# How Many Square Feet Does a Gallon of Paint Cover?

Imagine this: You’re standing in the hardware store, can of paint in hand. As you walk to the counter to get the paint colored your perfect shade, you realize you have no idea how much wall space that can will cover. So … exactly how many square feet does a gallon of paint cover? We’ll help you figure out how many gallons of paint you need for any paint job.

### How Many Gallons of Paint Do You Need?

As a painting pro will tell you, you can get about 400 square feet out of one gallon. That’s the size of a 20-by-20 room, which is the equivalent of a typical two-car garage or a small studio apartment.

However, most paint jobs require more than one coat. That means you’ll need to figure the number of coats into your calculations. For example, if your room needs two coats, you can squeeze about 200 square feet out of a gallon of paint. With that in mind, one gallon would cover a small room, like a bathroom.

Two gallons cover up to 800 feet, which would do two coats on an average-sized room. This is the most common amount of paint people buy, allowing them to paint, say, a living room with two coats.

If you’re doing one large room or two average rooms next to each other, you’ll need three cans. That will cover up to 1,200 square feet.

Four cans will cover a great room or several average rooms, totaling about 1,600 square feet.

Make your paint stretch by using the right tools. A good-quality roller will give you the correct coverage and the best-looking results. Use a 9-inch roller with 3/8-inch nap for smooth walls. Try one with 1/2-inch nap for textured walls.