Painting an entire room is obviously a pretty laborious and time consuming activity. However, once you’ve finished, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement and have a gorgeous new addition to your home’s interior decor.

Of course, there’s no one answer to the question “how long does it take to paint a room?”, because it always depends on a number of different factors.

In this article, we’ll be going over all these various factors and estimating how long each step of the painting process will take. Hopefully, this should give you a better understanding of how much time you should set aside for painting a room in your or someone else’s home.

Preparation Time

It’s easy to forget that painting a whole room requires a lot of preparation. You’ll definitely want to give yourself plenty of time to do this properly, because, if you don’t you could end up ruining furniture or other parts of the room.

The first thing to do is to remove all the furniture from the room. If you don’t want to remove everything, you can always cover them with some kind of sheet you don’t mind getting paint on.

This is a little risky though, so you should make sure everything’s covered properly and it might be a good idea to weigh the sheets down to prevent them slipping.

In fact, it’s probably a good idea to cover the whole room in sheets like this. Newspaper will also do the job but, again, this is risky as you could end up with paint seeping through the paper or through gaps and onto your floor or furniture.

Room Size

This might seem like an obvious point, but the amount of time it takes to paint a room depends massively on the size of the room.

For an average, amateur painter, you might expect to paint roughly 80-90 square feet per hour. You can scale this estimate to the size of your room. For example, a 400 square foot room could take anywhere from 5 to 6 hours.


Painting a room is all well and good when you have a nice, flat surface to work on. However, in most homes, this is not always the case.

You’ll have to be aware of things like power outlets and light switches, as well as shelves or extensions attached to the wall.

If you don’t want paint getting on any of these obstacles, not only will you need to spend time preparing them with tape or sheets, you’ll also need to slow down and carefully paint around them. This won’t add a significant amount of time to your overall project, but you should consider it.

Paint Application Method

How you apply your paint can also be crucial to determining how long it will take to paint a whole room.

The three main methods of applying paint are brushing, rolling and spraying. Of these three, spraying is undoubtedly the fastest, but it’s usually reserved for exterior painting projects, as the type of paint required can do damage to interior spaces.

Brushing and rolling are far more common for painting a room’s interior, and a combination of the two is often effective. You should use a roller for the larger, more open parts of the walls to apply paint to a large area, quickly. Use a paintbrush for the finer details and for cutting in near obstacles and wall edges.

Number of Coats

It’s also very important to consider how many coats you’ll need to put on the walls when estimating how much time the whole project will take you.

If you’re just going over an existing paint job, you’ll likely only need to apply one coat of paint. However, if you’re starting a new paint job, you might need two or three to have it looking clean and even.

The first coat you apply will take the longest, but you don’t have to worry about it looking perfect straight away. The point of this coat is to provide a base to work with. Every subsequent coat is all about covering the surface evenly and minimising imperfections across the whole wall.

You should research how many coats it’s estimated to take based on what type of paint you’re using, but you should keep applying more coats until the walls look evenly coated and just how you want them.

DIY VS Professionals

As you might have guessed, the time it takes an amateur painter to paint a room will be significantly longer than a professional painter and decorator.

The pros don’t have to worry about researching what type of paint they’re using or how to apply it correctly, they will have done this hundreds of times before, so they already have this knowledge.

Not to mention, with more practice comes greater efficiency. A professional painter will get stuck into their work straight away without hesitating as an amateur might do at first.

If your paint job is time sensitive and you’re worried about being able to complete it on time, it’s definitely a good idea to call in professional painters to help you out.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different factors that need to be considered for painting a room. As we said at the start, there’s no single right answer to the question of how long it’ll take, so you have to make your own estimates of how much of an impact you think each of these factors will make on your overall painting time.

Just remember that if you’re really up against it and have a short time frame for completing your paint job, professional painters and decorators can help you out very efficiently.