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How Much Does 1 Gallon Of Paint Actually Weigh?

If you are planning to do a significant amount of painting in the near future, or if you are just looking to update some walls or furniture you will need to know how much paint you are going to work with.

How Much Does 1 Gallon Of Paint Actually Weigh

Every painting project will need a certain amount of paint, and one aspect of paint that people overlook is the difference between the volume of the paint and the weight of the paint.

Since most paint is measured in volume, usually in gallons, people often do not know how much the paint itself will actually weigh.

So, if you are asking how much a gallon of paint weighs, you might be surprised at how the answer is not actually that clear!

Generally speaking a gallon of paint can weigh anywhere between 6 to 12 pounds. The reason why there is such a wide range is that the specific weight of the paint will vary depending on the type of paint you are working with, as well as the brand of the paint.

For example, enamel, acrylic, latex, and oil-based paints all have different weights, so this will mean they all have a different weight even if they are all a gallon.

If you want to know how much a 5 gallon bucket of paint weighs, this is usually anywhere between 40 and 60 pounds. 

Because the answer is not that specific, the rest of this article will be going more in depth on how you can work out how much a certain type of paint will weigh.

We will go over all the aspects that can impact the weight of a specific gallon of paint, so even if we do not go into the exact brand of paint you are looking at, we will give you the tools to work out roughly how much a certain gallon of paint will weigh.

It is also worth looking at information on the website of manufacturers and distributors, these will sometimes list the weight of a product if you look close enough, so make sure you are not missing any hidden information!

How Much Does Paint Weigh?

You will find that when paint is being sold that it will usually come in quarts or gallons. This means that you will not usually find it being sold by weight, so the actual weight of the product can sometimes be a mystery.

A lot of people prefer to measure in weight compared to volume, so knowing how they convert weight to volume can be valuable information and it is something you should keep in mind when working on a painting project.

This is especially true if you are planning to paint a large project which will need a lot of paint. It is worth noting that the weight of your paint will vary depending on the brand of the paint.

As mentioned before, the weight of most gallons of paint will be somewhere between 6 and 12 pounds. You can usually find types of paint like enamel or latex being sold in either a gallon or a half gallon size.

However, acrylic or oil based paints will usually be in a smaller size. Generally speaking, you will find that acrylic or latex paint has been mixed in a single paint, this is latex with 100% acrylic as opposed to vinyl.

Vinyl is usually a cheaper component to use in paint compared to a standard acrylic resin. Because of this the color on paints like this are unlikely to adhere to surfaces as well.

Because of this, you will find a gallon of acrylic or latex paint being the highest quality and this is usually reflected in the price.

If you want to make sure you find the best paint for your project, it is best to look for the specific information of a paint like its ingredients, these ingredients will usually influence how much the paint weighs as well.

As we mentioned earlier, the weight of the paint can often be found out if you look at the website of the manufacturer or the distributor.

These websites will often have the specific weight of the paint on the system and this will usually be publicly accessible. Some hardware stores will also sometimes have equipment to help you work out how much your paint weighs.

Looking At Specific Paints

The specific weight of your gallon of paint will depend on the type of paint and the brand you are working with, as mentioned in the introduction, there are 4 main types of paint you will need to be aware of; acrylic, enamel, latex, and oil-based.

How Much Does 1 Gallon Of Paint Actually Weigh

If you look at a gallon of latex paint, these will usually weigh somewhere between 8 pounds and 12 pounds. For example, Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer in One weighs 8 pounds, whereas FIXALL Anti-Slip Skid Grip weighs 11.82 pounds.

If you are looking for enamel paint, this will usually weigh somewhere between 9 and 11 pounds. For example, Benjamin Moore Coronado weighs 9.02 pounds, but Recolor Recycled Interior Paint  weighs 10.7 pounds.

For an acrylic, or an acrylic and latex mix, these will usually be between 9 and 12 pounds with Duralux Aluminum Boat Paint weighing 9.35 pounds, while Montage Signature.

These are just some examples, however, you can see that some types of paint will tend to be a little heavier than others, however, the ingredients used are not the only aspect that influence the weight of the paint.

Standard Paint Measurements

Before going into what influences certain aspects of the paint, we should also look at how paint is measured, and how this impacts certain aspects of the paint.

You will find that most paint comes in either 1 or 5 gallons and these are the standard sizes you can find when looking for paint in a hardware store or a similar distributor.

If you were unaware, a gallon is a unit which specifically measures the volume of something and does not measure the weight of what is inside.

This is because density, or weight does not impact the volume or the space that is taken up by something.

This means that a gallon will always be the same no matter what liquid it is. A gallon of water and a gallon of paint take up the same volume.

However, something which is also worth knowing about gallons is that there are varying different meanings to the word gallon depending on where you are.

The three different versions of gallon are; an imperial gallon, a US gallon, and a US dry gallon. In order, an imperial gallon is a measurement that is used in the UK, Canada, and some parts of the Caribbean.

This gallon is 4.5 liters. The next gallon is the US gallon which is a lower volume being close to 3.8 liters, or more specifically 231 cubic inches.

If you are finding a gallon of paint in the US, this is what the gallon will be.

It is also worth knowing that a dry gallon is 4.4 liters and this is the weight of a certain liquid once it has become solid. It is very unlikely to find something being sold as a dry gallon in the US.

Since a gallon is, as mentioned, a measurement for volume and not weights, you will need to convert it to weight, and different weights vary around the world too, so this is another aspect that can make it more confusing as well.

For example, in the US, a pound is the standard measurement for weight.

A gallon on the other hand is a measurement for volume that does not take density into account, so unless you know about the paint’s specific gravity, you are not able to easily convert gallons to pounds.

