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How Much Paint

How Much Paint Do I Need?

One of the most common questions that people ask is 'How much paint will I need for my boat?'

This is a difficult question to answer because much depends upon how heavily the painter applies the paint. We can generalize and assume that we are covering the surface as thickly as possible without runs. These recommendations are for two coats of paint.

Size & Type of BoatBottom PaintTopside PolyTopside EnamelWaterline  Deck    Interior

10' Dinghy1 qt1 qt
14' Outboard1-2 qt1 qt1 qt1 qt
18' Runabout2 qt1 qt2 qt1 pt1 qt
20' Sailboat3 qt2 qt2 qt1 pt1 gal
24' Runabout3-4 qt2 qt2 qt1 pt1 qt
30' Sailboat1.5 gal3 qt1 gal1 pt2 qt2 qt
32' Cruiser1.5-2 gal3 qt1 gal1 pt2 qt2 qt
36' Auxiliary2 gal5 qt2 gal1 pt1 gal3 qt
40' Sailboat2.5 gal6 qt2.5 gal2 pt1.5 gal1 gal
45' Sailboat3-3.5 gal8 qt3 gal3 pt2 gal1+ gal
50' Sportfisher4+ gal8 qt3 gal4 pt2.5 gal1+ gal

Another way to determine bottom paint quantity is to estimate the approximate surface of the hull below the waterline, using the following formula:

Length x Beam x 0.85 = Approximate Surface Area sq ft

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