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Star Paint

How much paint do I need for my paint project?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: how much paint do I need for my paint project? This is why we developed a paint calculator to help you work out exactly how many tins you need to buy. In addition to using the paint calculator, here are seven questions you need to ask yourself before buying any paint.

7 questions to ask to help you decide how much paint you need

1. What paint do I want to use for my project?

How much paint you need will largely depend on the type of paint you choose. Some paints will require you to paint on more than just one coat. Some paints will be thicker than others, which will require fewer coats. On the other hand, some inferior quality paints are watered down so you will need more coats. With that in mind, cheaper paints are not necessarily cheaper in the long run so choose the paint you use wisely. Read the instructions on the back of the tin to learn how many coats you need to paint.

2. What type of surface am I painting?

There are different paints for different surfaces like cement, wood, ceramic, metal or other. There is also interior and exterior paint, and wall and ceiling paint. So the amount of paint you need depends on the surface you are painting, the appropriate paint for that surface and how much of that particular paint is required according to the instructions.

3. Will I be using any other products before or after painting?

If you’re using other products like primers/undercoats and overcoats then you will likely need fewer coats of your main paint. You’ll just need to use the paint calculator to carefully work out how much of each paint product you will need for your paint project.

4. Is the surface being painted for the first time or repainted?

Painting a surface for the first time will usually require less paint as there is no prior colour to paint over. If the surface is quite damaged and being repainted then you will need to do a few more coats. In addition, if you are painting a lighter colour over an existing darker colour then you will need quite a few coats. On the other hand, if you are painting a darker colour over an existing lighter colour then you won’t need as many coats.

5. What colour paint am I going to use?

Lighter colours will inevitably require more coats, whereas you’ll need fewer coats for darker colours. So bear in mind, when you’re choosing your paint colour, that you will likely need more paint with lighter paint colours and less paint with darker paint colours.

6. What can I exclude from my calculation?

When you’re calculating how much paint you will need for your paint project, remember to exclude the things you won’t be painting like windows, doors and any other fixed features.

7. What is the total surface area that I am painting?

It seems quite obvious, but when calculating how much paint you need, make sure you add up the total surface area that you will be painting. Don’t forget to use our paint calculator tool to help you with this.

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