How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room?

Person Holding Paint Roller While Painting the Wall

You have a painting project, but you are sitting there wondering, how long does it take to paint a room? Well, that all depends on the prep work! Estimating the time a room takes to paint is not simple, but don’t worry! We have created an excellent overview to help you work out how long it will take and all of the materials you will need to finally start painting and add to your home value. The article will also introduce smart painting techniques and inform you how you can save yourself time. Here are a few tips that will help you to save time.

Key Considerations When Estimating Your Paint Job

Man Putting Tape On Wall With Woman Holding The Stepladder

There are a lot of factors that affect the length of time required to paint a room. The size of a room is most primary of these factors. The larger the room is, the more time will be needed to complete the process. So how long does it take to paint a room, well the first factor is the size!

Room Size

The time required to paint a room depends on how many areas you want to cover. For example, is it one wall or two walls, a larger or smaller room? Or the whole room with a ceiling? An average room occupies about 420 to 440 square meters of area. An average non-professional painter will take about 4 to 6 hours to paint a room.

Similarly, if you are planning to decorate a room with less surface area, less time will be consumed compared to a larger space.

Another factor contributing to making painting a room a time-consuming process is the choice of colors; if you plan to use more than two colors, a room will take more than the average time.

Number of Coats

The required number of coats depends upon the surface you are looking to cover. For example, if you want to cover the wall in a different color of paint, you require at least two coats. It would be best if you kept in mind that the first coat should dry before applying paint for the second time. In the case of low-quality paint, you will always need more to get a smooth and desirable finish. A single coat may work if you are repainting an area in the same color.

The Right Equipment

The right equipment is as necessary for a DIY guru as the correct ammunition is essential for a soldier to win the war. So, if you are a serious DIY painter, you must invest in some good equipment. Below is a list of some helpful tools that the average homeowner can pick up easily.

Paint Brush

The 2.5-3 inches small brush is convenient, functional, and great for almost all painting situations. It is also good for a trim painting job. If you keep the brush properly cleaned and stored, it can last years.

Drop Cloth

A good quality canvas drop cloth is handier than a cheap plastic one, so invest in quality clothes as they can be an invaluable asset.

Roller Handle

Start rolling with a 9-inch roller with a synthetic core and a 3/8-inch nap. Mini rollers are also helpful for working around small spaces. Try not to compromise on the quality. Don’t buy an expensive roller but don’t get a cheaper one either. There are many different ones available to buy at your local DIY store.

Painter’s Tape

Purchasing a good quality Painter’s tape like Frogtape or M3  is essential; however, how you use it also matters. When you use it on the wall, apply a damp cloth over it to create a seal. Pay attention to the time when the Painter’s tape needs to remove. Remove Painter’s tape carefully to get a crisp finish. The time varies between 15-30 days. It can be invaluable when working around light switch covers and edging.

Paint Tray

A heavy-duty plastic tray is better than a metal tray. Plastic paint trays are rigid, and latex paint does not stick to the tray while cleaning.

Sanding Sponge

A fine-grit sponge of medium size can handle most jobs. Experts say that if you want to avoid dust by using sandpaper, then use a damp sponge and warm water


A six-foot aluminium or fiberglass ladder is a good investment. Make sure to check it can fit you and your paint bucket’s weight

Extension Rod

To reach the ceiling, an extension rod is a must and will help prevent any achy muscles at the end of the day.

Types Of Rooms And The Time They Take To Paint

The type of room will help dictate the time taken. It can range from geographical location and presence of moisture in the air and whether you are dealing with an average-sized room vs a much larger space.

A bedroom with a single color will take less time than a kitchen. However, kitchens are often tricky as it requires more prep work with lots of masking tape and drop cloths to save the wood and gadgets from stains.

On the other hand, a bathroom with its moisture will take less time to paint but more time to dry. Most painters often start with the bathroom because it takes longer to dry.

Best Paints For Your Purpose

Person Pouring Orange Paint On Tray

Oil-based paints; are best for achieving a higher sheen level in shorter time constraints.

Emulsion Paint; is humidity resistant and is suitable for the kitchen and bathrooms. It also doesn’t crack in extreme sunlight.

Enamel Paint; is suitable for copper and metal surfaces and also best for wood.

Bituminous Paint; has weatherproof and anti-corrosive properties and is best used as a coating for things made up of iron.

Synthetic Rubber Paint; is used to coat high concrete areas like roads and swimming pools.

Time-Saving Methods

You must do certain necessary things to save time for yourself. By following these essential steps, you can ensure that your painting process will take less time than usual.

Protect Your Floors and Furniture

Before painting a room, it’s better to save your furniture and floor from the potential stains they might get. For that, you need to cover your floor and furniture with an old cover or sheet to protect it.

