How Long Does It Take to Paint a Room?

By PropertyClub Team
May 9th 2022
It takes between 5-7 hours to paint an average-sized room of 120 square feet. This figure includes time spent prepping the room for painting, performing details, and cleaning up. If you prepare you can easily paint a room in one day.

The exact amount of time it will take to paint a room depends on the room’s size, how detailed the paint job must be, and how many coats you want to apply. As you might expect, larger rooms usually take more time, and smaller rooms take less time. Now we will give a breakdown of each part of the painting process and how long it takes. 

hash-markTime to Paint a Room

  • Setting Up: 1-2 hours
  • Outlining: 1 hour
  • Painting: 2-3 hours
  • Clea Up: 30-60 minutes

hash-markBreakdown of How Long It Takes to Paint a Room

1: Setting Up: 1-2 hours

The first part of painting a room is preparing the room. This includes things like moving furniture away from walls, covering the floor to protect from paint spills, removing fixtures and items hanging on the walls, and covering baseboards and frames with painters tape. Many people think they can just jump in and start painting, but that is a sure-fire way to end up with a bad and rushed paint job. 

Depending on how large the room is, initial prep work can take anywhere between 1-2 hours. The most time-consuming part of the process will likely be removing items from the walls and laying down painter's tape.

2: Outlining: 1 hour

Once you have everything prepped, you can start painting. The first step is to outline the areas that the roller will not reach effectively. This includes areas such as corners, edges, and near sidings. This process should take about an hour and gets easier the more experience you have with painting.

Here are a few tips to make the outlining process go smoother:

  • Don’t use a ladder to reach high places. Instead, use a flat platform bench. This will let you get more coverage without having to move around as much. 
  • Try to use a paintbrush with angled bristles. This will make it easier to get into hard-to-reach spaces like between fixtures or in corners. 
  • Use painter’s tape liberally. It can help keep your lines straight, and it does not take too much time to apply. 
  • Make sure you have a sturdy paint cap with handles. This will allow you to reapply paint without having to go up and down constantly.

3: Painting: 2-3 hours

Now it’s time for the main attraction. Laying down paint on the majority of the walls will take the most time of the process, but it is also the easiest and most straightforward part of the job. Because you are painting large, open spaces, you do not have to worry about precision too much until you get close to baseboards and edges. 

If you want the process of painting the room to go even faster, getting a large roller between 14”-18” will help you. You should also consider investing in an extension rod so you can get higher sections of open walls. Having the right equipment can make the process go much more smoothly and significantly reduce the time spent painting. 

You should try to lay down paint in layers. Start with a solid layer across the entire space, then go over the area again with another coat. This layered approach will ensure that the paint color is even when it dries and that some areas will not appear dull compared to other areas.

Depending on the size of the room, the actual painting process can take anywhere between 2-3 hours. The more you paint, the more experience you will have, and the less time it will take. 

4: Clean Up: 30-60 minutes

The last step is the most laid back. Now that you are done painting the room, it’s time to clean up everything. Remove any painter’s tape, clean up any tarps and ground coverings, and seal and store paint cans. You might be tempted to go ahead and put all your things back on the wall, but it’s best to wait about 48 hours for the paint to dry completely before hanging pictures and fixtures back up. Even if the paint feels dry shortly after applying, you should wait as hanging things too early can cause the paint to crack and not dry evenly. Overall, the cleanup process should take no more than an hour, possibly less. 

hash-markOther Considerations

The Whole Room, or Part of it?

If you're only painting a wall or part of a room, you will save a little couple of hours. You will also save a considerable amount of time if you're only painting the walls and trim, and not the ceiling. 

Application Method Matters

The most efficient way to paint a room is to use a roller for the walls and ceiling and brushes for corners, edges, and trim. Using a roller will save you time, but you'll still need a brush for its precision in these smaller areas. Another option for fast painting is to use a paint sprayer, but you risk getting paint everywhere, so sprayers aren't great for painting rooms indoors. 

How Many Coats?

The number of coats of paint you use will also greatly influence the time it takes to paint a room. If you're just freshening up white walls you can paint a single coat directly over them relatively quickly. If you're changing colors or your walls are in bad shape, you'll want to use primer as it will help make your new coat of paint pop. If you're using primer, you'll need to factor in the drying time, which is typically another 1-2 hours. 

If you're painting over very dark walls you might even need a second coat of paint, which will add a significant amount of time to the process. You typically need to wait 4-6 hours between coats of paint

hash-markTime to Paint a Room Bottom Line

Painting might seem like it would be a huge slog, but it does not have to be. Painting a room is a relatively simple job and won’t eat up your entire day. If you prepare ahead of time, you can paint a room in 4-6 hours without a professional’s help. Just make sure that you take each step one at a time, so you do not have to end up redoing anything.