Calculating floor square footage for painting walls

by Ramakaant S
(PuneMaharashtra, India)

Is there any publication which will indicate interior paint-able area of an apartment in generalized terms?

As an example a 600 square foot apartment may have 4500 square feet of wall surface area to paint etc.


I'm not sure if there's a publication but the number your looking for is 2.3 multiplied by the floor area.

By making the above calculation you will get the square footage for the walls only. Surface area of the windows, doors, wood trim, cabinets and any tub surrounds (or shower stalls) etc. are not included in the total 2.3 x sq ft multiple.

As an example if you have a floor square footage of 1000 and multiply that by 2.3 you will end up with an answer of 2300. You can now assume that you will need to buy paint (or allot enough time) to cover 2300 sq ft of wall surface area.

Since 1 gallon of regular wall paint covers 450 sq ft of surface area (give or take about 50 to 75 sq ft per gallon) you can count on having to buy about 4 or 5 gallons of paint for the first coat. Your second coat tends to use less product so 3 or 4 gallons should get the job completed.

Once the walls are calculated you will then need to make a different calculation for the doors, jambs, window trim and other wood-work (if your intention is to paint them).

So! With that said, when doing your calculations consider that the average 1000 square foot dwelling has fixtures or surface area (which follow) that may or may not need painting (or a time allotment for painting):

8 to 10 windows (with or without trim)
10 to 12 doors/jambs (on entrances, closets etc.)
Closet shelving (to paint or to paint around)
1 tub surround (to paint around)
Other types of trim (eg. crown molding)
20 to 30 liner feet of cabinets (to paint or paint around)

These are general (average) numbers of course as dwellings with "more" or "less" of the above doors, cabinets and windows etc. can throw the calculation off quite a bit.

Spot priming repairs, having extra walls or a rougher surface etc. can also take more paint or might take longer to coat than normal.


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