How Much Does a Gallon of Paint Weigh?

Have you ever asked yourself how much does a gallon of paint weigh? If you have, stick with me because I have all the answers in this article.

When buying paint, we focus mainly on its color and type.

However, its weight also matters, especially if you want to purchase enough paint for a big project.

For instance, painting a house or a big boat will require a lot of paint. 

Knowing how much the paint weighs will help you figure out the best way to transport it from the paint store to your work area.

It will also help you estimate how much your courier service will charge to deliver the shipment if you buy online.

So, How Much Does a Gallon Of Paint Weigh?

One gallon of paint weighs between 6-12 pounds depending on the type of paint.

Latex Paint weighs about 11.3 pounds per gallon, while Acrylic Paint ranges from 11-12 pounds per gallon.

Averagely, a gallon of oil-based paint weighs around 6.7 pounds and covers 400 ft2. 

The weight varies depending on the base you use, the color, and the surface of the paint application.

Manufacturers formulate products such as latex paint, oil paint, and enamel paint using different ingredients in varying proportions.

As a result, the paints have different densities, which cause variations in weight per gallon.

In this article, I’ll discuss all the factors that determine the weight of paint.

I will also show you how to determine the paint weight, then finish by listing all the top paint brands and their specific weight per gallon.

But first, let’s talk about the paint itself.

What Is Paint?

Image of tile paint but Can You Paint Over Asbestos Tile?Paint is a colored liquid that we spread over surfaces.

After it dries, it leaves behind a protective coating that prevents the surface from being damaged.

The thin, colored coat also decorates or adds texture to the surface.

There are several types of paint on the market today. A few popular examples are latex paint, acrylic paint, oil-based paint, enamel paint, and epoxy paint.

Each paint type has a unique formula that suits some projects more than others.

For this reason, you must understand the unique qualities of each of them to know which one to select.

Before we explore the different types of paint, let’s talk about the components that make up paint in general.

Knowing the purpose of each component will give you better insight into paint products.

It will also help you better understand why each paint weighs differently.

The three primary paint components are pigments, resin (binders), and a base.

  • Pigments are fine, insoluble particles that give the paint its unique color.

They determine how bulky the paint will be and the level of coverage it will provide. 

  • The resin, aka binder, is the ingredient that holds the pigments firmly on the surface.

It determines how well the product will adhere to the surface and the sturdiness of the paint film.

  • The base, aka solvent, is the liquid medium in which the pigment and resin stay suspended.

It makes it easier to transfer the other components from the paint container onto the surface.

The solvent oxidizes or evaporates, leaving behind the sturdy colored film containing resin and pigment.

Therefore, it plays no significant role in the product’s durability or beauty.

Some paint companies add special additives to the main components to give their paints unique qualities.

You will find products with additives that improve adhesion, add texture, prevent UV damage or resist mold and mildew.

These additional components make up a small percentage of the paint but make a tremendous difference.

How to Determine the Weight of a Gallon of Paint

Before we learn how to determine the weight of paint per gallon, let’s first discuss the standard paint measurements worldwide.

Most paint manufacturers package their products in one-gallon buckets or five-gallon buckets.

The other popular paint sizes are quarts and ounces, but we’ll only focus on gallons in this article.

A gallon is a unit of measurement depicting the volume or space that paint or any other liquid occupies.

The density of the liquid does not affect its volume; therefore, a gallon remains a gallon no matter the liquid you are measuring.

For instance, one gallon of paint is the same as one gallon of water or a gallon of milk. 

Nevertheless, the word gallon also refers to different measurements worldwide.

It could either mean the Imperial gallon, the U.S gallon, or the U.S dry gallon.

  • The Imperial Gallon is a measurement used by people in the United Kingdom, Canada, and some parts of the Caribbean.

It depicts a liquid measuring about 4.5 liters.

  • A U.S gallon is popular in the United States and the rest of the world, depicting a volume of 3.8 liters.
  • A U.S Dry Gallon measures the weight of the liquid after it turns solid.

It is also popular in the United States and equals 4.4 liters. However, the dry gallon is a rare unit of measurement.

Whenever I mention a gallon in this article, I’m referring to the standard U.S Gallon. 

Here’s a Video On How to Determine Amount of Paint for an Area:

How To Determine the Weight of a Gallon of Paint

The easiest way to determine the weight of a gallon of paint is to find the information on the Product Safety Data Sheet (PSDS).

Paint manufacturers often lay out all the necessary information about their products, including their weight per gallon.

You can easily access these data sheets on the manufacturer’s product website or your favorite retailer’s website.

If you cannot find the datasheet, contact the manufacturer through customer care to obtain the information.

If the PSDS does not indicate the product’s weight, you must do simple math to determine the pounds per gallon. 

For the formula, you must know the relative density, aka the specific gravity number of the paint.

