a quick reference when buying or comparing artist’s paints…
Artists paints come in a wide variety of sizes and it is confusing and annoying.
Things to Know
- Paint does not come in standardized sizes across brands… instead some brands will use one size standard (say 1.25 ounce tubes and 5 ounce tubes) while another brand will use metric sizing (40 ml tubes and 125 ml tubes).
- So to understand the actual size and price per unit of what you’re buying you need to convert those units! If you’re an American, you’ll need to convert those little millilitres into fluid ounces. If you’re a metric using person, you need to do the opposite.
- You can find a unit converter by simply typing “unit converter” into google search. One should appear at the top of the page. You can also find a unit converter here: https://www.digitaldutch.com/unitconverter/volume.htm
A Quick List of Paint Size Conversions
A 35 ml tube of paint is equal to a 1.2 oz tube of paint.
A 37 ml tube of paint is equal to a 1.25 oz tube of paint.
A 40 ml tube of paint is equal to a 1.35 oz tube of paint.
A 125 ml tube of paint is equal to a 4.22 oz tube of paint.
A 150 ml tube of paint is equal to a 5 oz tube of paint.
A 200 ml tube of paint is equal to a 6.8 oz (*probably sold as 7 oz) tube of paint.
A 225 ml tube of paint is equal to a 7.6 oz tube of paint.
A 235 ml can or jar is equal to an 8 oz can or jar of paint.
A 473 ml can or jar is equal to an 16 oz can or jar of paint (16 ounces is equal to a pint)
A 946 ml can or jar is equal to a 32 oz can or jar of paint (32 ounces is equal to a quart)
A 1 US Gallon can of paint is equal to 128 oz (which is 4 quarts). There is no real retail equivalent of a Gallon can in metric. Most metric sized paints stop at 1 liter. 1 US Gallon is equal to 3.78 liters (3785 ml).
Non Standard Paint Sizing
A 10 ml tube of paint is equal to 0.34 oz
A 20 ml tube of paint is equal to 0.68 oz
A 50 ml tube of paint is equal to 1.69 oz
A 60 ml tube of paint is equal to 2.02 oz
To compare paint prices:
- Convert the tube sizes into the same units.
- Divide the price of the tube by the number of units.
- Do that for both tubes, then compare. The number you have is the price per unit.
Wilson’s Oil Paint sells for $5 per 5 oz tube.
Greg’s Oil Paint sells for $5 per 40 ml tube.
To compare, I need to convert Wilson’s oz into ml… a 5 oz tube is equal to 150 ml.
I then take the price of Wilson’s tube ($5) and divide it by 150. That gives us a price of 3.3 cents per ml. ( 5 ÷ 150 = .033 )
Now Greg’s oil paint is already sold in metric units… so all you need to do is divide $5 by 40. Greg’s oil paint costs 12.5 cents per ml. ( 5 ÷ 40 = .125 )
On a per ml basis, Greg’s Oil Paints are way more expensive than Wilson’s (12.5 cents per ml compared to 3.3 cents per ml)