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Painting Estimates – How to Calculate Square Footage

Painting a house - calculate the square footage first

When it’s time to paint your property, it’s important that you know to plan ahead. By accurately estimating square footage, you can purchase the right amount of paint.  

Painting the house - calculate the square footage first to get a good estimate on the paint required

For many home renovators, the prospect of calculating square footage can feel daunting, especially when you consider the need for multiple coats. Fortunately, there are steps you can follow to simplify the process.  

Here’s everything you need to know to calculate square footage accurately and purchase the right volume of paint.  

The painting process 

Before you start painting your property, you need to know your plan and prepare your resources. 

Prior to laying down drop sheets and opening a paint tin, examine your space, and determine how much surface area you will be painting.  

The more effectively you plan, the more precisely you can determine how much paint you’ll need to get the job done without either running out or overbuying.  

Why accurate estimates are important

Accurate paint estimates can save you time, stress, and money.  

When you know how much paint you’ll need for your chosen surface area, you can plan accordingly.  

With an accurate square footage estimate, you can avoid buying too much paint that will end up going to waste. You can also avoid buying too little paint and having to rebuy and colour match later on.  

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu at Pexels

How to calculate square footage

How much paint do you need?  

This can feel like a challenging question, but it doesn’t have to be.  

Start by determining where you want to paint. Are you working in a single room, or are you painting a whole house interior? 

When you know where paint is needed, take a measuring tape, and check the length of the walls you will be painting from end to end. This is the perimeter of your surface area. 

Once you’ve done this, check the height of your walls, stretching all the way from the floor to the ceiling. Multiply the surface length by the height. This will provide a general estimate of square footage.  

Generally speaking, 1 litre of paint is enough to cover 6 to 6.5 square metres of space. Divide your total estimate surface area by 6.5 to determine how many litres of paint you will need.  The coverage can vary depending on paint brands, so be sure to check the tin.

Next, consider your surface type. If you’re repainting over a light colour, you may need fewer coats, while a dark or drywall surface may require more coats. 

Remember, you need enough paint to cover your surface area more than once, often accommodating up to 3 or 4 coats. You’ll also need a little paint left over for retouching in the future.  

Need help painting your property? Contact AJ Cochrane & Sons for a quote. 

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