You can quickly find this information on the product’s label or the PSDS under the Physical and Chemical Properties Section. 

Afterward, you must multiply the specific gravity number with the weight of pure water per gallon (8.35 pounds standard).

The answer you get is the exact weight of the paint per gallon.

The specific gravity of the paint * 8.35=weight of the paint per gallon

What Determines How Much Paint Weighs?

The primary determinant of paint weight is its density.

And the density of paint solely depends on the paint components and any additional materials in the paint.

As I mentioned before, paint is made up of three main ingredients and additives in some cases.

These ingredients have different characteristics, affecting the paint’s density differently. Let me discuss each component in depth to help you understand it better.

  • Pigments

Pigments are the coloring agents in paint and have the greatest influence over its density. Here’s how.

There are two broad categories of pigments: organic and inorganic pigments.

  • Organic pigments contain carbon atoms derived from carbon life forms such as plants, animals, and synthetic organic chemistry.

They are often light in weight, bright, pure, and rich in tinting strength.

A few good examples of organic pigments include Quinacridone, Arylide Yellow, Phthalocyanine, and Copper Phthalocyanine.

  • On the other hand, inorganic pigments tend to be dry, ground minerals. They often contain heavy metals such as lead, iron, iron oxides, cadmium, etc.

These pigments tend to be heavier and have larger particles than organic ones.

That said, paints that use inorganic pigments are denser and, therefore, heavier than those with organic pigments.

Pigments type aside, paint’s pigment volume concentration (PVC) also determines its weight.

Products with a higher concentration of pigments are always heavier than those with a lower PVC.

To determine the PVC of your paint, check its sheen level. Paints with a lower sheen lever, for example, matte, eggshell, and flat paint, have a high PVC.

Therefore they tend to be heavier than semi-gloss paint and gloss paints, which have a lower pigment concentration.

  • Resin/Binder

The resin in paint does not have a significant effect on its weight.

However, you can use the resin concentration to help you determine which paints are heavy and which are light. Let me explain.

Paints that have a lot of resin tend to have a lower PVC. Therefore you can safely conclude that they are lighter than paint with fewer resins.

The vice versa is also true. Paints with fewer resins have a higher PVC; hence they tend to be heavy.

Note: Even though you can use resin count to determine paint weight, it won’t be as accurate as when considering the type of pigment used to formulate it.

  • Paint Base

The paint base is the liquid component that carries the binder and pigment. The two most common based are oil and water.

Water-based paints are often heavier than oil-based paints because water has a higher density than oil.

When you mix water with oil, the water will sink to the bottom while the oil rises and floats to the top.

This fact proves that water is denser and, therefore, heavier than oil.

Does Sheen Affect the Weight of Paint?

Paint sheen affects paint weight, but only slightly. You will notice that matte or flat paints weigh more than glossy paints. Let me explain.

The paint sheen is directly connected to the concentration ratio of resin to pigments.

Products with a lot of resins and low Pigment Volume Concentration (PVC) reflect a lot of light; therefore, the finish appears shiny after it cures.

On the other hand, products with more pigment and fewer resins reflect very little to no light. As a result, they tend to appear dull.

The higher concentration of pigment particles in the dull finish paints makes them denser than the glossy paints.

This makes them a little heavier, only by a margin of .03 or even less.

Different Types of Paint and Their Weight?

There are several types of paint on the market today, thanks to the creativity of paint manufacturers.

They use different combinations of the usual paint ingredients in various proportions to create their products.

Each product has unique characteristics that make it better suited for some projects.

Moreover, they weigh differently because of the different combinations and proportions of the paint components. 

In this section, I’ll talk about the most popular paints available today.

I’ll discuss their unique characteristics and uses, then finish with their approximate weight per gallon.

  • Latex Paint

Latex paint is the most popular paint type used for general construction and home improvement projects.

It is water-based; hence it dries quickly, is easy to use, and is very simple to clean up. 

Since latex paint does not use harsh chemicals or oils in its formula, it has very low Volatile organic compounds (VOC).

This feature makes it gentle on the environment and safe for interior paint jobs.

Furthermore, it retains a “soft finish” after it cures, which is a plus for the interior.

This paint type is quite affordable, and it comes in several colors. For this reason, it is easy to find the shade that fits your project’s vision perfectly. 

  • The Weight of Latex Paint

One gallon of latex paint weighs between 10.5-12 pounds on average. The weight varies depending on the brand and quality of the paint you purchase. 

For instance, high-quality premium latex paints have a high resin content to improve adherence.

Their pigment concentration is also top-notch, allowing you to achieve full coverage with fewer coats.

This high concentration of resin and pigment causes premium latex paints to weigh more than the basic thinner paints.

  • Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is also popularly known as alkyd paint.

