paint can sizes

Paint Can Sizes: What Are The Standard Sizes?

Do you struggle with how much paint to get when you go to the home improvement store? 

Knowing the average paint can sizes and how much they cover can help you select an appropriate size for your project without getting too much or too little.

While the most common paint can size is one gallon, there are larger and smaller sizes you can ask for, depending on your needs.

Here’s what you should know.

What are the Most Common Paint Can Sizes?

Most Common Paint Can Sizes

The three most common paint can sizes are a pint, quart, and gallon. However, most home improvement stores also carry half-pints and five-gallon buckets of paint. 

Here’s what you need to know about each – listed from the smallest to largest.

Half Pint

A half-pint of paint is the smallest can size you’ll find at most home improvement stores. It contains eight fluid ounces.

This tiny sample container is suitable for wall touch-ups or small projects. A half-pint will cover a 25 sq ft. section of wall with one coat.

A half-pint can of paint is 2 ⅞ inches in diameter by 2 ⅞ inches tall.

1 Pint

Double the half-pint size, 1 pint of paint contains 16 fluid ounces. It will cover a 50 sq. ft. section of wall with one coat of paint.

Since a pint is small, it’s a common choice for wall touch-ups and small pieces of furniture.

The dimensions of a 1-pint paint can are 3 7/16 inches in diameter by 3 15/16 inches tall.

1 Quart

A quart holds 32 fluid ounces worth of paint. It will cover a 100 sq ft. section of wall with one coat.

Quart size cans are great for painting small areas like a closet or adding detail, like stripes, to a wall.

A quart size can is 4 ¼ inches tall by 4 ⅞ inches high.

1 Gallon

A gallon of paint is the most popular choice among homeowners painting interior walls. One gallon contains 128 fluid ounces worth of paint. 

It will cover 400 square feet of wall space with a single coat – making it ideal for interior rooms. (Keep in mind that most interior walls need at least two coats of paint for proper coverage.)

The dimensions of a one-gallon can are 6 ½ inches in diameter by 7 ½ inches tall.

5 Gallon

A 5-gallon bucket of paint is excellent for large interior jobs where multiple rooms will be the same color. You can also find exterior paint in this size.

A five-gallon bucket holds 640 fluid ounces of paint and will cover 2,000 square feet of wall with one coat.

A five-gallon bucket of paint is 12 inches in diameter by 14 ½ inches tall.

Paint Can Size Chart

If you’re looking for a quick and easy reference, use the chart below for the standard paint can sizes and how much area they’ll cover.

Paint Can SizeFluid OuncesLitersOne Coat CoverageCan DiameterCan Height
½ Pint8.2425 sq. ft.2 ⅞”2 ⅞”
1-Pint16.4750 sq. ft.3 7/16”3 15/16”
1-Quart32.95100 sq. ft.4 ¼” 4 ⅞ “
1-Gallon1283.79400 sq. ft.6 ½”7 ½”
5-Gallon64018.932,000 sq. ft.12”14 ½”

How Many Gallons of Paint Do I Need?

If you’re preparing to paint the interior of your home, make sure to get enough paint to cover your walls with a bit leftover for touch-ups.

But unfortunately, getting the correct amount of paint isn’t always a simple calculation. Instead, there are some key factors you must keep in mind.

The current color of the wall – If your walls are dark, it will take you more paint to adequately cover them. You can help cut down on the number of coats by using paint with a built-in primer.

Color and brand of paint – Darker colors tend to cover the wall better and require fewer coats. But the paint brand also makes a difference as some brands provide better coverage.

Paint vs. paint with primer – A paint with a built-in primer will reduce the number of coats you’ll need to put on the wall.

With all that in mind, it will most likely take two coats of paint to achieve adequate coverage. In some cases, it will take three. 

So, if one gallon of paint covers 400 sq ft of the wall with one coat, it covers 200 sq ft with two coats of paint.

How much paint do I need for a 12 x 12 room?

To cover a 12 x 12 room with two coats of paint, you’ll need one gallon. Even then, you should end up with a bit leftover.

If you are covering your walls with three coats of paint, you’ll need a little over a gallon.

How much paint do I need for a 10 x 10 room?

If you’re painting a 10 x 10 room, go for a gallon of paint- you’ll have enough to add 2-3 coats on your walls.

Frequently Asked Questions

What paint can sizes does Lowes have?

Lowes has five paint can sizes: half-pint, 1-pint, 1-quart, 1-gallon, and 5-gallon. 

What paint can size does the Home Depot have?

Like Lowes, The Home Depot carries half-pint, 1-pint, 1-quart, 1-gallon, and 5-gallon cans of paint. The sizes may vary a bit from brand to brand.

What’s the smallest paint can size?

The smallest paint can size most major home improvement stores carry are ½ pints. These are tiny sample-sized containers containing eight fluid ounces of paint and cover 25 sq. ft.

Final Thoughts

Knowing paint can sizes and how many square feet they cover can help you determine how much paint to get for your project. Remember that it almost always takes two coats of paint to achieve adequate coverage.

If you’re painting an interior room, you’ll most likely need 1-3 gallons of paint, depending on how large the space is. If you need paint for a touch-up or small piece of furniture, opt for a pint or quart.