How Much Does a Gallon of Paint Weigh

Paint is one of the most popular materials for different purposes. But not all of us have an in-depth idea about its properties. For example, the weight, which is essential for transporting them.

So, how much does a gallon of paint weigh?

A gallon of paint will be anywhere from 6 pounds and 12 pounds. The weight depends on the type of paint. Each has different densities and weights. That means not all of the paints have the same weight in gallons.

Want to know how much each of the types of paint weighs? Or are you interested to learn how much area you can expect to cover with a gallon of paint? You will find all the answers soon!

What Factors Affect the Weight of Paint

Before getting to how much each type of paint weighs, you need to understand the factors that set the weight. As stated earlier, the type of paint and the density makes the most impact. In other words, the paint type and the base determines the weight.

Not all types of paint have the same composition. Some are oil-based, while some are latex-based. There are enamel and acrylic paints too. Each of these bases not only makes the mixture get a unique trait but also sets its weight.

There is another thing that needs to be in consideration, the additives. Some paints will add oil or rust to offer a unique color.

And sometimes, these additives play a role in the priming abilities of the paint. These additives also increase weight, however, the added weight is not that much.

How the Base Affects the Weight?

The base of the paint is a liquid component. Manufacturers use this liquid to dissolve the other components. In that sense, water-based paints will have water as a base, while oil-based one utilizes oil.

And in comparison, water-based paints are on the heavier side. That is, oil-based paints are lighter than water-based options. But the heftiness comes with benefits. Water-based paints dry quickly, and they are less hazardous.

Wondering how water-based paints are less hazardous? Well, they do not contain as many volatile organic compounds as other paints.

Oil-based paints, on the other hand, contains synthetic solvent and linseed oil. There are harsh chemicals in the formula too. But even with all of these, oil-based colors are less heavier than water-based options.

Furthermore, acrylic paints have acrylic resin as the base. They utilize acrylic polymer emulsion. However, these paints are not generally sold in a gallon. You will find them in gallons only when the manufacturer combines them with latex paint.

Understanding Dry Weight and Paint Weight

So, the weight of the dry and wet paint will not be the same. In other words, dry paint weighs a lot less than wet paint. For example, if you are working with a paint that weighs 11.3 pounds when pet, it will be nearly 4 pounds when dried up.

But why is there so much of a difference? The thing is, wet paint has a lot of components, which it loses when it dries up. And there’s an easier way to determine the weight of dry paint.

To illustrate, if your paint has 60% solids and 40% water, the weight of the solids will remain when the mixture dries up. And knowing the weight of dry paint is crucial for some projects. For example, when you are painting boats.

Is Paint Heavier than Water?

Paints are never 100% water. Instead, regardless of whether they are water-based or not, they contain non-water chemicals in the composition. And even water-based paints do not have too much water in them.

Nonetheless, paints are generally heavier than water. One gallon of water is around 8.34 pounds, while paint can be approximately 12 pounds. In comparison, oil-based paints are lighter due to being less dense.

So, you can say that oil-based paints are lighter than water. But in other cases, the paint will be heavier than water.

Types of Paint

No matter the type, all types of paint will utilize pigment. These pigments are suspended in liquid, which, as you know, can be water, oil, or acrylic. But there are other types of paint too. Let’s discuss all of them to give you a better idea –

Enamel Paint

The thing is, you can use enamel to refer to various types of paints. Enamel is mostly a finish rather than a type of paint. But it is true that the enamel paints will indeed have enamel in them.

Nonetheless, enamel paints are known for drying hard and offering a glossy finish. That is why they are mostly utilized for the exterior of boats, RVs, and cars. It also sees use in outdoor furniture, including stair railings and decks.

Want to know why this type of paint is used for outdoor objects? Well, it holds the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. In fact, many outdoor projects will rely on it as a coating.

Latex Paint

For many for home-improvement projects or construction use, latex paint is the go-to option. In fact, there’s a high chance that your walls currently have this paint. So, if you are planning to repaint your home, latex is the way to go.

Nevertheless, latex paints are known for being easy to use and drying up quickly. The cleanup process is relatively simple too. And let’s not forget that latex paints are non-toxic and relatively harmful to the environment.

