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Dr Dulux: How To Work Out How Much Paint You Need for Any Home Decorating Project

How much paint do I need? Let Dulux show you how to calculate your paint coverage. Estimate the paint needed for woodwork, feature walls and any size room.


How much paint do I need for my project? How many coats of paint are needed? If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone. Buy too little paint and you end up back and forth to purchase more. Buy too much and you end up with cans stacked up in the shed (although this could be useful for touch ups!) If only such thing as a paint calculator existed, eh? Well, you’re in luck, because we’re here to show you just how simple it can be to calculate the paint you need with just three easy steps, no guesstimates necessary. 

dulux woman painting

Step 1 - Measure up

First off, you need to grab a tape measure to work out the height and width of the surface you want to paint. Then, multiply the height and width together to get your square metre measurement. Subtract any windows and doors by using the same calculation method and deducting it from the total.

Step 2 - Calculate your coats

This is where we answer your how many coats of paint query. If you use Dulux Simply Refresh, you’ll only need to apply one coat of paint. But if you opt for a more durable finish with Dulux EasyCare Washable & Tough, multiply your number by two (the number of coats needed). That’s your paint coverage sorted.

Step 3 - Divide and conquer

Finally, divide the number by the square metre per litre listed on your paint tin or in the online product information. And there you have it, you’ve worked out the amount of paint you need.

So that’s your how much paint do I need concern covered, but what about where to start? Dr Dulux provides expert advice on the best order to paint a room in, here.

dulux paint brush

I’m already in-store, how much paint do I need?

Do not fret! If you don’t have the measurements of the space you’re painting to hand, but you need to purchase that paint, we’ve put together a handy paint estimator.

Roller Tester
Enough for a small patch on a wall

Interior Wood and Metal
A 750ml tin is perfect for a door or the skirting in a small room

Feature Wall
A 1 litre tin will be ideal to paint a 2.5m interior wall

Small Room
Around 2.5 litres would cover all walls in a 2m x 2m or equivalent room

Medium Room
You’ll need about 5 litres to cover all walls in a 4m x 4m or equivalent room 

paint roller emerald glade

Psssst! Bought too much paint?

If you haven’t used our paint calculator in the past and ended up with some leftover paint, rather than let it stack up in your shed, you could donate it to Community RePaint. It’s a UK-wide paint recycling scheme sponsored by Dulux and it collects and redistributes paint to improve lives within communities. Interested? You can find a participating centre near you at communityrepaint.org.uk.

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