Redecorating your wall

There’ll come a time when your child or teen wants to re-decorate their room. And if they ask to re-paint their wall, then it’s time to start putting their knowledge of area to good use.

In this activity, they’ll need to work out the costs of re-painting. That includes how much paint they’ll need to complete all four walls or just one feature wall (remembering that more than one coat of paint will be needed). They’ll also need to figure out how much of their pocket money they’ll need to budget for this DIY job.

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Paint catalogue.

The challenge

If your teenager is looking to re-decorate by painting their room, they’ll need to be able to determine the area of their bedroom walls and work out how much it’ll cost them to buy the paint.

Together, determine the surface area of each wall to work out how much paint they’ll need. Using your measurements as a starting point, ask your teenager to work out how much this will cost.


For reference, 1 litre of paint covers approximately around 16 square metres, and your teen will need to allow for at least two coats.

The conversation

Once the job is done and the walls painted, ask your child some of these reflection questions:

  • "What information do we need to work out the surface area of this wall?"
  • "What are some lessons you've learnt from this project to apply to the next one?"
  • "How much would it cost to paint the walls of our entire home?"

The career

Being able to calculate area has many uses. From this activity, you can see how useful it would be to a painter, decorator or interior designer, but property developers, town planners, real estate agents, events managers, landscapers, tradespeople, and farmers also use these area calculations daily in different ways.

Explore more

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