5 Essential Paint Calculators to Use Before Your Next Paint Project

Figure out how much paint you need, estimate costs, choose colors, and more—all without a single trip to the paint store.

paint-calculator
Photo: Getty Images

Tackling a major paint job may seem like the easiest, most affordable way to change the look and feel of a room (or an entire home), but interior painting has costs and requires planning, especially if it's a DIY project. Home painting veterans may already have the necessary tools on hand, but everyone from first-time painters to almost-pros need to double-check a few things before they get started.

Painting isn't simply figuring out the cost to paint a room with the help of pros, deciding whether to hire help or make it a DIY project, and then slapping paint on walls. Paint colors need to be chosen, the appropriate amount (and type) of supplies must be purchased, and budgets (monetary and time) need to be made—and that's where the slew of helpful online tools (like calculators and quizzes) come in handy.

Make painting as easy as possible by using a paint calculator. For a standard paint project, simply dig up a paint measure, take stock of the breadth of the painting that needs to be done and input your stats. Projects that have the dangerous add-ons of lead paint, faulty wiring, and/or other problems that can add time and money to any painting budget might take a little extra effort, planning, and mind-power, but it's important to remember they aren't impossible

An interior painting cost calculator

Sometimes, hiring a team of pros (or even a neighbor who is good with a paintbrush) to tackle the job is best. Like all home remodeling costs, painting estimates vary by room size, location, and the company doing the work, but this cost calculator from home improvement site Thumbtack can help pinpoint how much it might cost near a particular zip code.

For DIY paint jobs, the cost of supplies—paint can be pricey—will determine the final cost. Don't forget to include how much paint and primer will be needed, plus items like extra rollers, painter's tape, tarps, and more.

A “how long does painting take” calculator

For some people, budgeting time is just as important as budgeting money. If hiring pros isn't an option but a painting project has a deadline, use this formula to calculate how long the work will take. Factor in time for drying, too. First-timers should pad their estimates, just in case, and all amateur painters should be wary of moving too quickly (like not painting corners properly) to save time—doing so almost always ends with a spill, a bad paint job, or another accident.

A quiz for picking the right painter’s tape

Painter's tape is an essential, especially if trim, wainscoting, or another wall feature needs to remain the same color. (The alternative is going back over everything to remove smudges and stray brushstrokes.) Different kinds of painter's tape serve different paint projects, and picking a specialized option can make the project a little easier. This quiz will make sure you are picking the best tape for the job.

A paint color quiz

Choosing paint colors can be difficult, but picking one from what feels like thousands can be impossible. Add in factors such as changing light levels and ceiling height, and any cautious person could spend hours perusing swatches. This paint color quiz keeps it short and sweet, with discerning questions that help narrow options.

A paint quantity calculator

A gallon of paint might seem like a lot, but it almost definitely can't cover a whole room, especially if multiple coats are required. Use a paint calculator, which offers quick and detailed calculators options. For example, ideally the tool would ask for room dimensions (you'll want a tape measure) and the number of doors and windows, for starters, to calculate approximately how many gallons of paint will be needed to get the job done. If it comes down to it, it's better to round up than run out of paint mid-project—the surplus can be set aside for touch-ups or possibly even returned, if it hasn't been opened.

For exterior paint projects, look for a guide that helps incorporate gutters, special exterior features, and more. Happy painting!

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles