Knowing standard paint can size and dimensions help painters estimate the amount of paint they need for a job.
It also allows them to determine how much paint to buy in order to complete a project.
Additionally, understanding different sizes of paint can available help the painters calculate the amount of time it will take to complete a job, as well as the cost of materials.
Finally, painters who know standard paint can size and dimensions can better plan their work schedules and avoid potential problems associated with running out of paint or having too much leftover.
So, if you want to know all about standard paint can sizes, dimensions, and their proper usage then keep reading because this article will provide you with everything that you need to know!
Paint Can Size Chart – Capacity & Dimensions
|Can Size||Amount of Paint||Diameter||Height|
|Quarter Pint||4 fl. oz. (0.12L)||2 ½”||2 1/16”|
|Half Pint||8 fl. oz. (0.28L)||2 7/8”||2 7/8”|
|Pint||16 fl. oz. (0.47L)||3 7/16”||3 15/16”|
|Quart||32 fl. oz. (0.95L)||4 1/4”||4 7/8”|
|Half Gallon||64 fl. oz. (1.89L)||5 3/8”||5 7/8”|
|Gallon||128 fl. oz. (3.79L)||6 1/2″||7 1/2″|
|5 Gallon||640 fl. oz. (18.93L)||12”||14 1/2″|
Standard Paint Can Sizes
The most popular paint can sizes are one pint, one quart, and one gallon.
But remember those aren’t the only options you’ll find on the market, because paint cans today come in a much wider range including five-gallon, and ten-gallon sizes to as small as quarter-pints.
1- One-gallon paint cans
These are the most popular size for home projects.
One gallon can of paint covers approximately 400 square feet, which is enough to cover a small room like a bathroom.
If you’re painting a larger area, like an entire living room or kitchen, you may need to purchase multiple one-gallon cans of paint.
2- Quart-size paint cans
Quart-size paint cans are perfect for smaller projects like painting a door or trim.
One quart can of paint covers approximately 100 square feet.
This is the second most popular size after one-gallon cans and you should be able to find them at any hardware store.
3- Pint-size paint cans
Pint-size paint cans are the smallest size that you’ll find on the market.
One pint can of paint covers approximately 50 square feet. And this size is perfect for touch-ups or very small projects.
You can find pint-size cans of paint at any paint shop or hardware store near you.
4- Five-gallon paint cans
Five-gallon paint cans are typically used for commercial projects or very large areas like a warehouse.
One five-gallon can of paint covers approximately 2,000 square feet.
You likely won’t find this size at your local hardware store and will need to purchase it from a professional paint supplier.
5- Ten-gallon paint cans
Ten-gallon paint cans are also used for commercial projects, but not as frequently as five-gallon cans.
One ten-gallon can of paint covers approximately 4,000 square feet.
Like the five-gallon size, you likely won’t find this can size at your local hardware store and will need to purchase it from a professional paint supplier.
Standard Paint Can Dimensions
Now that you know the standard paint can sizes that are available, let’s take a look at the dimensions of each so you can better understand how much paint they hold.
1/2 Pint Can – Dimensions: 2.88” diameter x 3” high | Capacity: 0.0625 gallons (8 fluid ounces)
1 Pint Can – Dimensions: 3.5” diameter x 3.99” height | Capacity: 0.125 gallons (16 fluid ounces)
1 Quart Can – Dimensions: 4.25” diameter x 4.88” height | Capacity: 0.25 gallons (32 fluid ounces)
1 Gallon Can – Dimensions: 6.5” diameter x 7.5” height | Capacity: 1 gallon (128 fluid ounces)
5 Gallon Bucket – Dimensions: 11.75” diameter x 14.5” height | Capacity: 5 gallons (640 fluid ounces)
10 Gallon Bucket – Dimensions: 12.75” diameter x 18.5” height | Capacity: 10 gallons (1,280 fluid ounces)
As you can see in the table/chart above, each paint can size has different dimensions.
The diameter is the measurement across the top of the can while the height is measured from the bottom of the can to the lip.
To calculate the capacity or how much liquid paint is in the can, simply multiply the diameter by the height.
Why is Paint Not Sold in 1/2 Gallons?
The simple answer is that paint is not sold in 1/2 gallons because the industry has standardized around 1 gallon and smaller increments (i.e. 1/2 pint, 1 quart, etc).
There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, paint is not sold in 1/2 gallon containers.
There are a few reasons for this:
1) Its the smallest unit in paint
1 gallon is the smallest unit of measure for paint.
This is because the paint is typically sold by the gallon and smaller containers would not make sense from a marketing or sales perspective.
2) 1 gallon is the minimum required
1/2 gallon containers would not be able to hold the amount of paint needed to cover a typical room.
Most rooms require at least 1 gallon of paint, so a 1/2 gallon container would not be sufficient and are therefore less in demand.
3) 1/2 gallon containers are not cost-effective
Paint companies want to sell their product in larger containers because it is more profitable.
It costs the same amount to produce a 1/2 gallon container of paint as it does a 1-gallon container, but the 1-gallon container will sell for more money.
4) 1/2 gallon containers are also not easy to store
Not only they are difficult to store but they can be difficult to pour too.
Paint companies usually need to sell their products in a container that is easy to use, store and transport.
1/2 gallon containers are not as easy to use and store as 1-gallon containers, so they are not as popular with consumers.
What is the Available Spray Paint Can Sizes?
Spray paint cans (or aerosolized cans) come in a variety of sizes, but the most common sizes are:
- 4.5 fluid ounces
- 6 fluid ounces
- 12 fluid ounces
- 16 fluid ounces
Mostly spray paint cans of 6 and 12 ounces are perfect for small jobs around the house.
For very small touch-ups you can buy 4.5 ounces can. However, for larger projects, you may need a bigger can of spray paint such as 16 fluid ounces or even 20 fluid ounces (less commonly used).
Spray paint coverage is dependent on the thickness of the paint and how it’s applied.
Some spray paints are thicker than others, allowing them to cover a greater surface area with less material.
Spraying paint using a can with an output of 4.5 ounces covers 7 square feet on average, whereas cans with outputs of 16 ounces cover 30 square feet on average. The other sizes will fall between those figures.
How many ounces in a quart of paint?
A quart of paint typically contains 32 ounces of paint. This is the equivalent of 2 pints or 1/4 gallon or in liters, it is 0.946 L.
Quart paint cans are a common container size for paint because they contain just the right amount of paint for smaller jobs.
For example, painting a door or small piece of furniture would require around 1 quart of paint whereas painting an entire room would require more (usually 1 gallon or more).
How much does a can of spray paint cover?
The amount of spray paint coverage varies depending on the brand, type, and quality of paint.
Some brands of spray paint claim to cover up to 25 square feet while others claim to cover up to 50 square feet.
It is important to read the label on the can of spray paint before purchasing to make sure it will cover the desired area.
Is it cheaper to buy 5-gallon paint than other sizes?
No, 5-gallon paint is not necessarily cheaper than other sizes. The price of 5-gallon paint again depends on the brand, quality, and type of paint.
Some brands of paint are more expensive than others, so it is important to compare prices before purchasing.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know all about standard paint can sizes, their dimensions, and their capacity, it’s time to put this knowledge to use!
When it comes to painting, always choose the right container size for the job at hand.
For smaller jobs, 1 quart or 1-gallon cans will suffice.
For larger jobs, such as painting an entire room, it will be necessary to purchase 5-gallon paint cans.
Keep in mind that the type of paint and brand you choose will also affect the price, so be sure to compare prices before making a purchase.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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