How Much Paint for a Door?

Whether you want to repaint and refresh your old door or change the color of a new one, painting is not a too complicated task. Determining how much paint for a door is essential because it can be annoying to go to the store in the middle of the process.

When you want to determine the paint quantity you need, you should measure the door surface first. Plus, always calculate at least two paint coats if you want to do a proper job. If you plan to repaint a dark color with a lighter shade, you will need to apply it twice to cover the surface thoroughly. If the doors are new, make sure to prepare them before painting since the wood absorbs more paint if it doesn’t have a good base.

How many gallons of paint do I need for my Door

How many gallons of paint do I need for my Door

There are some measures that you should be aware of to calculate how much paint you need accurately. One gallon (3.8 liters) of paint can cover about 350 sq. ft (32.5 m2).

Since the average doors count as approximately 20 sq. ft (1.85 m2), you should divide the surface you want to paint with 350. That way, you will get the amount of paint you need for one door side.

So, you should calculate the surface of 40 sq. ft (3.7 m2) in this case since you need to paint both sides of your doors. You will need about 0.11 gallons (half of the liter) of color to paint your door with these dimensions adequately. Don’t forget to double that amount if you plan to apply two coats of paint.

If you have the door of a non-standard size or the model with glass surfaces that don’t require painting, you should add or deduct those areas from the total measurement.

Then, measure the trim, door jamb, threshold, and other surfaces you want to paint in the same way. Multiply their height and width and add all the surfaces together to get a final result. Divide the final result with 350, and you will get the amount of paint you need.

Since every part of the doors has a height and width, this procedure won’t be too complicated even if you are an inexperienced painter.

Keep in mind that it is always better to have a bit more paint than needed, especially if you plan to do two or three coats. When you research the average prices of the colors available on the market, you will see that sometimes buying a smaller package is more expensive than buying it in bulk.

So, it is always better to consider painting all the doors in the house at once. Alternatively, buy a neutral paint, divide it into smaller quantities, and add a different color to each to create different combinations for various purposes.

Here is an example of what surface dimensions you can paint with a certain amount of purchased paint:

  • One gallon (3.8 l) of paint will cover 350 sq. ft (32.5 m2), which is enough for the size of a small bathroom
  • Two gallons (7.6 l) of paint will cover 700 sq. ft (65 m2), which is enough for the size of an average room
  • Three gallons (11.4 l) of paint will cover 1100 sq. ft (100 m2), which is enough for one large or two smaller rooms
  • Four gallons (15 l) of paint will cover 1400 sq. ft (130 m2), which is enough for several average size rooms

Keep in mind that primer covers only 200 to 300 sq. ft (18.5 to 28 m2). Therefore, you will need more primer than regular paint on the same surface.

Prepare the Door Well to Save on Paint

Prepare the Door Well to Save on Paint

You will get the best results of painting if you prepare the surface adequately. That way, the door will be perfectly painted, and you will also save some cash. If you have an old model, removing the previous paint might be the right decision, especially if it looks damaged, and the current paint peels off.

It is much better to remove the doorknob and other attached elements before beginning the procedure. If you can, remove the whole door from the hinges and paint it outside of the room to avoid the smell of paint until it dries out.

Then, it is time for sanding to achieve a smooth surface. Make sure to remove all the dust after sanding and do caulking and fill all the cracks when necessary, so the paint looks perfectly flat and even in the end.

Painting Technique

Painting Technique

If this is your first painting, you can apply more paint than it is necessary. You can use both a brush and a roller. It is better to apply a smaller amount of color at the beginning and gradually create an even and smooth layer.

The brush is crucial for edges and curves, while the roller is a better option for the flat part of the door. The pressure should be light and consistent with both brush and roller. Otherwise, you won’t be able to spread the paint evenly. Plus, be prepared that you will spend more material than in case you follow the instructions.

When you paint the wooden door, always brush in the grain’s direction to fill all gaps and prevent the brush from leaving traces.

Choose the Right Paint

Choose the Right Paint

If you plan to paint the front doors, you should know that you need to choose a proper paint type besides a suitable color. That is the only way to withstand the influence of the sun, rain, frost, and other weather conditions.

Paint can also come mixed with a primer, but you don’t need it when:

  • You paint a new door
  • You want to change the color from light to dark
  • You want to refresh the door with the same color

However, it would help if you used a primer when:

  • You want to change the dark color to a brighter shade
  • You plan to apply water-based over the oil-based color

The label on the package determines whether the particular paint is for the interior or the exterior use. Plus, keep in mind that you can choose the water-based or oil-based paint.

The oil-based paint is suitable for the wood, such as cedar or cypress, because its consistency prevents stains from appearing on the surface after painting. Also, it would help if you used oil-based paint on the metal door to prevent rusting.

The water-based paint will do well with fiberglass and wood that doesn’t leave stains, such as pine.

When it comes to finishing, the best option for the exterior door is a semi-gloss paint that is resistant to damages and adverse weather conditions. It will also perfectly highlight the beauty of your front doors. For the interior doors, choose the type of paint that resists fingerprints, cracks, and peeling.

Light Reflectance Value

Light Reflectance Value

LRV is a crucial feature of every front door paint. It will show, on the scale from 1 to 100, how much light reflects from the color.

Lighter colors, such as green mint or beige, have a higher LRV. On the other hand, the darker colors, such as cherry red or navy blue, will have low LRV. Black color has 0 LRV, which means that it absorbs all the light.

If you live in a region with a lot of sunlight, you need the paint with at least LRV 55. In that way, your front door will reflect a lot of light, and the color won’t fade. If you live in a climate with a lot of rain and snow, it will be useful to select the paint resistant to mold and rot.

Popular Door Colors

The time for being modest when it comes to colors is long gone, so be brave and choose a favorite color for your doors. One of the things that will help you make a better decision is to take a sample of color from the store and then see how it fits your home.

Bright yellow, orange, or red can break the monotony of the house exterior, and create a vivid entrance. On the other hand, if you prefer a classic style, white, blue, and gray shades are always good choices.

If you have a screen door, you can contrast it to the color of the main ones. Give your doors a matt, semi-gloss, or glossy finish, depending on the door material and house facade.

Also, you can fit the color with the other elements in your yard or a garden. If you have a brick house, deep red will enhance the overall look. If your home is small, you can visually expand it by matching the color of the door, trim, window frames, and facade.


Doors are an essential element of every home. Their appearance can improve the curb appeal of your house and make the first impression of your personality. Therefore, don’t be afraid to express yourself through various colors and shades. Even if you regret it, it will be easy to repaint it until you find the best option for your home.

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