How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room? (By Room Size)

Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

When organizing any painting project, time and money are crucial factors to consider.

As such, before you start painting your room you want to know how much time is required. This is especially important for a commonly used room such as the bedroom, living room, or bathroom.

What you ultimately want is for it to be completed as soon as possible to avoid inconveniences. It is just not practical to spend weeks painting a single room.

Even if you are planning to do it yourself, it is paramount you work with a timeline without compromising on quality.

But when it comes down to it, unfortunately, there is not one answer to the question of how long it will take to paint a room, as it depends on lots of variables.

Read on below to understand how much time your room painting project will take so you can plan your time, budget and workarounds accordingly.

Related: How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

how long does it take to paint a room size

What Influences the Time Required?

There are a variety of determining factors. It goes from how big the project is, how many people will be handling it, and the details of painting requirements.

The number of coats required and touch-ups also determine the total time needed for the project.

To generate an approximate timeline, it is advisable to consider all these variables. From the surface preparations to finishing, this is what can give you an overall guideline.

Here are a few more specifics which will help determine the time needed.

Are Decorative Elements Involved?

paint the room

As you can imagine the more decorative elements that are in the room that need to be painted, the longer it will take.

Simple flat walls and ceilings can be painted with rollers in one quick action. However, intricate details of cornices or decorative lighting frames found in older style homes will need tedious hand painting.

Also if you plan on doing a feature wall in a different colour then this may require extra time. In general, the more decor that needs to be done, such as molding, the more time will be needed.

What Type of Paint will Be Used?

The type of paint used is also a determinant of how long painting a room would take. Water and oil-based paints vary in terms of how long it takes to dry.

For oil-based paints, they take up to eight hours to dry and another coat can be done after 24 hours. On the other hand, water-based paints dry quicker so recoating can be done after about four hours.

As always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific type of paint you are using as they can differ between different brands too.

Related: Enamel vs Latex Paint

Level of Preparation Required

If there is a lot of furniture to be moved and preparation work to be done, the process will be longer. If there is a lot of sanding, filling, and caulking that is required, things will obviously be slower.

How old the house is also plays a significant role in the amount of time taken.

If it is too old and the walls are in bad shape, it will take longer. Oh the other hand, a brand new house or a well-maintained house may need less time.

The Size of the Room

Let’s be honest, rooms can differ greatly in size from one home to the next. Even within the same house itself.

They come in all manner of shapes and sizes, and the bigger it is, the more time it will take. For small rooms with easy access the painting time will be reduced.

Painters Experience


Whether the people or person doing the painting are knowledgeable and experienced will play a large role in how long the project will take. It will also determine the quality of the project too.

If it is a DIY project, it might take longer especially if you are not experienced, but if there are people to help and provide guidance, it will be shorter.

This is where leveraging the experience of a contractor who is skilled in painting interior walls is a great idea. They often use tricks of the trade to shortcut the time required without compromising on quality.

Additionally, an experienced painter will be prepared with all the required tools and materials to ensure efficiency.

Alternatively, an inexperienced painter may realize half way through that they need to go back to the hardware store for a specialized tool or material.

Getting Ready to Paint

house painter

Preparation is part of every successful painting project and is nothing less when it comes to painting a room. The scope of work involved here is making the surface ready.

It is an essential step that should not be skipped if great results are desired. Just think, how will the result be clean and smooth if old paint was not removed and the surface scrubbed?

Regardless of how fast you want the project done, prep must be done precisely. Being in a rush could result in a sloppy finish.

The painting contractor will have to move furniture from the walls and lay a drop cloth to cover them. This is to prevent dripping paint or splashes from staining the furniture and the floor.

All the decor, paintings, and pictures on the walls to be painted must also be removed, and light switches covered.

Perhaps, the walls have dings, dents, holes among other imperfections. They must be fixed first to ensure the surface is smooth.

Window frames, baseboards, and areas where walls meet with the ceiling should be covered as well using painter’s tape.

Depending on the scope of work involved and the size of the room, it may take one to two hours. It might be faster for some experienced painting contractors, but this is the average time.

What Is Involved During Preparation?

There is a lot that is involved during surface preparation. This is where cracks and dents are fixed for a smooth finish.

Tape-and-spackle is opted by many to bridge recurring cracks. Chipped paint should be feathered, and that is why professional painters include sanding.

Any peeling paint or bubbles must be smoothed out first.

The walls should also be cleaned by mild cleaners specifically made for this purpose. They are available in stores with instructions on how to use them.

