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How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room?

Are you wondering "how long does it take to paint a room?" You're in luck! This article breaks down every step of the painting process so you can see the real time that it takes to paint a bedroom.

One question we get frequently from beginner DIYers when we show interior painting projects is “how long does it take to paint a room?”

I totally understand the question. If I had never painted a bedroom before, I would want to know how long it was going to take. It always helps to know what you’re getting yourself into.

But before answering the question of how long it takes to paint a room vaguely with something like “a few hours” or “you should give yourself a couple of days”, we wanted to get super accurate.

So the last time we painted a room, we timed ourselves! Today we’re breaking down the entire process step by step and sharing exactly how long it took us to do each step of painting a room.

This time it takes to paint a room guide contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.

What is not included in the time it takes to paint a room

The planning process before painting

The entire painting process begins, of course with planning. I didn’t include the time it takes to plan in this article because it totally varies.

The planning process includes:

The planning process could be done in a matter of a couple of hours or it could take days, so it definitely varies.

The patching process before painting

The other major step that I did not include in the list below for the time it takes to paint a room is the patching that may need to be done before you paint.

I didn’t include the patching and filling holes process because it totally varies. Some rooms may require no patching, and have just a few nail holes here and there that need to be patched.

Whereas other rooms may need to be completely retextured or have major damage that needs to be repaired first.

Here’s a quick run-through of the steps that are required for patching/filling before you paint:

  • Remove everything from the walls (including curtain rods) and patch all nail holes for wall decor that isn’t going in the same spot.
  • To patch nail holes, fill the hole with spackle using a putty knife and let it dry. When dry, sand smooth and cover with primer.
    • Adding primer to the patched nail hole before painting will help prevent “flashing”, which is when the paint sheen is a little different from where the patched nail hole is. This extra step is well worth it if you want your paint finish to be consistent and look professional!
  • When you’re patching the nail holes, take a slow walk around the room to check for other imperfections. Fill any dents, scratches, bumps, or holes on the walls with spackle (these areas also need to be sanded smooth and then primed too).
  • Sand any peeling paint on walls with a sanding block.
  • Don’t forget to inspect baseboards and trim too. Patch any nail holes or imperfections on trim or baseboards in the same way with spackle.

As mentioned earlier, the patching process varies for each room, so it is hard to estimate just how much time to add to the process. But I would say anywhere from 30 minutes for a few nail holes to 3+ hours for major drywall repairs.

The Time It Takes to Paint a Room: Overview

Image of paint roller with overlay breaking down the time it takes to paint a room into steps with total time  to paint a room 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Here’s a quick snapshot look at the steps we’re going to cover in this post, so you can see how long it takes for each step of painting a room.

Stage 1: Prep for Painting1 hr, 5 min total
– Clean walls, baseboards & trim30 minutes
– Cover stuff5 minutes
– Tape floors under baseboards15 minutes
– Remove outlet covers & light switch plates10 minutes
– Drop down or remove light fixtures5 minutes
Stage 2: Paint Ceiling, Doors & Trim1 hr, 5 min total
– Paint the ceiling with a roller20 minutes
– Paint door/s with a roller15 minutes
– Paint trim & baseboards with a 4-inch roller30 minutes
Stage 3: Cutting In Before Painting1 hr, 50 min total
– Cut in at ceiling line (if using a different color on the ceiling)30 minutes
– Cut in around door trim & window trim45 minutes
– Cut in along baseboards 30 minutes
– Clean paint brushes5 minutes
Stage 4: Painting Walls In Bedroom1 hr, 20 min total
– Paint the walls with a roller1 hour
– Touch up 10 minutes
– Clean up 10 minutes
Total Time to Paint A Room5 hr, 20 minutes total

Stage 1: Prep for Painting A Bedroom – 1 hour 5 minutes total

Every good painting project starts with proper preparation. This is a part of the process that many overlook, but it is essential.