It contains a color pigment and a linseed oil binder suspended in mineral spirits or any other thinning solvent made from petroleum.

It is one of the most durable paint types because it dries into a rigid protective film that is hard to remove.

Nevertheless, oil paint durability comes at a high cost. First, this paint takes too long to dry and is expensive compared to latex paints.

Additionally, it has high VOC levels and releases toxic fumes up to seven days after applying the final coat.

For these reasons, you must always wear protective gear and ensure that your space is well-ventilated whenever you use oil-based paints.

  • The Weight of Oil-Based Paints

One gallon of oil-based paint weighs between 6-10 pounds on average.

Like most paints, this weight varies depending on the quality of the paint and the concentration of solid components used to create it.

However, oil generally has a lower density than water.

This means that oil-based paints will always weigh less than water-based and acrylic paints of the same volume.

  • Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a chemical-based product created by suspending pigments and acrylic resins in an acrylic polymer solution.

This combination makes it the most versatile paint type, ideal for several substrates, including wood and metal.

This paint has self-leveling properties that make it easy to apply. As you put it on a surface, it flows out evenly without needing consistent smoothening.

Furthermore, it dries as quickly as latex paints allowing you to finish your projects much sooner.

On the protective side, acrylic paint retains its elasticity even after it cures.

This feature allows it to move with the substrate as it expands and contracts with temperature changes.

As a result, acrylic paint remains resistant to chipping and cracking.

  • The Weight of Acrylic Paint

Manufacturers package 100% pure acrylic paints in small amounts, usually ounces. They do not come in gallon sizes unless mixed with some latex.

As with other paints, the weight of acrylic paint varies by brand and quality. One liter of 100% acrylic paint weighs around three pounds.

This would make one gallon weigh anywhere between 11 – 12.5 pounds.

  • Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is the highest quality latex paint available on the market today.

It uses an acrylic resin as its binder, which gives it high adhesive quality, durability, and resistance.

These qualities of acrylic latex paint make it an excellent choice for painting surfaces that require superior resistance to damaging elements.

Unlike pure acrylic paint, this paint type uses water as its base.

The lack of chemical components makes it environmentally friendly because it does not produce fumes and odors as you use it.

Furthermore, you can use it for home improvement projects, unlike pure acrylic, whose primary use is art.

  • The Weight of Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint weighs between 6-12 pounds on average.

The difference depends on the brand you purchase and the amount of acrylic resin used in the formula.

Products with more acrylic than latex tend to weigh more than those with fewer acrylic solids.

  • Enamel Paint

Enamel often refers to the paint’s finish than the product’s components. It is usually the hard glossy finish that is perfect for vehicles, boats, RVs, etc.

Furthermore, the hardness of the finish also makes enamel paints ideal for outdoor use, like on a porch, patio furniture, or even stair railings.

  • The Weight of Enamel Paint

Enamel paints can be acrylics or oil based; therefore, it can be a little challenging to pinpoint their general weight.

Nevertheless, you can easily find the weight if you know the components of the specific enamel paint you purchase.

Acrylic enamels weigh between 11-12.5 pounds per gallon. On the other hand, oil-based enamels weigh between 6-10 pounds per gallon.

Remember, oil-based paints are generally less dense than acrylics. Therefore, Oil-based enamels will always be lighter than acrylic enamels.

Different Brands Of Paint and Their Weight Per Gallon 

As discussed earlier, paint brand is one of the main determinants of paint weight.

The reason is that every paint manufacturer uses different components in varying amounts to make their products unique.

The table below lists the most popular paint brands worldwide and their weight per gallon.

It will help you determine how heavy your paint load will be even before you head to the hardware store or order online.





BENJAMIN MOORE Regal Select Premium Interior Paint and Primer Acrylic Latex 11.2
KILZ KILZ Stain Blocking Ceiling Paint Water-Based 12.2
KILZ Decorative Concrete Paint Latex 1.04
BEHR MARQUEE Stain-Blocking Paint and Primer in One 100% Acrylic Latex 10.7
RUSTOLEUM Rustoleum Professional Gallon Black Oil-Based Enamel 9.02
Rustoleum Simply Home Interior Wall Paint Acrylic 10
KRYLON Krylon Form and Implement Weather Ground Protection Enamel 9.68
Krylon COLORmaxx Paint Acrylic Latex 9
DIAMOND BRITE Diamond Brite Interior/Exterior Aluminum Paint Oil-Based 10
Diamond Brite Semi Gloss Wall Paint Latex 11
VALSPAR Valspar Professional Interior Semi-gloss Paint Acrylic 10.94
GLIDDEN Glidden Interior Paint and Primer Acrylic 11.81
PRESTIGE Prestige Interior Paint and Primer In One Acrylic 12
Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer In One Latex 8.9
BACKDROP Backdrop Premium Interior Paint Acrylic 12.97
MODERN MASTERS Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection Water-based 9.81
DURALUX Duralux Marine Paint Oil-based Enamel 10
MICROBLEND MicroBlend Premium Interior Paint and Primer Acrylic 12.06
FIXALL FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Coating Acrylic 11
BOOMERANG Boomerang Eco-Friendly Interior Paint Acrylic 11.62
MONTAGE SIGNATURE Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint Water-based 10
HANDY ART Handy Art Little Masters Washable Tempera Paint Water-based 9
SARGENT ART Sargent Art Art-time Washable Tempera Paint Water-Based 12.1
RECOLOR RECOLOR Premium Recycled Interior Paint Latex 8.65