The other thing that must be done is to caulk all cracks. If it is painted with gaps, there will be an uneven finish, and cracks will grow with time. More work might have to be done to get the walls back in shape.

Cutting In

You could be wondering what cutting in means? In layman’s language, the painter will outline the room with paint on the areas inaccessible with a roller.

The importance of this is that it results in well-blended painting that gives a smooth finish. It should not be skipped whatsoever.

This process takes about an hour, but an experienced painter may cut in, in less time.

For it to be faster, contractors choose high-quality paint brushes that are built with angled bristles. They also use painter’s tape for cutting straight lines.

The fact that time is wasted when the painter keeps moving the ladder or goes down it to get paint increases cutting time. This can be minimized significantly with proper planning.

To reduce time wastage, the painter uses a paint cup with a handle, and a flat platform bench in place of a ladder. They cover more surfaces with this setup.

Painting The Room

painting the room

Painting is the main project, and at this point, the task begins. It may not be as complicated as preparing a surface that has issues, but it still needs precision and professionalism.

The time it takes for this task depends on the size, how many are working on it, and the types of rollers being used. The larger the rollers, the more area is covered which reduces time.

Standard rollers are about 9-inch long, but there are others up to 18 inches. Rolling paint is not complicated, and it becomes easier if the contractors are well-equipped and experienced.

For instance, they can add extension rods to their large rollers to cover more area. If the room is about 10 x 10, it will take less than two hours to be painted. If it is larger, then more time will be needed.

The number of coats involved also determine how long it will take at this point. The first coat takes longer while the following ones take less time.

Also you need to consider if a base coat, known as a primer is required before the actual first coat of the final colour.

With one primer coat and two coats of the final colour, there are three coats that are needed, so total painting time needs to account for drying between coats too.

Once the painting has been completed and before the clean-up, inspect the work. If there are any imperfections, it is time to request the painter to rectify it. It is better when it is still fresh.

Related: Can I Use Exterior Paint Inside The House?

Cleaning Up

You are probably asking yourself how long it will take to clean up the room after the final coat and any touch ups are done. Depending on the size of the room and amount of prep, this could take about 1 hour.

It is time to remove the painter’s tape and drop cloth, and clean the floors. Wherever the paint has spilled, it should be cleaned at this point including dirt on the furniture.

The walls should not be touched or cleaned yet as the paint still needs time to dry.

Adding Furniture & Decorations

The room can only be put back together when the paint has dried.

Repositioning the furniture, wall hangings, and putting switch plates back on should take less than an hour, but one should wait until the paint is completely dried first.

Be patient as you do not want to mark the walls if you rush. The whole project would be a waste of time and money if you do this step too quickly.

Can A Room Be Painted Faster?

As the homeowner, it is paramount you know what to expect. Do you have a deadline when you need it finished? If so, you want to be sure how long it will take to paint the room.

Can it be done faster? The answer is yes, but it requires an expert with experience and who is well-equipped.

However, with the target of completing the task in less time, quality should not be compromised. When it is rushed, you may end up with sloppy results.

With tools such as a large paint roller, an extension rod, a quality rolling tray, and angled brushes, painting can be done faster.

All the materials needed should be within reach to avoid wasting time or stopping the project midway.

Many experienced painters will not use tape, and this helps in painting faster. The time that would have been spent fixing the tape is used to paint. They use angled brushes that do the job perfectly.

Again, they have mastered the techniques that speed up the work, especially on how to move their arms.

In many cases, a room must be painted faster not only because of saving time but also money. As it takes longer, you might have to dig deeper into your pockets to deal with not using the room during painting.

Why Talk To a Professional Painter?

Before conducting painting services, it is advisable  that you consult a painter. You probably have questions such as how long it takes to paint your room and how much it will cost.

Even professional painters might not be able to give an exact timeframe, but depending on the size of the room and scope of work, they can provide an approximate time.

Besides, they help you work out a budget and buy high-quality materials for the project.


If you are wondering how long it takes to paint a room, then here is your answer.

It depends on the size of the room, the number of workers, the scope of the project, the drying time of the paints and the number of coats.

You also need to factor in the preparation, cutting-in time, actual painting, and the clean-up.

To speed up the time required and to ensure a quality result you should really consider working with a professional. This can reduce the time without compromising on quality.

Once the painting and clean-up work has been completed, it is time to put the room back together. Just make sure the paint is completely dry before doing so.