Volume, Surface Area, and Benches

Published by patrick honner on

My summer of modest carpentry continued with the staining of this unfinished bench:

stained bench

That one-pint can of Black Cherry stain claims that it will cover 75 square feet of surface.  If so applied, how thick would that layer of stain be?  Let’s go with inches first, and convert to microns later.  Or perhaps a more reasonable question is how does the thickness of the stain compare to the thickness of a sheet of paper?

Hopefully someone will figure that out and tell me.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York

1 Comment

Scott Matthews · September 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

1 Pint = 0.0167100694 Cubic Feet

So, 0.0167100694 cubic feet divided by 75 square feet gives 0.000222800925333 feet of thickness. Multiply by 12 to get 0.002673611104 inches of thickness.

A piece of paper is about .0038 inches thick, so the paint is about 70% of the thickness of a paper.

Of course there is some estimation and measurement error here. Also, the surface of wood is not completely flat and a some of the stain will be absorbed into the wood. I’d be interested in seeing a cross-section of the bench at a microscopic level, both before and after the stain.

By the way, looks like you did a nice job staining the bench!

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