How Much Does a Gallon of Paint Weigh?


Last updated: September 6, 2023

Discover How Much a Gallon of Paint Weigh in This Comprehensive Guide

How much does a gallon of paint weigh?

Whether you’re working on a piece of art or renovating the walls in your room, you will need to determine how much paint you need for the project. Since most paints are sold in gallons, this would mean determining how many gallons of paint you need.

While choosing a paint brand doesn’t usually present an issue, calculating the exact amount of paint might not be as straightforward.

In this article, we will look at the different types of paint available and their respective weights per U.S. gallon.

How Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Weigh?

The weight of paint depends on the brand and what type of paint it is. On average, most paints weigh about 6 to 12 pounds per gallon. Each paint contains a different medium, which means their densities are different, hence weight too.

What Are the Standard Paint Measurements?

Before delving into the different types of paint and their weight, we need to understand the various standards used for paint measurements. 

Paint is typically measured in gallons. One and five gallons are the most common sizes you can buy from most hardware stores.

The gallon is a unit of volume, and it measures how much space something takes up. In the case of paint, it is the amount of space occupied by the paint. 

The gallon doesn’t change, irrespective of the substance being measured. And that is because volume is unaffected by weight or density. This means that a gallon of paint and a gallon of water have the same volume or amount of liquid.

However, the term “gallon” can refer to different volumes, such as the U.S. gallon, the U.S. dry gallon, and the imperial gallon. The U.S. gallon is the standard gallon measurement used around the world, and it’s equivalent to 3.785 liters, while the imperial gallon is about 4.546 liters. The U.S. dry gallon is approximately 4.4 liters.

The U.S. gallon can also be expressed in quarts, pints, or cups, where:

1 US gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups. 

Factors that Affect Paint Weight

There’s no defined weight for a gallon of paint because each paint is made up of different materials, which affect its density. Specifically, each paint consists of four main ingredients – pigment, resin, solvent, and additives. The weight of a gallon of paint is determined by how these ingredients are combined. 

1. Pigment

The pigment is the material that gives the paint its color. It can be organically (from natural sources) or synthetically made. 

The underlying ingredients that make up the pigment can be lightweight or dense, depending on where they’re sourced. In other words, the amount and type of pigment used will influence the weight of the paint. 

Theoretically, a darker paint uses more pigment; hence, it should be heavier than a lighter paint, which uses less pigment.

2. Resin

The paint pigments are held together by the resin. It is also the resin that allows the paint to stick to a surface. Most paints are named according to the resin used in the paint. For instance, acrylic resins are used in acrylic and latex paints. Likewise, polyurethane resin is used in polyurethane coatings. 

Like the pigments, the type and amount of resin used in a gallon of paint has a great impact on the overall weight.

3. Solvent

Solvent is the base liquid, which dissolves or disperses the pigments, binding agent, and other components in the paint. In most cases, the solvent is usually water or oil (solvent), thus the term water-based or oil-based paint.

In water-based paint, water is used as the solvent. A good example of water based paint is latex paint. Water-based paints are fast-drying and safer for the environment than oil-based paints. 

How much does a gallon of paint weigh

Since water density is higher than oil, one would normally expect water-based paint to be slightly heavier than oil-based paint. But this is not usually the case. 

Water-based paints generally weigh less because they contain fewer ingredients than solvent-based paints. That is why oil paints are thicker and have a longer drying time. 

The exact weight of a gallon of paint, whether it’s water- or solvent-based, will depend on the other materials used in the paint.

4. Additives

Additives are added to the paint to modify and enhance the quality of the paint. For instance, some additives may be added to make the paint more durable and resistant to scuffing. Some may be added to make the color glide more easily. Likewise, some may be added to speed up the paint drying time. 

Regardless of the purpose, the inclusion of additives can affect the overall weight of the paint. 

How to Determine the Weight of a Gallon of Paint

There are two main ways you can determine the weight of a gallon of paint. 

Check the company’s website

The first method, which is also the easiest, is to check the label or company’s website. Some manufacturers usually have the weight per gallon written on the label. Otherwise, you can check the company’s website. 

All companies usually have an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), where the weight of the paint per gallon is included. You can get this at the retail outlet or online on the company’s website (product page). 

Calculate the weight based on density

If, for any reason, you’re not able to find the weight on the manufacturer’s website, you can calculate it yourself using a maths formula. However, to be able to do this, you need to know the density or specific gravity of the paint. 

This is usually indicated on the product label or MSDS under the Physical & Chemical Properties section. Once you get the specific gravity, multiply it by 8.35 to get the weight in pounds. 

How to Convert From Gallons to Pounds

So, how much does a gallon of paint weigh in pounds?

To convert from gallons to pounds, simply multiply the density of the paint by the volume. This applies to any other material, not just paint. 

However, for this to be accurate, the density of the material must be expressed in pounds per gallon (lb/gal). 

If the density is expressed in g/ml (grams per milliliter), then you have to convert it to lb/gal first before you can get the pounds equivalent. In this case, you can multiply the density in g/ml by 8.3454 to get the density in lb/gal.

Mathematically, this will look like:

lb = gallons x density 8.3454

Different Types of Paint and Their Weight per Gallon

How Much Does a Gallon of Acrylic Paint Weigh?

Acrylic paint is typically water-based but can also be solvent-based. In any case, most acrylic paints consist of acrylic polymer emulsion suspended in water. This means that a significant part of the paint is water. However, due to the other chemical components in the paint, the density and weight are usually more than an equivalent amount of water. 