Yes, these paints have their drawbacks. They are mostly water, so you can not work with them in cold temperatures. Also, you have to consider the storage temperature.

Oil-Based Paint

Unlike water-based paints, oil-based options have a long history. They date all the way back to the cave paintings. That is, for hundreds of years, oil-based paintings were the only option to decorate and add a finish to things.

However, the composition of the paint is much different than what it used to be in the earlier days. Now, oil-based options come with pigments that are suspended in a synthetic solvent or natural linseed oil.

When it comes to synthetic solvents, most manufacturers will utilize alkyd. And besides these two, manufacturers can use other oils. That includes safflower oil or walnut oil.

Furthermore, mineral spirits and paint thinners will also be in the composition. They are there to improve the flow and consistency of the paint.

Acrylic Paint

At their cores, acrylic and latex paints are both from acrylic resin and water-based bases. But the main difference between acrylic paint is that it utilizes acrylic polymer emulsion. And most importantly, it has a high level of acrylic in the composition.

Due to these properties, you will see acrylic paint being used in most of the arts and crafts projects. In fact, even nail polishes primarily rely on acrylic. So, in short, there are many different kinds of acrylic paint.

Weight and Coverage Per Gallon for Each Type of Paint

Now that you have a fair idea about the paints, let’s get into the main topic at hand. So, here’s the description of weight per gallon and the coverage you can expect from each type of paint:


The specific weight of enamel is not that easy to come up with. For example, the automotive enamel will be about 11 pounds per gallon. This weight will depend on the color and the brand. But the dry weight will vary widely from one brand to another.

On that note, you can expect to cover up to 300 square feet of area with one gallon of enamel paint. But remember, you will need to use at least two coats of paint to get good results.


So, a gallon of latex paint will be about 11.3 pounds. And with one gallon of latex paint, you can expect to cover up to 400 square feet of area. That is, with a single coat.

The drying weight, on the hand, will be different. Once one gallon of latex paint dries up, it will be around 4 pounds in weight.


As the paint is mostly water-based, the weight is pretty similar to latex paints. Depending on the color and the brand, a gallon of acrylic paint will be anywhere from 11 pounds and 12 pounds.

The coverage, on the other hand, is different from latex paint. You can cover about 250 square feet with a gallon of acrylic paint. So, keep this in mind when you are purchasing this paint.

Oil-based Paint

When it comes to the weight of oil-based paints, it depends on the pigments and additives. But regardless of the amount of these, oil-based options are lighter than water-based options. Why so?

The density of oil is much lower than water. So, the same amount of water-based and oil-based paint will not weigh the same.

In general, a gallon of paint will be approximately 6.7 pounds. And like latex, a gallon of oil-based can cover 400 square feet of area.

A Quick Look at Weight Per Gallon of Paint

TypeWeight (1 gallon)Coverage (1 gallon)
EnamelAround 11 poundsAbout 300 square feet (single coat)
LatexAbout 11.3 pounds400 square feet (single coat)
Oil-basedApproximately 6.7 pounds400 square feet (single coat)
AcrylicAnywhere from 11 pounds and 12 pounds250 square feet (single coat)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many liters fit in a gallon?

One US gallon is 3.78 liters. So, when you are buying a gallon of paint, you are actually getting 3.78 liters of it.

2. How much does a 5 gallon of paint weigh?

Considering the fact that one gallon of paint weighs anywhere from 6 to 12 pounds, 5 gallons will be between 30 to 60 pounds. Again, the overall weight will depend on the type of paint and the brand.

3. How much does 1 Litre of paint weigh in KG?

One US liquid gallon of paint is around 3.78 liters. So, one liter of paint will be from 1.58 to 3.17 pounds. In other words, one liter of paint is 0.71 to 1.44 kg.

4. How much does 1 gallon of water weigh?

A US gallon of water is 8.34 pounds in weight. In other words, 1 gallon of water weighs around 3.78 KG.

Final Words

Now that you know how much does a gallon of paint weigh, you can make better decisions in buying paints and storing them. And as discussed earlier, oil-based colors are lighter than the other types.

So, if you do not want to go through many hassles in transporting paints, oil-based paints should be your go-to option.

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