How Much Does a 5 Gallon Bucket of Paint Weigh?

Ronnie MacDonald

There is no universal weight for five gallons of paint. This is because different brands, colors, and types of paint contain different solids. It is the solids in the paint that adds density to this product. Ron Joseph from Paint and Coatings Resource Center does provide a rough estimate for a gallon of paint. He has said that a gallon of paint weighs nearly nine pounds per gallon. You multiply nine pounds by five gallons. The result would be that five gallons of paint would weigh 45 pounds.

When the Weight of Dry Paint Matters

When you are redecorating your home and want to change the color of a room, you probably don’t put much thought into the weight of the paint once it has dried. However, there are serious situations that are impacted directly by dry paint weight. Let’s explore some of them.

Product Manufacturing

When making products, manufacturers are held to high regulations and standards. One major one being the weight they disclose for their product. When paint is added to a completed product it can impact this weight if it is not precise. That is why manufacturing companies spend thousands of dollars on computer-programmed machinery that allows them to input the dispensing of paint for their products regularly. When the computer calibration is off, the products are output often must be scrapped and redone.


The aviation industry is one that depends directly on ensuring proper weight measurements for their aircraft. When planes, helicopters, and other such machines are painted, the painter must know how much weight will be added once the paint dries. This gives them the ability to ensure the aircraft will be safe and ready to fly. If the weight is off even a little, the aircraft runs the risk of not being able to handle the performance requirements necessary. 

Marine Craft

Aircraft are not the only type of machines that are affected by dry paint weight. Marine craft like boats, personal watercraft, and other types of machines must be able to provide the buoyancy necessary to stay afloat when in the water. Knowing the dry paint weight when building these machines allows the builder to make the proper applications and omittances necessary.  

Shipping Paint

Every day paint is shipped to locations around the world. This may be for manufacturing purposes, retail sales, or one of a hundred other reasons. Regardless, the weight of the paint is necessary to ensure proper postage and handling is paid. Although, several other fees accompany the shipment of paint.

Paint is considered to be a toxic product. For this reason, the postal service and other shipping companies charge certain hazardous product fees for the transfer of these products. The specific fees can range by weight, the type of product, and the overall hazard level toward the people handling the paint itself. 

Figuring Out Dry Paint Weight

If you need to know how much paint will weigh when it dries, here is a simple guide to help you. Most paint distributors offer material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the paint they carry. On these sheets, you will find a chart that lets you know the percentage of solids found in the paint makeup. So, for example, if the paint contains 60 percent solids, this means that 40 percent is water. 

Now let’s say that the paint weighs 10 pounds per gallon. You know that 40 percent would be four pounds of water. That would leave 60 percent, or six pounds, of actual solids in the paint. These solids are what remains when the paint dries. So your total for dry paint would be six pounds if you used an entire gallon. If you use less, multiply the solid weight by the percentage amount you used.