Generally, a gallon acrylic paint weighs around 11-12 pounds. Some products may have more acrylic solids, making them heavier (up to 14 pounds, depending on the brand), while some might be lighter. 

In most cases, you can thin acrylic resin paint with water to achieve the desired consistency.

How Much Does a Gallon of Enamel Paint Weigh?

Enamel paint can be acrylic or oil-based and may refer to different paints, ranging from automotive to outdoor enamel paint. As a result, the specific weight will vary with each category depending on the brand and color. 

For instance, automotive enamel paint typically weighs about 11 pounds. Some brands may weigh up to 24 pounds per gallon, depending on the amount of resins.

Enamel paints are generally made up of resins and VOCs, which make up the densities and overall weight. To figure out the weight of a specific product, check the label or with the manufacturer. 

How Much Does a Gallon of Oil-Based Paint Weigh?

Oil-based paint is the oldest type of paint and has been used for many years. It consists of pigments suspended in a drying oil, which is usually linseed or walnut oil. The oil acts as a binder, while the pigment gives the paint its color. 

The main factor that determines the weight of oil-based paint is the density of the medium or binder used. Different oils have different densities, so the densities of the paints vary. 

In general, the average weight of a gallon of oil paint is around 6.7 pounds. Some brands can weigh up to 10 pounds, depending on the medium.  

Oil-based paint usually takes longer to dry than water-based paint, but it offers better protection and a smoother finish. 

How much does a gallon of latex paint weigh

Latex paint is typically water-based and is commonly used for larger areas, such as interior walls. The use of water in the paint means it’s heavier than oil-based paint.

On average, a U.S. gallon of latex paint has a weight of approximately 11.3 pounds. Some premium brands may contain more solids and solvents, so they might weigh a little bit more.

How Much Does 5 Gallons of Paint Weigh?

So, how much does a 5 gallon of paint weigh? As we’ve seen, one gallon of paint weighs about 6-12 pounds. This means that, on average, five gallons of paint will weigh around 30-60 pounds. However, sometimes, a five-gallon bucket can weigh slightly more than five one-gallon paint buckets. 

Ultimately, the exact weight of the paint will depend on the type and paint brand. If we want to be a little bit more accurate, since the average density of a U.S. gallon of paint is 11.2 lbs/gal, the weight of 5 gallons will be around 56 pounds. 

Of course, the total pounds will also reflect the weight of the paint bucket or container.

How Much Does a Gallon of Paint Weigh After It Dries?

A gallon of paint usually weighs a lot less when it’s dried. The exact weight depends on the type of paint. For instance, when it comes to latex paint, let’s say a gallon of liquid paint weighs 11.3 pounds; the dried paint (when fully cured) will weigh around 4 pounds. 

From above, it can be seen that the weight of 100 percent dried paint is usually less than half of the wet paint. The weight reduction can be linked to the evaporation of solvents during the drying process, whether the paint is latex or oil-based. 

Remember, every paint is made up of 3 components – resin, solvent, and pigment. The resin part is what causes the paint to adhere to various surfaces, while the pigment is responsible for the color. The solvent is the ingredient dissolved in the paint to give it the desired liquid consistency. 

Whenever paint is applied to a surface, as it cures, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind just the pigment.

How much does a gallon of paint cover?

With a gallon of paint, you can cover up to 350-400 square feet. To give you an idea, this will be enough for a very small room, such as a bathroom.

For a decent-sized room, it’s best to purchase two gallons, so you won’t need to purchase another can. 

In general, the figures above might not always be accurate depending on the surface you plan to use the paint. 

Some surfaces, such as drywall, usually require more paint to ensure the color is uniform. Also, if you plan to apply many coats, you may need a few extra gallons of paint.

FAQs How Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Weigh

How much does a quart of paint weigh?

A quart is equivalent to 0.25 liquid gallon. This means that if the average weight of a painted gallon is about 6-12 pounds, a quart will be approximately 2.1-2.5 pounds. 

How much does a pint of paint weigh?

A pint of paint is equivalent to 0.15 gallon. If we were to convert this to pounds, we would start by considering the weight of one gallon of weight. Let’s assume a gallon of paint weighs around 10 pounds; to get the equivalent in pint, we simply multiply 10 by 0.15, which is 1.15. So, the average weight of a pint of paint is 1.15 pounds.

How Much Does One-Liter Paint Weigh?

As earlier indicated, the weight of paint is determined by the type and brand. For most paints, one liter of paint weighs about 3 pounds.

How Much Do Five Gallons of Paint Weigh in Lbs.?

As earlier indicated, a U.S. gallon of paint weighs 6 to 12 pounds. That means the average weight of five gallons of paint in pounds (lbs) will be around 30 to 60 pounds. The exact weight will depend on the type of paint and brand.

Is Paint Heavier Than Water?

Even though water has a higher density than oil, paint is generally heavier than water. And that is mainly because of the other materials used in the paint. The exact weight of the paint will depend on the brand, color, and type.

Content SummaryHow Much Does A Gallon Of Paint Weigh

So, how much does 1 gallon of paint weigh in pounds? The weight of a gallon of paint is usually around 6 to 12 pounds. Some paints, especially premium brands, might weigh more depending on the ingredients and additives.

Knowing how much paint weighs is useful, especially when working on a big project. It will enable you to know exactly how much you will need to store or transport, especially when it runs into several gallons. The dry weight also tells you how much impact it can have on the painted item. 

Let us know if you have any more questions about how much a gallon weighs, and we will be glad to help. Until then, have fun painting!

Leave a Comment