It actually takes a lot longer than you’d think it would just to GET READY to paint. The steps outlined below take just over 1 hour before you can even think about painting.

Even though you may be wanting to try to paint faster, it’s well worth it to slow down and get the prep right. 

Wiping down walls in preparation to paint.

Clean Walls, Baseboards & Trim – 30 minutes

At the very least, the walls, baseboards, and trim should be wiped down with a slightly damp rag to remove any dust and grim.

To things a step further, we also recommend cleaning the walls with TSP for better adhesion of your paint. We broke down the whole process of how to clean walls before painting.

While you’re working your walk around the room cleaning the walls, you can shift the furniture away from the walls and remove wall decor.

Don’t forget to clean the ceiling too! Using a slightly damp rag attached to a Swiffer sweeper works great for this.

Cover Stuff – 5 minutes

After you finish cleaning the walls, your furniture should be, at the very least, pushed away from the walls. We like either remove the furniture from the room or push it to the center of the room so it is easy to cover.

You can quickly throw some drop cloths, old bed sheets, or plastic drop cloths over the furniture to protect it.

Blue painters tape on the floor next to the baseboard to keep paint from getting on the floor

Tape Floors Under Baseboards – 15 minutes

Next cover the edge of your flooring with painter’s tape tucked slightly under the bottom of the baseboards.

You’ll notice that we’re only taping off the flooring because we typically recommend that you “cut in” around trim, baseboards, and at the ceiling without using painter’s tape (and we explain the whole process of how to cut in paint without tape in this detailed tutorial).

To protect the rest of your rest of the flooring, you can use drop cloths that you will move around the room with you as you paint.

Note: We didn’t do this in our room because the floors were getting replaced in this room after we were done painting!

Light switch with the cover taken off for painting.

Remove Vent Covers, Outlet Covers & Light Switch Plates – 10 minutes

Next, remove all of the vent covers, light switch plates, and outlet covers with a screwdriver and put them in a Ziploc bag.

When you’re painting a room, it may also be a great time to change an outlet or light switch to modernize it.

Are you also planning on painting the doors too? If so, we recommend removing the door handle and also putting it in a Ziploc bag with all of the screws and parts.

Man on a ladder removing overhead light fixture to be able to paint the ceiling

Remove or Drop Down Light Fixtures – 5 minutes

Instead of trying to carefully paint around light fixtures on the ceiling, it’s worth the 5 minutes or so that it takes to remove them or just drop them down away from the ceiling.

  • Most recessed lights can usually just be gently pulled down and hung in place.
  • Other lightweight fixtures can usually be unscrewed and pulled down.
  • Heavier fixtures, like ceiling fans, may need to be completely removed – but some may have trim pieces that can be moved away from the ceiling without removing the whole light/fan/.
  • If you need to completely remove a fixture, be sure to handle it the right way. Follow Steps #1-4 in this tutorial.

Stage 2: Painting Ceiling, Doors, and Trim – 1 hour 5 minutes total

Next, we are going to move on to painting the ceiling, doors, trim around doors and windows, and baseboards.

By getting these other miscellaneous things painted next (before we paint the walls), we can roughly paint them without worrying much about getting the paint on the walls or taping everything off. This saves a ton of time.

Don’t worry about bumping walls while you are painting the ceiling, trim, or baseboards. Paint them quickly and then in the next step we’ll go back and “cut in” around everything with the wall paint color to get nice clean lines.

Man painting the ceiling with a paint roller on an extended paint pole.

Paint Ceiling with 9-inch Roller – 20 minutes

Pour your ceiling paint into a paint tray. Put a 3/8″ nap 9″ roller cover on a paint roller and attach an extension rod. The extension rod should have a little button on it near the top that extends it even more.

If you weren’t able to remove your light fixtures from the ceiling, start by carefully painting around the edges with a paintbrush before rolling the paint onto the ceiling.

Man painting the ceiling with overhead light fixture hanging down away from the ceiling.

