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February 16, 2019

How Long Does It Take To Paint a Room?

Painting is the classic do-it-yourself project. However, many homeowners underestimate how long a fresh paint job takes. While you might be able to paint a few walls or one small room in a couple of hours, most painting projects take 6 to 8 hours on average.

How Much Time Does It Take To Paint a Room?

On average, you can expect it to take 4 to 6 hours to paint a room. That time accounts for prepping, painting, and cleaning up an average 10-foot by 10-foot bedroom with one window and two doors. Depending on the square footage of the room and other factors, painting can take longer.

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours preparing the room and at least an hour cleaning up. If you are doing multiple coats or painting more than one color, allow extra time for drying. Dry times will vary depending on the paint, the air circulation, and the temperature and humidity outside.

Tips for Saving Time When Painting

Here are a few tips to help you save time when painting:

  1. Plan ahead: Take the time to prepare the room before you start painting. This includes covering furniture, flooring, and other surfaces to protect them from paint, and filling any holes or cracks in the walls.
  2. Work with a team: If you have a lot of ground to cover, consider recruiting a team of people to help you paint. This can help you complete the job faster.
  3. Use quality paint: Investing in high-quality paint can save you time in the long run because it will cover the surface more effectively and require fewer coats.
  4. Have the right tools: Painting a room quickly and effectively takes at least one paintbrush, roller, and paint tray per color. You also need painters tape and at least one drop cloth. While not necessary, smaller hand trays and an extension pole are helpful.
  5. Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks while painting to avoid fatigue and maintain your focus. This can help you stay on track and finish the job more efficiently.
  6. Hire a painting pro: Alternatively, you can save a lot of time by hiring someone to paint your room. This is especially effective if the room is large, has an odd shape, or if you just don’t want to deal with the hassle. Painting pros can usually paint a room in half or even a quarter of the time it takes you.
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What Factors Determine How Long It Takes To Paint a Room?

When it comes to how long painting a room takes, there are several related factors that all determine the total time you need.

Size and Shape of the Room

The size and shape of the room are major factors in how long it takes to paint a room. It should make sense that it takes longer to paint a larger area, but the shape of the room is also a factor.

It’s easy and faster to paint four large walls than several smaller walls with lots of corners. The number of doorways, large closets, windows, vent covers, and electrical fixtures will all impact the painting time because they take longer to prep.

Amount of Prep Work Needed

Another consideration is how much prep work you need to do before you can start painting. This includes masking baseboards and molding, laying drop cloths, and getting the painting supplies together.

Experience Level of the Painter

The experience of the paint is also a big factor in how long the process will take. An experienced painter can usually paint a room with minimal taping and just a small drop cloth.

They also know the right amount of paint and pressure to use to cover walls quickly and efficiently. Not only does this mean they can paint fast, but they can usually cover walls with a few coats of paint.

However, your average home painter will likely need more time to prepare the room. The painting itself can go much slower, and it is more likely they will need to fix mistakes as well. Cleanup also takes more time since there is more painters tape to remove.

Quality of the Paint

The quality of the paint relates to how many coats you need, which means painting will take longer. Inexpensive paints are also less likely to cling to the wall, meaning you are pushing it around without getting a solid coat.

Whereas higher-quality and premium-level paints are better at gripping the wall. They leave a smooth finish, even after just one coat. They also last longer, which means you will spend less time painting in the long run.

Type of Paint

In most cases, this really isn’t an issue because latex paint is the standard in homes. However, you might encounter oil-based or acrylic paint in some homes. Paint types usually will not mix, meaning your new paint can bubble or peel.

Applying latex paint over oil-based paints will waste a lot of time and money. If your home is older or you have a hard time painting, contact a professional painter to inspect the wall.

Number of Paint Colors You Are Using

It is faster to paint a room one color than to use multiple colors. Using more than one paint color means additional prep work and drying time as you change walls or sections. Stripes, intricate patterns, and color blocks take longer than painting each wall a single color.

It can also mean more cleaning work if you only have one paint roller or brush. Brushes can take five to ten minutes to clean and several hours to dry. While they do not need to be completely dry, using a wet brush increase the risks of blotchy or runny paint, which means you need to use more coats to cover the area.

How Many Coats of Paint

The number of coats of paint you need depends on several factors. As explained above, the quality of the paint is one factor. Other things to consider are the current color of the and the color of the new paint.

Painting lighter colors over darker ones usually require more coats. It’s also harder to see areas you missed with lighter colors, meaning you may need to go back for a second or even a third coat.

Whether You Need Primer

Primer is often misunderstood. Most people assume that it is meant to cover stains and block out dark or vibrant colors. While that’s partly true, it also creates a smooth wall surface. This makes it easier for the top coat to adhere to your walls.

While many primers are white, tinted primers also help make certain colors more vibrant with fewer coats. Grey primer is often used with green and blue paints, while pink primer is common for yellows, oranges, and reds.

If You Are Painting the Ceiling

When it comes to how long it takes to paint a room, most of us are only thinking about the walls. However, it can take longer if you also need to paint the ceiling.

Not only is there the added painting time, but ceilings usually take more prep work as well. They are harder to clean and require drop cloths on the entire floor. You also need either a ladder or an extension rod on the roller to do the actual painting.


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