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Old 02-19-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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How much paint?


Painting the living room. It is currently a deep blood red and going to a beige color. Haven't nailed down the exact shade yet but it will be a light shade of taupe to tan. We will be covering about 500 square feet. Buying Sherwin Williams paint, how much primer and paint will we need? I'm guessing one coat primer and two coats with the actual color we choose. Welcome to all advice. Also, what about rollers. I know not to use the cheapo stuff but what length nap is best for painting a smooth finish on drywall? Thanks

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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How much paint?


A quality gallon of paint like Sherwin-Williams covers 350-400 sq. ft. per gallon. Although red can be a difficult color to cover, I don't think you need a primer unless you are going to a very light tan. Taupe should cover red in two coats. Two gallons sounds about right & will leave you with some paint leftover for future touch-ups, etc. I almost always use a 1/2 inch roller sleeve from the Wooster Co. It holds lots of paint and releases it to the wall evenly and efficiently. Purdy also makes some nice roller sleeves.

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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How much paint?


Assuming the walls are in good shape and you are not patching you might get by without a primer. If you are changing from oil to latex or vice versa especially you should prime to be safe. If you patch, you will have to at least spot prime the patches. Tint the primer to 40 percent or so of your new color formula. Whatever you decide, remember paint and primer do not come in the same can in spite of marketing hype! If you decide to prime everything, you will need 2 gallons. If you have not subtracted for windows and doors in that sfootage you might get by with 1 gallon.

As mentioned, good quality paint should cover about 350-400sf. Don't forget to factor in the ceiling if you are painting it the same color. And for a single room you can subtract for doors and windows if they are part of your 500sf estimate. I usually left them in figuring the client would have paint left for touch up.

Two coats of finish would be 1,000sf right (twice times 500sf)? I fear if you have subtracted for windows and doors and that is actual wall surface, 2 gallons might not stretch and you will need 3. You certainly do not need 5. However, if it is a color and sheen you would use somewhere else in the near future the price differential for buying in a 5 gallon bucket MIGHT make it appealing over buying 3 gallons. You have to see what deals are being cut. No reason to have gallons of paint you will not use laying around though.

Make sure to mix your gallons tinted together. It is unlikely there would be a major color difference in the tinting process but sometimes with tans and other light or really dark colors, a subtle change will be noticeable.

I always bought good quality but contractor grade roller covers for applying flat paint. 3/8 minimum but usually 1/2 for for smooth walls. Thicker if the walls were textured. 1-1.5 for things like brick. I find it hard to justify gallons and gallons of fresh water to rescue a $5 roller cover. I just wrapped them in plastic and stored them in a cool dry place until done with the job.

Last edited by user1007; 02-19-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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How much paint?


Quantity depends a lot on the porosity of the walls, and they are likely well-sealed if its painted red. I'd get maximum 2 gallons of premium paint.
Unless you live hours away from a paint store, you can always get another gallon in the off chance.

I find that 400sq.ft /gallon will get you 2 coats for repaints. Very different story going over builder coat though...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ARC Painting View Post
Unless you live hours away from a paint store, you can always get another gallon in the off chance.

I find that 400sq.ft /gallon will get you 2 coats for repaints. Very different story going over builder coat though...
Agreed but there is the off chance the color of the third gallon will be off just enough that you may end up having to repaint an entire wall to blend in. And it will always show blotchy if off and you use it for touch-up of the other walls.

ARC is right though, you may be able to SQUEEZE coverage out of two coats of decent paint. I do worry you are covering such a deep red color though.

I cannot tell you how many times it has come down to milking every last drop of paint out of a roller cover or realizing I have needed not an extra gallon but like an extra quart! A mixed quart, even if available in the paint you are using, is unlikely to achieve a tint match to a mixed and tinted gallon though.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #6
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How much paint?


Thanks for the input. Bought three but two gallons did the job. Also want to thank everyone on this board for all their input about paint quality. After reading different posts on this forum I decided to buy S.W. paint instead of following the crowd to Home Depot. Hard to believe the difference in the paint. I am now a dedicated S.W. customer when it comes to paint! Thanks again!

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