Also, cover the areas you want to keep unpainted with masking tape. For example, you can use masking tape to cover picture frames, window frames, and doors.

Roller vs Brush

Choose wisely before deciding on your tool. Brush and roller both have their significance. Brushes are good for smaller, tricky areas, while rollers are the best bet for larger rooms and bigger surface areas.

Prep the Walls

After that, start the prep work by dusting off the entire surface area you will be painting. Also, ensure you remove any picture frames if they exist in the room. Painting around a picture frame is cautious and risky work.

It would help if you also had sandpaper to clean up the walls from any chipped paint or other unwanted material on the walls. After that, try to fill the holes and cracks in walls with a patching compound or Painter’s putty.

Use the Painter’s tape in the required areas; it will help guide you and will also help you in maintaining a straight line while painting.

What Order To Do The Paint Job In

When you are ready to start painting, paint the ceiling first. Before you start, try to do the cutting-in job first where the ceiling meets the wall. Use a brush with angled bristles for cutting in as it will help you get a precise finish. Once done with the necessary cutting in, start painting the ceiling.

Roll Paint the Walls

After finishing the ceiling, paint the walls next. A good idea would be to paint the walls with a roller. Painting takes less time when done with a roller. It also saves us from using too much paint and is more straightforward than painting with a brush.

Peel Tape and Clean Up

Once you complete the final coat, wait a while to let the paint dry completely. Complete the painting trim at the end, and once ready, peel off the Painter’s tape.

Following the entire process will save you time, and you will also be able to get the paint dry quickly.

Best Paint Method For A Quick Drying Time

Drying is an essential aspect of a painting job. The more quickly the paint dries, the less time painting a room will consume. Here are a few tricks to help you get quick drying time.

Apply Lighter Coats

Apply the paint in light coats on the walls at one time. Light coats also help the wall fully absorb the paint and remove the possibility of painting chips when it gets dry. More lightweight coats have shorter drying times, and professional painters use this technique to cover more area in less time. To apply lighter coats, you must avoid using excess paint on your brush.

Paint One Wall At A Time

To save time, it is a good practice to paint one wall rather than the whole room. Then, after you are done with one coat on a wall, you can move on to another. Otherwise, your paint can dry unevenly. Also, painting one wall allows the paint to dry completely before the second coat.

Use a Hair Dryer Or Heater

Using a heater or hair dryer is not a good idea for quick-dry paint. They might work on a very thin coating of paint, but if the layer is not light, the top surface of the paint will dry fast while the underneath layer will stay wet. This may cause cracks in the top layer of the paint.

DIY vs Professional Painters

If you follow the above steps then you can absolutely paint yourself and save time and money, but hiring professional painters for the paint job can be a great idea if you want less hassle. Professional painters will often provide a free estimate and you can then decide what works best for you.

FAQs For Paint A Room

How long does it take to paint a room per square foot?

On average it should take around 15-20 mins per square footage. It should take around 10 mins per square foot to prep.

How long does paint take to dry?

Oil-based paint takes almost four hours to dry, whereas latex paint, a water-based acrylic paint, gets dried in an hour. Latex is often recommended for a quick drying time.

How hard is it to paint a room?

It is not hard to paint a room for a healthy person and does not require training. However, it needs some patience to understand and practice the skill and some valuable tips. Following the tips can even improve the work of those who like to DIY their work.

How long after painting a room can you sleep in it?

It is recommended to avoid sleeping in a freshly painted room for about two weeks. The reason is to stay safe from the toxic chemicals that can be released almost two weeks after the paint, although the paint may feel dry within two hours of painting.

Does paint dry faster in cold or hot temperatures?

To dry correctly, paint needs a temperature of around 50 degrees. If the paint is applied at a cold temperature, it may get cracked later. Even a difference of 10 degrees day and night can compromise the paint structure.

Do you have to paint a room all at once?

You can try to paint the entire room in one go. However, the borders may get dry before overlapping. This can result in a slight difference in sheen because the two paints won’t blend.

How much time does it take to paint a 12 by 12 room?

On average, a 12 by 12 room may take 5 hours to paint, excluding doors and windows. Of course, it still depends on many other factors.

How long should it take to paint three rooms?

A professional team might take a week to paint three rooms of a house; however, if you take it as a DIY project, it can linger on work for several weeks.

How many coats of paint do you need?

You usually need two coats to paint a room, but it should be kept in mind that you take a break before applying a new coat after the first one to let it dry first.

The interior walls often need only two quotes, the base quote and the finishing quote. However, it is recommended for the darker colour schemes to go for a third quote for an even finish.


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