How Much Area Does A Gallon Of Paint Cover?

One gallon of paint can cover approximately 350 to 400 square feet. This is usually enough to finish a small bedroom or a bathroom with one coat.

If your project requires at least two coats of paint to be perfect, you may need at least two gallons to finish the job.

Nevertheless, the amount of paint you will need will vary significantly based on the material and the condition of the substrate you’re painting.

For instance, you would need more paint to cover a concrete surface than a smooth surface like metal.

Concrete has many pores and will absorb most of the first coat.

Therefore, you may need more than the standard two coats to achieve a flawless finish.

In contrast, the paint will stay put on the smooth metal surface. Therefore you will not need as much paint to get the finish you want.

Regarding the surface’s condition, you will need more paint to cover a surface with many blemishes.

If the material has stains or knots, you may need to apply several coats to mask them. These extra coats will translate into more paint per square meter.

Is Paint Heavier Than Water?

Paint is significantly heavier than water; you can notice it by comparing their weights per gallon. One gallon of pure water weighs a standard 8.35 pounds.

On the other hand, one gallon of paint weighs more, starting from 8.5 pounds upward.

The extra weight of paint comes from the additional components in its formula. These are the pigments, resins, and additives.

When Does the Weight of Dry Paint Matter?

The weight of dry paint matters whenever you are painting an object that requires lightness to function correctly.

Examples of such objects are airplanes and marine crafts like boats, canoes, and rafts.

The overall weight of these objects significantly impacts their balance and functionality.

Take an aircraft, for instance.

When building it, there is a maximum weight limit that the builders must observe. This limit is crucial for the following reasons:

  • It allows the aircraft to accelerate faster.
  • It shortens the required takeoff distance.
  • It allows the pilot better control of the aircraft when flying through turbulence.

The same rules go for boats and other marine crafts.

They need to be lightweight enough; otherwise, they will be at high risk of sinking. Moreover, a heavy boat cannot navigate turbulent waters easily.

To keep up with the weight requirements of these crafts, one must take note of anything that could add extra weight.

These include people, luggage, and the most ignored, paint.

Many forget that paint decorates, protects, and adds extra weight to the substrate.

How Much Weight Does Paint Add to an Object?

The weight added to an object depends on the paint you use and how much you apply.

Denser paints with more solid components add more weight than thinner paints with more solvents than solids.

Similarly, thick paint will add more weight to the object than thinner coats.

You may wonder how much weight your paint will add to your substrate. The best way to figure it out is by checking the Product’s Safety Data Sheet (PSDS).

The sheet should have ample information on the percentage of solids and water in the formula.

Afterward, you can use this information to calculate the exact weight the paint will add to your object.

For instance, paint with 60% solid components has 40% water.

This means that if the product weighs 10 pounds a gallon, 6 pounds is the weight of solids, while four pounds is the weight of the liquid base.

After the base evaporates, the remaining dry film contains pure solids. This means the paint will add at least 6 pounds to the object for every gallon you use.


Knowing the exact weight of paint before buying it is a crucial preparation step.

It helps you know the load you will have to carry from the paint store and how much strength you will need to carry it around as you work.

Most paint manufacturers package their products in small quantities like ounces and quarts.

These amounts are perfect for small projects and are light enough to carry around. 

The larger paint packages come in gallons but tend to be heavy. Moreover, the weight varies between products, so people ask,

How Much Does a Gallon of Paint Weigh?

A gallon of latex and acrylic paint weighs between 10.5-13 pounds. Oil-based paints are the lightest, weighing 6-10 pounds per gallon.

On the other hand, enamel paint will weigh similarly to acrylic or oil-based paint, depending on the base used in the formula.

These weight variations result from differences in the components used to formulate the paint.

They also depend on the number of solid components and additives that the manufacturers use.

If you want to determine the weight of a gallon of paint quickly, visit the paint manufacturer’s website.

You can also refer to the Product’s Safety Data Sheet for a more accurate figure.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope this article has given you all the information you need regarding the weights of different paints.

If you have any questions about paint weight per gallon, please feel free to reach out in the comments below.