How Much Product Do I Need?

Waterlox produces a variety of different products that may have different spread rates. They can generally be classified as Buffer Applied coatings and Wet Applied coatings (brush/pad).

Waterlox Products Spread Rate
ORIGINAL Formula
Wet Applied

500 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
125 sq. ft. per quart per coat
6 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat

UNIVERSAL Tung Oil Sealer
Buffer Applied

3200-4000 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
600-800 sq. ft. per quart per coat
300-400 sq. ft. per pint per coat
150-200 sq. ft. per half pint per coat
25-30 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat

H2OLOX Formula
Wet Applied

500 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
125 sq. ft. per quart per coat
6 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat

TRUETONE Formula
Buffer Applied

3200-4000 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
600-800 sq. ft. per quart per coat
300-400 sq. ft. per pint per coat
25-30 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat

URETHANE Formula
Wet Applied

500 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
125 sq. ft. per quart per coat
6 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat

MARINE Formula
Wet Applied

500 sq. ft. per gallon per coat
125 sq. ft. per quart per coat
6 sq. ft. per 2 oz. sample per coat


Our Find Your Finishing System tool will recommend 3 total coats for almost all projects. Typically, they will consist of one coat of a Buffer Applied coating and 2 coats of a Wet Applied coating, although there are some combinations that may vary.

The important take away is that the Buffer Applied coatings have a much higher spread rate of 3200-4000 sq. ft. per gallon per coat and the Wet Applied coatings are 500 sq. ft. per gallon per coat.

Calculate the amount of product needed for each coat using the following formula:

(Total Square Footage of Project)÷(Spread Rate of Product)

It is a good idea to err on the higher side for projects to ensure you do not run out in the middle of the application. Most products can be stored for long periods of time if done properly. See our Storage of Waterlox Products guide for more information.

Buffer Applied Coatings

Coverage Buffer

1 Gallon (128 oz.)=3200-3800 sq.ft.

1 Quart (32 oz.)=600-800 sq.ft.

1 Pint (16 oz.)=300-400 sq.ft.

1 Half Pint (8 oz.)=150-200 sq.ft.

2 oz. Sample=20-30 sq.ft.

These coatings are high solids, so a little goes a long way. These coatings include our TrueTone and Universal Tung Oil Sealer products. To ensure there is enough product, it is wise to use the 600 sq. ft. per QUART per coat. Note that the spread rate of a quart is a little less than expected based on a gallon. This is due to losses in the buffing pad itself and erring on the side of under promising to ensure enough product is purchased. Some particularly absorbent or soft woods (pine, fir, reclaimed) may even need a little more product.

Examples

BASED ON A 1500 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(1,500 sq.ft.)÷(600 sq.ft.)/QUART)=2.5 Quarts

BASED ON A 250 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(250 sq.ft.)÷(300 sq.ft.)/PINT)=0.833 Pints

BASED ON A 50 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(50 sq.ft.)÷(150 sq.ft.)/(half pint)=1/3 of a half pint

Very small projects (end tables, some furniture, small woodworking projects, etc.) can usually be done with 1 or 2 of our 2 oz. sample bottles.

Wet Applied Coatings

Coverage Wet

1 Gallon (128 oz.)=500 sq.ft.

1 Quart (32 oz.)=125 sq.ft.

2 oz. Sample=6 sq.ft.

Wet applied coatings are typically applied with a brush, pad, t-bar or other method that leaves behind a wet film layer. These coatings include our Original, H2OLox, Marine and Urethane product lines. Because these products form uniform films there is less variability in their spread rate. At least two coats are always recommended to ensure a good continuous layer of protection that has enough thickness to be durable and waterproof. Therefore, calculate what you would need for one coat and double it to determine how much product is needed to purchase.

***Note: These numbers are based on the recommended application method for each product. If you change the way you apply the finish, it will alter the spread rate. See the Number of Coats For Your Project guide for more information.

Examples

BASED ON A 1500 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(1,500 sq.ft.)÷(500 (sq.ft.)/GALLON)=3 GALLONS

BASED ON A 250 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(250 sq.ft.)÷(125 (sq.ft.)/QUART)=2 QUARTS

BASED ON A 50 SQ.FT.PROJECT:
(50 sq.ft.)÷(125 (sq.ft.)/QUART)=0.4 QUARTS

If you would like to use our traditional sealers in place of the first coat of Universal Tung Oil Sealer see our Traditional Sealers guide

8 to 1 Rule

Most of our finishes will recommend a three coat process with one coat of Buffer Applied sealer followed by two coats of a Wet Applied finish. Because the spread rate of a QUART of the buffer applied coating is approximately equal to the spread rate of one GALLON of wet applied finish, the general rule of thumb is that you’ll need about 8 times the amount of Wet Applied finish for each amount of Buffer Applied coating.

Example
For a matte finish on 500 sq. ft. of flooring the guide recommends:

1 coat of Universal Tung Oil Sealer

2 coats of H2OLox Matte Finish

(500 sq.ft.)÷(600 (sq.ft.)/QUART)=0.833 Quarts needed for the first coat

(500 sq.ft.)÷(500 (sq.ft.)/GALLON)=1 Gallon needed per coat

So total for the project, I would need about 1 quart of Universal Tung Oil Sealer and 2 gallons of H2OLox Matte Finish. Two gallons = 8 quarts, so we need 8 quarts of H2OLox to one quart of Universal Tung Oil Sealer.

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