What Are the Paint Can Sizes?

Beginning a painting project can be both exciting and daunting. Beyond choosing the perfect hue, understanding paint can sizes is crucial for project success. This guide unravels the mystery behind different paint can dimensions, ensuring you precisely gauge how much paint is needed.

  • Paint cans vary in size from 1/4 pint to 5 gallons.
  • Accurate size estimation is vital to prevent wastage and multiple store visits.
  • Each paint can size has specific coverage, crucial for project planning.

Paint Can Sizes

Paint Can Sizes
Illustration: © Homenish, 2023, Paint Can Sizes

There are different paint can sizes available in the market, which include the following:

  • 1 gallon – A one-gallon paint can has a diameter of 6.5 inches and it is 7.5 inches tall. Additionally, it also contains about 128 fluid ounces of paint.
  • 1 quart – A paint can with a size of 1 quart is about 4 7/8 inches tall and it has a diameter of 4 1/4 inches. For its contents, this can contains about 32 fluid ounces of paint.
  • 1 pint – A one-pint paint can has a height of 3 15/16 inches and a diameter of about 3 7/16 inches. Aside from that, one pint can hold about 16 fluid ounces of paint.
  • 1/2 gallon – A half-gallon paint can has a diameter of 5 3/8 inches and it has a height of 5 7/8 inches. Additionally, this can size can hold up to 64 fluid ounces of paint.
  • 1/2 pint – A paint can with a size of half a pint has a diameter and height of 2.875 inches. Aside from that, it also contains about eight fluid ounces of paint.
  • 1/4 pint – A 1/4 pint of paint can has a diameter of two inches and a height of 2.5 inches. Also, it can hold up to four fluid ounces of paint.
  • 5 gallons – For large projects, you can purchase a 5-gallon paint can. This container has a diameter of 12 inches and a height of 14 1/2 inches. Plus, it can hold up to 640 fluid ounces of paint.

How Much Paint Do You Need?

How Much Paint Do You Need?

The amount of paint you’ll need will depend on the space you’re going to paint. Ideally, a gallon of paint is enough to cover about 400 square feet. On the other hand, two gallons of paint is enough to cover an average-sized room that has a size of 800 square feet.

You also pay attention to the paint roller as understanding paint roller sizes can help in efficiently applying the paint and ensuring a smooth finish.

If you’re going to paint a large room with a dimension of 1,200 square feet, you’ll need at least three gallons of paint. Finally, four gallons of paint is enough to paint a room with a size of 1,600 square feet.

Different Sizes of Spray Paint Cans

Aerosol spray paints come in four different can sizes, which include 16 ounces, 12 ounces, six ounces, and 4 1/2 ounces. Keep in mind that the sizes of spray paints are based on their net weight.

As such, a 4 1/2 can hold up to six fluid ounces of spray paint. On the other hand, a 12-ounce can contains about 16 fluid ounces, while a 16-ounce can has around 20 fluid ounces of paint.

Coverage of Spray Paint

The coverage of spray paint will vary depending on the application method and viscosity of the paint. In general, a 4 1/2 ounce can is enough to cover an area of about seven square feet.

Aside from that, a 12-ounce can is enough for an area of about 20 square feet, while a 16-ounce can cover about 30 square feet

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Paint Cans Made of?

Paint cans are made of tin-coated steel, and they are available in various sizes, ranging from 1/4 pint to five gallons. Also, this container can be made with or without a handle.

Typically, oil-based paints are placed in unlined cans, while water-based paints use epoxy-lined containers or cans.

How Much Space Can a Quart of Paint Cover?

Typically, a one-quart can is enough to cover an area of about 100 square feet. However, this amount is only enough if you’re going to apply a single coat of paint. For double coats, you may need at least two cans of one-quart can of paint.

How Much Space Can a 5-gallon Paint Cover?

As mentioned, a five-gallon can of paint is suitable for large projects. Remember, a gallon of paint is enough to cover a small room with a size of 400 square feet.

Thus, we can estimate that five gallons of paint can be used to cover up to 2,000 square feet or several small-sized rooms.

What Should You Do with Your Empty Paint Cans?

Always remember that paint cans are hazardous materials, especially when they contain paint. If the cans are completely dry or empty, you can throw them in the trash.

In doing this, it is recommended that you remove the lids. That way, the waste hauler can see if the can is dry or empty.

How to Clean Painted Walls?

Cleaning painted walls is simple; however, you have to first know the paint finish of your wall. Remember, flat and matte finishes are harder to clean compared to walls with high-gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

From there, the next step is to dust your walls.

Afterward, you have to protect your floor by covering it with a towel or sheet of paper.

To clean painted walls, you’ll need to mix some dish soap with water. Then, you can gently scrub the wall in circular motions. Finally, rinse the wall with clean water.


If you’re doing a painting project, it is important that you know the different paint can sizes. Through this, you’ll be able to estimate the amount of paint you’ll need for your project.

For instance, if you’re going to paint a room with a size of about 800 square feet, you may need to purchase about two cans of one-gallon paint.

Aside from that, there are also different paint can sizes for smaller projects, including a 1/2 gallon, 1/2 pint, and 1/4 pint can of paint.