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How much paint do I need for a 2 car garage walls?

Painting the walls of your garage can greatly improve the overall look and feel of the space. But before starting any painting project, it’s important to figure out exactly how much paint you’ll need to get the job done. Calculating the right amount of paint ensures you don’t come up short halfway through painting, and also prevents you from buying more paint than necessary and wasting money.

If you have a standard two-car garage with drywall walls that need a fresh coat of paint, use this guide to help estimate the amount of paint required. With some simple measurements and calculations, you’ll know exactly how many gallons of paint to purchase before starting your garage wall painting project.

Measure the Wall Space to be Painted

The first step is to measure the wall space that needs to be painted. For a two-car garage, you’ll typically have four main walls to paint. Measure the length and height of each wall and input the dimensions into the calculator below:

Wall Length (ft) Height (ft)
Back Wall 20 8
Left Side Wall 20 8
Right Side Wall 20 8
Front Wall 20 8

For most two-car garages, the back and side walls are usually around 20 feet long, while the front wall with the garage door is around 16-18 feet long. The standard wall height is around 8 feet. Fill in the measurements of the walls you need to paint.

Calculate the Total Wall Square Footage

To determine how much paint you need, you first need to calculate the total square footage of the walls. Take the length of each wall and multiply it by the wall height to get the square footage of each individual wall:

Back Wall: 20 ft long x 8 ft high = 160 sq ft

Left Side Wall: 20 ft long x 8 ft high = 160 sq ft

Right Side Wall: 20 ft long x 8 ft high = 160 sq ft

Front Wall: 18 ft long x 8 ft high = 144 sq ft

Next, add up the square footage calculations for each wall to get the total wall square footage:

160 sq ft + 160 sq ft + 160 sq ft + 144 sq ft = 624 sq ft

So for a typical two-car garage with the sample dimensions, you’ll need to paint approximately 624 square feet of wall space. Use this total square footage number for the next calculation.

Account for Coats of Paint and Spread Rate

The amount of paint needed depends on two other factors:

  • Number of paint coats – For new drywall or dramatically changing colors, plan on applying 2-3 coats. For just refreshing existing paint, 1-2 coats is usually sufficient.
  • Paint spread rate – Based on the surface type, paints will cover different amounts of area per gallon. See the spread rate examples below:
Paint Type Spread Rate per Gallon
Flat paint 400 sq ft
Eggshell paint 400 sq ft
Satin or semi-gloss paint 350-400 sq ft
High gloss paint 350-400 sq ft

Garage walls are best painted with satin, semi-gloss, or high gloss paint since they are durable and easy to clean. These paints will cover 350-400 square feet per gallon.

Calculate Paint Quantity Needed

Now you can calculate the amount of paint needed:

Total Wall Square Footage: 624 sq ft

Number of Coats: 2

Paint Spread Rate: 400 sq ft/gallon (for satin, semi-gloss, or high gloss paint)

Paint quantity needed = (Total square footage x Number of coats) / Spread rate

(624 sq ft x 2 coats) / 400 sq ft/gallon = 3.12 gallons

So for a standard 2-car garage with 624 square feet of drywall to paint using 2 coats of satin/semi-gloss paint, you’ll need approximately 3 gallons.

Get the Right Amount of Paint

It’s always smart to round up when buying paint. Since paint is sold in whole gallons, round the calculation up to ensure having enough.

For this example, round 3.12 gallons up to 4 gallons. This provides extra paint to account for uneven application, spilled paint, or touching up any missed spots.

When purchasing paint, also factor in more paint if using darker colors. Darker paints often require an extra coat for good coverage and may use more paint than lighter colors.

And remember to check if the paint store can tint the paint to your desired color. Custom tinting eliminates the need to do it yourself and ensures color consistency across all the cans.

