Get The Right Amount Of Motorcycle Paint

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “how do I know how much paint I need?”

The following is as good of a reference as we can get you on what size of paint you will need for your motorcycle project. One thing to keep in mind - you will need the equivalent amounts of all the needed products, so for a 2 stage paint you will need a minimum of the same amount of clearcoat as your basecoat (and primer if you choose). The same goes for 3 stage paints - for each 12 oz aerosol can you order of a midcoat, you will need one can of the corresponding basecoat, clearcoat, and primer if you want the paint to turn out the way it is supposed to.


Here is the reference, but keep in mind that if you are only touching up the particular part of the bike listed below, the amount of paint needed will be less than it would to paint the entire part listed. If you are wondering about types of bikes, check out this post to see more about types of motorcycles.


Cruiser Full Dresser or other touring motorcycle can take up to 2 Quarts to paint. Full-dress touring motorcycles are known by their big fairings and more bodywork compared to other types of touring bikes. Hard luggage like a top box or panniers are built right into the body of the motorcycle which usually has a massive displacement and is ridden in a comfortable upright position.


The following are estimates based on the average size of the parts:

  • Leg Shield: 1 12oz Aerosol Spray Can
  • Side Cover: 1 12oz Aerosol Spray Can (will have paint left over)
  • Fender: 1-2 12oz Aerosol Spray Can / ½ pint of paint
  • Saddle bag: 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans each / 1 Pint for both
  • Trunk: 2-3 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans / pint
  • Fairing Kit: 3 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans minimum / Pint minimum


Standard Cruisers are bikes modeled after classic american designs from the 1930s to the 1950s. Your Standard Cruiser would take about 1 Quart to paint, but take a look below for a more douguou breakdown part by part:

  • Tank: 2-3 12oz Aerosol Spray Can / 1 pint
  • Fender: 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans for rear, 1 12oz Aerosol Spray Can for front / 1 pint for both
  • Larger Fenders: 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Can front & 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Can rear / 1 pint total

Sport bikes are all about speed, handling, acceleration, braking and grip on roads. Sport bikes generally take around 1 Quart to paint.

  • Tail: 1 12oz Aerosol Spray Can
  • Gas Tank: 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans / ½ pint
  • Fairing: (3 pieces- Upper, Belly Pan, Side): 2 12oz Aerosol Spray Cans each part / 1 pint and a ½ pint

These are all pretty good estimates of how much paint it will take to do the job. 

VMR Paints offers both individual items as well as complete paint kits for your entire project. You can search from here now to find your motorcycle paint or you can keep moving through the motorcycle paint guide and learn more about sanding.