This is why you usually just need to weigh the paint itself.

How Much Will 5 Gallon Buckets Of Paint Weigh?

As we mentioned in the introduction, the specific weight of 5 gallons of paint varies, however, since this is so much bigger than just 1 gallon, this will of course be a lot heavier.

Generally speaking 5 gallons of paint tends to weigh anywhere between 40 and 60 pounds, but the specifics of this depend on the brand and the type of paint.

A latex paint will tend to be 11.2 pounds for every gallon, so if you get 5 gallons of this, it will weigh around 56 pounds. The weight of the bucket itself can also add quite a bit of weight too.

How You Can Easily Convert Gallons To Pounds

As mentioned earlier, it is very difficult to convert the volume of the paint into a weight because this will vary depending on the specific qualities of the paint.

This is because liquids vary when it comes to their specific weight or density and this needs to be taken into account.

This is why a gallon of milk will weigh 8.6 pounds which is slightly heavier than a gallon of water which weighs 8.35 pounds. Also, the weight of a liquid slightly varies depending on the temperature of the liquid as well.

For the weight of every gallon, you will need to take into account the gravity of the liquid as well as the ratio of the substrate density compared to the density of the water.

You can actually find some manufacturers printing the gravity of the paint on the sheet showing the safety data sheet. This will show other physical properties as well.

How Much Does 1 Gallon Of Paint Actually Weigh copy 2

There are also online calculators like this one which will convert gallons to pounds, however you will need to specify which liquid you are converting, and the website will not have all options available.

What Are The Different Factors That Impact The Weight Of Paint?

The most impactful factor that affects the weight of a paint is the type of paint that is used. When looking for a gallon of paint, the most common types of paint you will find are latex, acrylic, oil based and enamel.

These types of paint will all have different weights and densities which it is worth knowing about. The reason why different types of paint have different weights is because of how the paint itself is made.

The two main ways of making a paint are if it is oil or water based paint, this is the liquid the paint will work with. Every paint is essentially a combination of one of these liquids and a pigment.

There are of course some other ingredients, but these are the main ones. Other ingredients are often used to change the color slightly, or affect how good it is at priming.

So, with paint the primary liquid will either be water or oil, an oil based liquid could be a solvent, or just a different type of oil.

Generally speaking, water based paint is actually heavier than oil based paint, and as well as this, the water based paints are also safer.

The reason for this is that oil based paints tend to contain more VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and this is why it takes longer to dry too. Water based paint is also easier to wash away with soap and water because of this too.

In the US, water based paints tend to be more popular, however, oil based paints can be popular for how durable they are. Let’s look at more specific paint types and see what affects their weight.

For acrylic paints (see also “How Washable Is Acrylic Paint On Different Surfaces?“), these are similar to latex paints and are water based and both use an acrylic resin. The difference between latex paints and acrylic is that acrylic paints use an acrylic polymer emulsion meaning it just contains more acrylic.

This is the most common type of paint you will find being used in arts and crafts as well as for nail art.

Since it has a water base, these paints have a very similar weight to a latex paint, however, there is also quite a wide range of brands and versions and these all have varying qualities.

You will not usually find acrylic paints being sold in a gallon size unless it is a latex mix. It is actually a lot more common to see acrylic being sold in ounces instead.

One of the most common choices of paint to be used in home improvement or for a construction project is latex paint. This is useful for use on both interior and exterior walls, so if you are working on your home, latex paint is a great choice.

Another great quality of latex paint is that it will dry quickly and it is easy to clean up too, this is because it is water based like acrylic paint. This paint is also non-toxic as well as better for the environment than paints which use VOCs.

This means fumes from this paint are not as harmful so you do not need to worry about the ventilation in your space as much. Since it is water soluble, it is much easier to clean up when working with it.

You can actually find quite a few different types of paint being referred to as an enamel paint, so the term is not as specific as others.

The term enamel could be describing the finish you get from the paint, or instead a material that is used in the paint. However, most enamel paints will have relatively similar qualities.

For example, enamel paint will tend to dry quite quickly (see also “How To Make Your Spray Paint Dry Faster“), and when it dries the finish will be durable and glossy, this is why it is such a popular choice for painting cars and boats.

This is also why enamel paint gets used outdoors quite often like on railings and outdoor furniture.

You can find enamel paints that are oil based or acrylic and this will impact the weight quite heavily, so make sure to check with the manufacturer.

Finally, there are oil based paints, and like enamel, this can cover quite a wide array of different paints. Oil paints also have a much longer history than water based paints having been used for hundreds of years longer.

Most modern oil based paints are a pigment that has been suspended in a synthetic solvent called alkyd or linseed oil. There are some other types of paint that are made with natural oils like walnut oil.

When working with oil based paints, the toxicity needs to be considered when making sure that your space is properly ventilated, especially if you are working on a larger wall.

These paints are not usually used on walls, but instead for accents and highlights. These paints also tend to be lighter than water based.

Does Paint Weigh More Than Water?

Even though a lot of paints are water based, the water is not the only thing that contributes to the weight and a lot of these weights have non water ingredients that contribute to the weight of the product.

Of course, paint weighs more than water, which is why a gallon of paint weighs more than 8.35 pounds. Latex paint will tend to have 20% more density than water making it usually around 10 pounds for a gallon.

However, because oil based products, especially those that do not contain pigments, have lower density, they will weigh less than a water based product.


Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need on what influences the weight of your paint, and how you can work out the weight of a gallon of paint if the distributor is not sharing this information!

If you enjoyed this article, you might like our post ‘The Top 3 Cricut Machines For Trimming Fabric And Quilting‘.

Liz Miller
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