Tips for Painting Garage Walls

Once you’ve purchased the right quantity of garage wall paint, you’re ready to start the painting project. Follow these tips for the best painted finish:

  • Clean the walls – Remove any dirt, grime, or grease so the paint adheres well
  • Repair cracks and holes – Fill any imperfections with spackle for a smooth surface
  • Use painter’s tape – Tape off edges and trim for clean paint lines
  • Apply primer – Use primer for the best paint coverage on new drywall or changing colors
  • Use good brushes/rollers – Invest in quality paint tools for easiest application and finish
  • Paint in sections – Divide the walls into sections to maintain a wet edge and prevent lap marks
  • Allow proper drying time – Let each coat dry completely before adding another coat
  • Maintain temperature – Ideal temperature range is 50-90°F for proper paint drying

Carefully following these tips will ensure your garage walls get properly prepped and painted. Taking the time to correctly calculate how much paint is needed will prevent any problems with running out of paint or wasting extra paint.

Factors that Impact Paint Quantity Needed

While this guide provides a general estimate for how much paint is required for a typical two-car garage, keep in mind that every painting project is unique. Here are some factors that can alter the paint quantity needed:

  • Wall condition – Rough walls or porous surfaces may require more paint
  • Wall height – Rooms with cathedral ceilings require more paint
  • Color choice – Dark colors often need extra coats and more paint
  • Paint type – Flat paint covers more than glossier paints
  • Surface area – More walls or larger garages require more paint

It’s always best to measure your specific wall space instead of relying on rough garage dimensions. This ensures you get an accurate wall square footage to base your paint calculations on.

Purchasing the Right Sheen

When purchasing interior garage paint, the paint sheen you select is also an important factor. Here are some tips on choosing the right paint sheen for garage walls:

  • Flat/matte – Provides no shine and hides imperfections well. Too low-sheen for a garage.
  • Eggshell – Low-sheen with slight reflective quality. Scrubbable and easy to clean.
  • Satin – Mid-level sheen with minor gloss. Withstands moderate scrubbing.
  • Semi-gloss – Medium-high sheen and very scrubbable. Resists moisture and stains.
  • Gloss – High-shine and most durable. Resists dirt, humidity, and repeated washing.

For garages, satin and semi-gloss paints are ideal choices. Semi-gloss offers the highest durability and scrubbability. Satin provides great protection too while limiting unwanted shine. Both dry to a hard, protective finish that resists dirt, moisture, and stains.

Choosing Durable Paint Brands

When shopping for top-grade garage paint, look for exterior or interior paint lines from leading brands like:

  • Behr – Known for premium one-coat hide paints and primers
  • Benjamin Moore – Offers durable paints like Ben satin and high gloss enamel
  • Sherwin-Williams – Quality paints like ProMar 200 or Emerald Urethane
  • Valspar – Contains the Tractor & Implement line ideal for garage use
  • PPG – Manufactures tough PPG Timeless and Diamond interior paints

Investing in a quality commercial or industrial-grade paint will provide the most protection and longevity on your garage walls. The project will also require less paint overall since premium paints provide better spread and coverage.

Choosing the Right Paint Color

When selecting a color for garage walls, lighter and brighter colors work best. Some good options include:

  • White or off-white
  • Light gray
  • Soft yellow
  • Subtle blue or green
  • Beige

Lighter paint colors help reflect light and make the space feel open and airy. Painting the ceiling white or off-white can also make the garage feel larger.

Stay away from bold, dark paint colors since they tend to make garages feel smaller and dimly lit. Stick to light or medium colors to keep the garage feeling bright and spacious.

Doing Accent Walls or Ceilings

If you want to add visual interest, consider accent walls or a colored ceiling. Some ideas include:

  • Painting one wall a contrasting color for an accent wall
  • Painting the front wall with the garage doors a different color
  • Adding painted stripes or geometric patterns to walls
  • Painting the ceiling sky blue or a bright shade

Just remember accent walls or ceilings require additional paint. Be sure to account for the extra surface area when purchasing paint.


Determining how much paint you need for a garage wall painting project doesn’t need to be a guessing game. By carefully measuring your walls, calculating the total area, and factoring in the paint type and number of coats, you can accurately estimate the quantity of paint required. Expect to need approximately 3-4 gallons of high quality, durable paint for a standard two-car garage.

Armed with the right amount of paint and some helpful application tips, you can tackle painting your garage walls like a pro. Just be sure to properly prepare the walls, use painter’s tape for clean edges, apply an even coat, and allow proper drying time between coats. With the right prep work and calculations, you’ll end up with a fresh new look and protection for your garage walls.