# How much acrylic paint do I need to fill a 2x2 meter canvas?

It's my first time painting a large canvas.

I want to buy Golden paints but I am not sure how much to get, with some room for experimentation too.

• Is golden the brand or the color?
– user24
Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 19:22
• All I can say is, thanks for the much needed information, and WOW you people are smart XD Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 17:19

Get yourself a 10 x 10 centimetre square of your canvas and paint a test piece. Once you are happy with your painting measure the amount of paint that was used and then multiply it by 400. That is how much paint you will need to create the same image on a two by two meter square canvas.

2m = 200 cm

200 cm x 200 cm = 40 000 cm^2

10cm x 10 cm = 100 cm^2

40 000 cm^2 / 100 cm^2 = 400

Your 10 cm^2 canvas is 400 times smaller than your 2 m^2 canvas.

Going the other way, you would have to scale the test piece by 400 times for it to be the same size as your desired canvas.

Oh, and you can determine the amount of paint used by weighing your canvas (the 10 x 10 cm) one before and after painting. The difference in weight is the amount of weight added by the paint. Multiply that by 400 and you will have a good estimate for the amount needed.

Experienced carpenters add 20% for wastage. Carpenters are smart, they know things will go wrong.

So a safe number would be 480 times the amount.

400 x 1.2 = 480

How much actual paint could this be?

Let's say, it takes the artist the equivalent of a quarter of a 2 fl. oz. tube of paint to cover the 10 cm^2 canvas. That's 0.5 fl. oz. of paint to do the painting with.

0.25 x 2 fl. oz = 0.5 fl. oz.

Since the 2 m^2 canvas is 400 times bigger than the 10 cm ^2 canvas you would need a total of 200 fl. oz. to do the same painting as your test piece on the larger size canvas.

0.5 fl. oz. x 400 = 200 fl. oz.

That means you would have to purchase 100 tubes of the 2 fl. oz. paint tubes.

100 x 2 fl. oz. = 200 fl. oz.

Now I did say you need to account for wastage. Assuming 20% of your paint gets wasted. then the number of tubes needs to grow by 20%. That's 120 tubes of paint.

100 * 1.2 = 120 tubes of 2 fl. oz paint tubes.

Now lets say those 2 fl. oz. paint tubes cost \$10 USD each. To buy 120 tubes at \$10 USD each would cost you a total of \$1200 USD.

120 * \$10 USD = \$1200 USD.

That's \$1200 in paint alone.

The next time you go to a gallery show and see all those large paintings hanging on the wall know that the artist had to shell out a hell of a lot of money out of their own pocket to get those paintings made.

The greatest investment artists make are in themselves.

• I was able to price 32 oz jars of student-grade acrylic for about \$22 USD apiece. That'll put the purchase at about \$150 for your volume estimates.
– user24
Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 3:30
• 200 fl. oz. needed / 32 fl. oz per jar = 6.25 jars needed. But you can't buy a quarter of a jar. .25 x 32 fl. oz = 8 fl. oz. 8 fl. oz. needed / 2 fl. oz. per tube = 4 tubes needed. Total cost now 6 jars x \$22 USD = \$132 USD Plus 4 tubes x \$10 USD = \$40 USD Total is \$172 USD for 6 jars and 4 tubes. But what about the 20% wastage? 200 fl. oz. x 20% = 40 fl. oz. 40 fl. oz. can be made up by buying 1 32 fl. oz. jar and 4 2 fl. oz. tubes. This adds an additional \$62. \$22 + (4 x \$10) = \$62 Total cost for 200 fl. oz. plus 20% wastage is \$234. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 8:51
• By shopping around you saved yourself \$966 dollars. \$1200 - \$234 = \$966 That's 80.5% off the original price for the needed paint! (\$966 / \$1200) x 100% = 80.5 % Which means you can (1) sell the painting for \$966 dollars less than you originally though or (2) you can keep the price the same and put an additional \$966 in your pocket or (3) the savings gives you some negotiation room when dealing with the customer on the sale. Shows what your return on investment can be by just shopping around. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 8:53
• That math doesn't add up. 240/32=7.5. So, 8@\$22 =\$176+tax. You don't buy 4 2oz tubes at \$10 when you can get 32oz at \$22. You pay less, buy the extra. The price will vary on supplier, regardless, but I wanted to point out that \$1200 is unlikely unless they're using a lot of different colors are really high grade stuff (which I wouldn't recommend for someone new, even though I don't paint)
– user24
Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 8:59
• 7 jars and 8 tubes is 240 fl. oz of paint. 7 jars costs \$154. And 8 tubes costs \$80 giving a total of \$234. But if we buy 8 jars that's more paint than needed and it saves you an additional \$58 because 8 jars would cost \$176. You just saved me \$56 bucks! Thanks! Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 12:46