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Calculating Paint? How about wall paper?


I’ve had this question a couple of times recently:  “Does BuildCalc calculate paint?”.  The answer is “yes, there’s a trick to it”.  What I mean by this is that there isn’t a button labelled “Paint” but the Masonry function has all of the math needed to make this an easy calculation.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say you have number of different paints that you work with on a regular basis but, when it comes to coverage, you have 3 different types:

  • A high quality exterior with high binder content (225 sq ft / gallon)
  • A high coverage primer (175 sq ft / gallon)
  • Everything else (350 sq ft / gallon)

So, how could you setup BuildCalc to calculate the paint needed for a 15 ft x 20ft x 9ft bedroom?  Here is where you can trick the Masonry function into being a Paint function!

First, enter the room dimensions into the [Length] [Width] [Height] memory functions.  Here’s how:

10 [Feet] [Length]
20 [Feet] [Width]
9 [Feet] [Height]
[Conv] [Msnry]






see results, below


The good news: BuildCalc automatically calculates area and coverage for walls separate from ceilings. The bad news, your calculating paint, not brick, block, tile or pavers! So now, let’s convert the Masonry results into Paint results.

Start by tapping the [Edit Sizes] button on the bottom left.

If you would like, feel free to delete the current masonry sizes (by tapping on the red circles) to clear the list of sizes.

Now, tap the [ + ] button on the bottom right to add your first paint coverage and enter: 175 [Feet] [Feet]

Now tap [done] to complete the entry of this size.

Go ahead and enter 250 sq ft, 350 sq ft and, for good measure, 400 sq ft.

Now that you have your list, tap [Cancel] to return to the result screen


So let’s say you’re going to be painting the walls with a paint that gives 350 sq ft per gallon … you’re going to need 1.8 gallons (almost 2 gallons).  And, your ceiling paint yields 250 sq ft per gallon … meaning that you’re going to need 1.2 gallons.

And what if you want to put on more than one coat?   No problem, let’s use the ceiling result as an example.  If we want two coats of ceiling paint, first tap on the “250ft² /” row.

Now that you have your result in the main calculator, you can do any arithmetic you want.  Multiply by 2, and you have how many gallons you need for two coats!

What about wall paper? It works the same way! Just add the coverage for your wall paper to the Sizes list and BuildCalc will give you the results you want.

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