How Long Does It Take to Paint a Room?

Last updated on July 27, 2020

The short answer is about 6.5 hours. Read on to find out how we’ve come up with this exact number.

Hiring a professional to paint the rooms in your home that are in need of a new coat has its merits of course. If you want to ensure that the job is done as best as it possibly can be then it’s a good route to take.

But if you want to be a little bit more conservative with your money and avoid spending too much on home decoration, or if you just want to try your hand at painting as a DIY project to see how good of a job you can do of it yourself, that’s also a good route.

When it comes to just painting a single room, yes the professionals have significantly more experience, practice, training and could get the job done more quickly and with fewer mistakes, it is something that most of us could get the hang of pretty easily.

Of course, it would be different because you’d just be painting at most a couple of rooms, you can take as much time as you need because there aren’t other houses and jobs waiting on you and you won’t have an unhappy homeowner coming for your head if you mess it up.

Unless you are exceptionally hard on yourself that is. It can be a rewarding experience and doing some work on your house like that is also very therapeutic and it also allows you to feel like you’re in control of everything to do with design and decoration.

If you’ve never done it before, it will probably take you a little bit of time to master the art of painting a wall correctly, but gaining that skill is worthwhile and it will be one you can use everything you or someone you know wants to have a room painted.

The thing that puts a lot of people off is how long it might take. Seeing that you probably have to try and work it into a schedule that is already full of work and family and all that sort of thing, even just one room can be intimidating.

But when you break it down into the individual jobs that make up the whole process, you’ll see how it is something that you can actually get finished relatively quickly. Let’s take a look at these steps:

In This Post:

Preparation

Room ready to paint

So there’s a couple of things you need to do before you actually start painting. A lot of people don’t bother with this stuff because they think the only necessary thing is the actual painting and everything else is a waste of time.

These people will inevitably regret this because the importance of these steps is to ensure that the rest of the room isn’t affected by the overall paint job that you’re doing. First thing’s first you want to move the furniture out of harm’s way.

You don’t need to take everything out of the room, most stuff can just be moved into the center and away from the walls, just to give you space to move around and make sure nothing will get splattered. Probably a 30-minute job for most rooms. Then you need to check the walls.

There could be several holes and crevices and stuff on account of wear and tear over the years as well as holes from nails and stuff that you should fill before you paint. If there are any significantly sized holes then there might be some more repair work needed but small holes can be filled.

Wall putty or spackling should get this job done nice and easy for you. How long this particular step takes will depend on the amount of holes present, but for the average room, this shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes.

Then you need to lay down some tape to cover the door trim, the ceiling trim, the skirting boards, the window trim, and the outlets to avoid getting any paint in places you don’t want them. This will probably take about 45 minutes.

Then you should lay down something on the floor of course. Old bed sheets are perfect for this. Beyond this you’re just looking at making sure your brushes are clean, your roller is clean, and that you have your paint tray. All of this is a 5-10 minute job.

So let’s say we’re looking on average at just under two hours of preparation, allowing for some room for mistakes and delays.

Cutting

painting trim

This is the term we use to refer to the painting around all of the trims and the ceiling. It basically means painting a thin line around all of these areas that you’ve got taped off in a sharp, tight line. 

Use your paintbrush for this, a small one preferably so that you can be as precise as possible but don’t be nervous about messing this up. The tape is there to ensure that cutting runs as smoothly as possible.

This doesn’t seem like a huge job but because you’re trying to make the line as thin as possible it can just take a little bit of time. But overall for an average-sized room we’re looking at maybe about 50 minutes for this.

Walls 

paint a wall

And now for the main part of the job, which funnily enough will usually turn out to be the easiest part of it too for a lot of people, you just want to roll the paint onto all of the walls using your roller.

This is a pretty straightforward process and one that you should be able to pick up pretty quickly. It’s self-explanatory and you can see your progress in real-time as you roll and amend your technique if necessary.

You just need to keep an eye on whether or not you’re leaving streaks and lighter patches and redo those areas, which isn’t a big deal. Especially since it’s your own walls and so trial and error really costs you nothing and isn’t going to irritate anybody.

Since we’re operating under the assumption that you are actually a complete beginner and haven’t tried this before, we’ll assume that this part of the job will take you maybe 1.5-2 hours in total.

And then once you’ve done all that, you’ve got the second coat to think of, which will take roughly two-thirds of the total time. So including the second cutting, that’s about an extra 1.75 hours

Clean-up

clean up after painting

This is also quite self-explanatory. You’ll be taking up the covering, you’ll be washing the roller, the tray and the paintbrushes and then you’ll be moving all of the furniture back into position and this should all take about 45 minutes.

Totaling It Up

So adding all of that up we’ve got 6.5 hours in total. Now this of course is for an average-sized room and depending on the size it could be more or less but as you can see it’s not a massive job by any stretch of the imagination. 

If you want a room painted, you should for sure think about doing it yourself. You can do all of this over a couple of days or even in one day if you can manage both coats so it’s not as much of a commitment as people think it is. 

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