Starting in one corner of the room, bring the paint roller up to the ceiling. Apply the paint to the ceiling in small sections. Slightly overlap the paint strokes as you roll it on.

Further Reading – Learn lots more all about painting a ceiling in this tutorial!

Man painting the closet door in the bedroom with a paint roller.
Photo is from another room, but you get the point 🙂

Paint Doors with 4-inch Roller – 15 minutes

Using a 3/8″ nap 4-inch paint roller cover and semi-gloss paint, paint the doors.

If you have raised panel doors, start with the ridge of the panels first, then the panels and then the horizontal pieces, and lastly vertical pieces.

Be careful to watch for drips in the corners of the panels. if you do notice the dripping, use the paint roller to clean it up before it dries.

If your doors don’t need a fresh coat of paint, feel free to skip them.

Further Reading – If you do need to paint your doors, check out our step-by-step tutorial for how to paint a door if you need some more help!

Using a paint roller to paint the top of a baseboard.

Paint Trim & Baseboards with 4-inch Roller – 30 minutes

  • Use a 4-inch paint roller cover with 3/8″ nap on the edge and front of the trim.
  • We recommend a semi-gloss paint sheen on trim and baseboards – learn why in our paint sheen guide.
  • Keep your paint roller filled up and apply the paint fairly heavily so you don’t have to apply multiple coats.
  • Be sure to make sure the paint isn’t too heavy and dripping.
  • If multiple coats are needed, wait for each to dry completely before moving on.

Further Reading – If you’ve never painted trim or baseboards before, it’s worth your time to read our tips for painting baseboards and trim.

Stage 3: Cutting In When Painting A Bedroom – 1 hour 50 minutes total

The next major step of the process before you start painting the walls is to handle all of your cutting in around door and window trim, baseboards, and at the ceiling line with a paintbrush.

If you’re confused, cutting in paint is the action of painting a straight line in a corner, around trim, baseboards, or where the ceiling meets the wall without painter’s tape.

We recommend doing all of your cutting in before you paint the walls. Rolling the paint on after you cut in will help even out any brush strokes from using a brush.

Further Reading – We have a whole blog post all about how to cut in paint if you’re interested in learning more. Below, we’ll just give a quick overview of the process so you can get an idea of how long it takes.

Man cutting in paint around the door to the bedroom

Cut In Around Door Trim and Window Trim – 45 minutes

Mix up the paint can and stir well to make sure the color is evenly dispersed. Then using an angeled paintbrush with a tapered filament, like this, load the paintbrush up and brush off the backside of the brush on the can.

Brush off excess paint on the wall right along the edge of the door or window trim, but don’t touch it.

Slowly use the angled edge of the paintbrush to press the paint into the corner where the wall meets the trim while holding the paintbrush with a steady hand.

Brush over the entire area again to make sure the paint is nice and flat on the edges and there are no brush marks so it’s easier to blend later when you paint the walls.

We also cut in around the brackets in the closet for the wire shelving (which we had removed prior to painting).

Cut In At Ceiling Line *if using a different color on ceiling* – 30 minutes

If you’re painting the same wall color on the ceiling, no need to do this step!

However, if you’re planning on painting a different color on the ceilings, get up on the ladder and cut in with the paintbrush along the top of the ceiling line.

It helps to get as high as you can on a ladder so you have a straight view of where the wall meets the ceiling. This way you can get really up close and personal with where those bristles are painting. You want to be able to see the top corner of the paintbrush clearly.

Cut In Along Baseboards – 30 minutes

Follow the same steps outlined above along the top of the baseboards with the same paintbrush and the same paint.

We’ve found that It is best to lay down on your side while cutting in where the wall meets baseboards so you have a straight-on shot of where the brush is painting.

Since we were installing flooring after the painting, we decided to wait to paint the baseboards until after the flooring was installed because they needed to be uninstalled and reinstalled after the flooring was in.

