How much paint do I need?

  1. Surface area of the surface(s) to be painted.
  2. Spreading rate of the paint being used.
  3. The number of coats needed.


  1. To paint the living room walls - not including the ceiling. The walls are 3m high, with a total of 18m of wall length (allowing for doors and windows) the surface area is 3m x 18m = 54m2.
  2. The walls are currently painted and are in good condition. Resene Zylone Sheen - low sheen acrylic is selected and has a theoretical spreading rate of 11 square metres per litre.
  3. Because the walls are previously painted and in good condition, only two coats of Zylone Sheen will be required.

To work out how much paint is needed for your interior or exterior project use our paint calculator:

(Surface area / Spreading rate) x Number of coats = the litres of paint required

Wall length

Surface Area(m2) 

Spreading rate(m2/L) 

No. of coats 

Calculated result: Litres in total

NB: Porous surfaces and shapes
(ie corrugated iron) will require more paint.

Quick steps to estimate paint litres from house plans

To get a rough idea of how much paint you will approximately need when you only have house plans to work from, use the following calculations…

Look for the statement of area on the house plans – e.g. 186m2

Divide this by

10 = litres of sealer for ceilings
5 = litres of 2 coats for ceilings
4 = litres of sealer for walls
2 = litres of 2 coats for walls
25 = litres of primer for trim/doors/frames
15 = litres of 2 coats for trim/doors/frames

Enter the square area (m2) of house plan below and press "Calculate"


You will need...

litres of sealer for ceilings

litres of 2 coats for ceilings

litres of sealer for walls

litres of 2 coats for walls

litres of primer for trim/doors/frames

litres of 2 coats for trim/doors/frames

This quick estimate works as a general guide for most houses, but extreme designs or colour palettes tailored to each room will need a more careful approach with each room calculated individually.

Resene Paints Ltd

Resene Paints Ltd   –

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