while providing a coat. They are more durable and versatile than retail paints, especially when used by an interior designer or decorator, as they adapt to the client's needs. 

You can buy trade paints in larger quantities than retail paints, typically in more economical quantities too. If you choose to hire a professional interior decorator in your home, you may get deals and discounts from the suppliers, giving you a better deal overall. 


If you require further assistance on your living room designs in 2022, please contact our professional and experienced team of painters and decorators. We will be happy to help you redesign and decorate your lounge spaces for maximum comfort and entertainment. 

For professional interior painting and decorating in Northampton, follow the link below.