Clean Brushes – 5 minutes

It is best to clean your paintbrush as soon as you are done using that color. Most of the time when we’re working with interior paint, it’s going to be water-based paint (not oil-based paint). The great thing about working with water-based products is that cleanup can be done with simply warm water and soap.

Wash the paintbrush with warm water and a little bit of soap until the water runs clear through the brush. Shake off all excess water from the bristles before storing.

If you’re going to need to back and do another coat, you can put them in a plastic shopping bag or Ziploc bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days if needed.

Stage 4: Painting The Walls In Bedroom – 1 hour 20 minutes total

Man painting the wall with a paint roller

Roll Walls with Paint Roller – 1 hour

Grab your paint roller, 3/8″ nap paint roller cover, and extension rod. Roll the paint roller into the paint tray and spin until the paint is covering the entire roller cover.

Get excess paint off of the roller by rolling it back and forth on the ramp of the paint tray.

Bring your paint roller up to the wall and make a large W on the wall for the initial pass. Continue to roll the paint roller over the wall working in small 4′ sections overlapping the passes.

Use the extension pole on your paint roller to make it easier to reach up to the ceiling without getting on a ladder, which is no fun.

Once you’re done painting a section of the wall from top to bottom, do one long pass of the roller from the ceiling to the floor to get rid of any roller marks. Continue with the long passes slightly overlapping each.

Once you’ve done the floor-to-ceiling pass, don’t roll over that section again if you can help it.

If the paint isn’t showing full coverage after the first coat, that’s ok. Wait the recommended time for recoats as indicated on your paint can and follow up with a 2nd coat.

You can keep the paint roller wrapped in a shopping bag around the entire paint tray and roller in the fridge while you wait.

Touch Up – 10 minutes

Touching up is pretty easy. Use either a very small craft brush for small areas or a regular paint brush for touching up larger marks.

Once you the paint over the touched-up area, fan it out a bit to blend it in. This helps not make the touched-up area so noticeable.

Clean Up – 10 minutes

Rinse your paintbrushes and rollers out right away with warm soapy water and clean any roller covers that you want to keep.

We find that rinsing our roller covers and paint trays is more painful than it is worth so we usually just trash them when we are done painting a bedroom.

Lastly, remove any painter’s tape and fold up your drop cloths. Move your furniture back into place.

Total Time To Paint A Bedroom – 5 hours 20 minutes total

Man and woman painting a room with text overlay

So, there you have it! Painting a bedroom or room in your house takes just about 5 and 1/2 hours from start to finish. It totally a DIY project that you could get done on a weekend.

Even better, plan on tackling more than one room during your painting project. Just like the cost to paint a room goes down per room when you paint more than one, the time it takes to paint one room will give down the more you do.

This is because of the time it takes to get the paint out, start and stop various tasks, clean, etc. You’ll speed up the entire process if you do your paint projects with a batch-working concept.

To batch paint your rooms, you’ll do all of the prep at once, then do all of the painting on the ceilings, then the doors, etc. This way you can get everything done with that type of paint and roller at once.

Whether you choose to do one room or more, painting a room yourself is something that even a beginner can tackle! In less than 6 hours, your room will be completely transformed!

2 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room?

  1. Sorry guys but let’s be real for most of us who are not professionals it takes at least 2 days to paint a room. You forgot you have to clean the floors, wait for paint to dry first on the baseboard, ceiling, before putting the wall paint, or a second layer. Wait for the drywall putty to dry, sand off the walls if there are a lot of imperfections, clean up all the mess, etc. So realistically speaking it takes at least 2 days.

    1. Hi Simone! Yes, totally. The 5 1/2 hours is active time, not including any drying time needed. Also we mentioned at the beginning that this doesn’t include patching step, but will vary based on how many imperfections there are. That patching step could be anywhere from 15 min to 3+ hours depending on the room, so it is hard to estimate that part. 🙂 Although it may be “possible” to paint one room in one day, realistically with life happening at the same time it usually takes 2 days. 🙂

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