Is a "Gallon" of Lacquer Really a Gallon?

A gallon can of some finishing products may not really have a gallon of material in it. June 30, 2014

I'm curious to know how many ounces are in Target's pigmented lacquer. General's pigmented poly comes with 9/10's of a gallon. If you buy paint that needs to be mixed to a color from a paint store you get 126 ounces's, two ounces shy of one gallon. It seems like 1/10 less in a can is a lot for tinting. Actually the regular white that doesn't get tinted is also 9/10 of a gallon. Is this standard in the industry? I always thought gallon containers should hold a gallon.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From Contributor F:
MLC only gives you 110 ounces in a gallon of Resistant, and yes I think it's a ripoff as you would likely never add that much pigment to a gallon! Unfortunately it does seem to be the SOP these days so we're stuck with it. Iím not sure about Target.

From contributor F:
Unfortunately there is no "industry standard." Variations in fill levels, even from the same manufacturer can be inconsistent. Some of this is due to poor practices at the mfg. level but different types of material can have a different maximum tint levels too.

Also, paint manufactures are catching on to the retail practice of giving less and charging more. Just like the way that you can't get a full half gallon of ice cream anymore or how that bag of chips is only half full "sold by weight, not by volume." It's not just tintable white material, it's everything - clears, solvents etc. Don't believe me? Try opening a 5 gallon pail of thinner and pour it off into measuring cups to see how much is actually in it. I'll bet it's closer to 4.75 gallons.

From Contributor F:
Just for the record the MLC products are labeled as short gallons, so itís not a fill issue. Though that's assuming that they fill it to the full 110 ounces?

From contributor A:
I have all my products shipped by weight, not volume. So if I don't have the right weight because the supplier filled my gallon of tint, which costs over $100, with a lot of foam I will have him come in and we will weigh each one and I will get a credit. I have never had a gallon with more than a gallon in it.

From contributor F:
I haven't used MLC much for the past eightyears or so, so I can't speak for them. However, manufacturers always short fill white and other base materials that are meant to be tinted and or catalyzed. In the case of MLC Resistant, I would assume the 110 oz. fill level is there to accommodate maximum tint load and the 10% catalyst ratio as well. 110 oz. base plus 11 oz. catalyst plus 7 oz. pigment equals 128 oz. This makes sense and I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with are short fills and inconsistent fills in off the shelf products which I have seen in a variety of products from different manufactures.