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These days, time tends to be a commodity in short supply. Between work and self-care, it can be challenging to find the time to do pretty much anything else. If you’re thinking about painting a room in your home, you might be thinking about how much time it will take to paint the space. How long does it take to paint a room? Painting a room can usually be done fairly quickly, and if you have some help, it can go even quicker. Let’s have a look at exactly how long it would take you to paint a room, so you know exactly how much time you need to set aside to get the job done.
Table of Contents
Why Does It Matter?
There are many reasons to consider the time It takes to paint a room. After all, you want your finish to look as good as it possibly can, so let’s have a look at why considering how much time you have to paint a room can be important and what important time-sensitive aspects of the process will most affect the outcome of your paint job.
Precision and Detail
Painting, especially if you are using a brush and roller, requires precision and timing. The last thing you want is to rush through the painting process and end up with loads of streaks and uneven patches on the surface of your walls. Working with unrushed focus will also prevent you from missing any portions of the surface as well as corners and trim. The size of the room will also affect how much time you have to focus on the finer points of your paint job which means that you will need more time to add the finishing touches if your room is particularly large.
If you are tinting your finish or spot-painting any damaged areas of the wall, you will need even more to blend the area in correctly.
How Quickly You Will Be Able to Use the Room
Drying and curing time is one of the most important aspects of painting a room. With commonly used paint types you need to allow the paint to degas and for the solvent to evaporate in order for the paint to dry correctly. This means that you need to ensure that you make provision for the time indicated by the manufacturer in your schedule. How long does it take to paint a room when it comes to the drying times of your paint? Well, this depends on the paint type you are working with and the amount of humidity present inside the room while you are painting. It might also take considerably longer to dry if the ambient temperature is extremely hot or extremely cold.
How Well You Are Able to Prepare Your Space
The time you have to prepare your workspace will affect how well your finish turns out. The preparation process generally involves cleaning, sanding, and priming the surface of your walls before the paint is applied. Failing to prepare your wall’s surface correctly can result in the paint adhering poorly and the finish of your surface being inconsistent. Preparing the surface of your walls can take a considerable amount of time between cleaning off years of dirt and grime, sanding the surface of your walls, and priming the surface which is usually about the same amount of time it takes to paint it.
Accounting for this time, especially if you’re on a deadline, is extremely important.
How Much Time You Have to Select a Paint
If you only have a finite amount of time to paint a room, then you need to ensure that you allocate a certain amount of time to select your paint. While color and finish are all important factors, deciding on the type of paint you would like to use (or need) based on what the purpose of the room is and where it is located is even more important. For example, if you are painting your living room that will see a lot of natural sunlight you might want to go with a durable paint like acrylic or acrylic-latex that’s able to stand up the heat. If you are painting a bathroom you might want to go with a moisture-resistant paint, but you will need time to select a paint and shop around.
How Long You Need to Wait Between Coats
This is something that many newcomers do not consider when gauging how long it takes to paint a wall. It can take a while to prep and paint the surface of a wall, but depending on the consistency of the paint and the material the wall is made of, one coat might not be enough to effectively conceal the surface of the wall or ensure an even coating. If this happens, it means you’ll have to apply multiple coats of paint, in which case you will have to consider how much time it takes for the initial coat to dry before the next coat can be applied.
Painting over wet paint is never a good idea, and depending on how long it takes your paint to dry and how many coats you need to apply, it can considerably increase your timeframe.
Painting a Room: How Long Does Each Step Take?
While you might have asked yourself “How long does it take to paint a wall”, you might not have considered all of the steps that come before you actually begin painting. Below we have outlined all of the steps necessary to paint a wall, as well as how long they take so you can gauge how long your next paint job will take.
Preparing Your Workspace
While preparing the surface of your walls can take a long time, it’s easy to overlook how much time it can take to prepare a space for painting. After all, you will have to move around any furnishings that are in your way, removing shelving and picture frames, not to mention laying down a tarp and covering up any areas you don’t want to be painted with painter’s tape. How long this takes depends on the size of the room and of course how many things you have inside it. Usually, the more space you have the more things are capable of occupying this space, so larger rooms take longer to clear and cover.
With that being said, this part of the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on these variables.
Preparing Your Walls
Aside from painting, this will likely take up the most time when it comes to painting a room. If you think about all the work that goes into painting a room even by a team of professional painters, it’s a staggering amount of leg work and elbow grease. What exactly will you be doing when preparing your walls for painting, you ask? Usually, you’ll have to make time to scrub all of the walls in your room to ensure that all the dirt and grime that has accumulated over time is removed before your new paint is applied.
Once the walls have been washed you need to wait for them to dry completely, and then you’ll need to sand the surface of the walls.
The time it takes to sand the surface of your walls can vary considerably depending on whether you use sanding blocks or a power sander. Obviously, using a power sander will greatly shorten your preparation time, but this depends on your level of skill and comfort with using one. Finally, you will need to prime the surface of your workpiece. Priming usually takes the same amount of time as painting does. Why? Well, you’ll need to sir the primer, pop some in a painter’s tray, set up your roller, and then prime each wall from end to end.
You can use a sprayer when applying primer which will greatly decrease the amount of time you spend preparing your walls, but just like the power sander, it depends on your skill and comfort level. How long does it take to paint a wall when all of this preparation is involved? Between cleaning all your walls, sanding them, and priming them, it can take a considerable amount of time and effort, roughly one to two hours to be exact.
This depends on the tools you are using, the size and shape of the room, and whether you’re working alone or with a friend.
Outlining Your Surfaces
This is a step that newcomers to painting tend to forget. Outlining the surfaces you intend to paint can actually save you some time when painting a room. This might seem like a tall claim, but since outlining the various surfaces in your room takes quite a bit of precision and by extension more time, doing it before you begin painting the primary surfaces can save you time in the long run. Why do you outline your walls in the first place? Well, even if you’re a seasoned painter with a top-of-the-line roller, it won’t be able to reach every little nook.
Outlining these areas of your wall beforehand, therefore, removed the need for you to paint all the way up to the ceiling or trim at the top and/or bottom of your wall.
Considering that you have four walls to paint (at the minimum), outlining all of these surfaces including the corners and trim edges can take a considerable amount of time, especially if you are painting a large room. How much time should you set aside when painting a room? We recommend setting aside around an hour to carefully outline your walls before painting the primary surfaces.
Keep in mind that the amount of time you spend outlining/cutting the little nooks of your room largely depends on the shape and angles produced by the space. A good example is how you could spend much more time outlining the interior of an attic than you would in a square or rectangular room, so adjust your allocated time accordingly.
Painting Your Surfaces
It’s finally time to paint the primary surfaces of your walls. This is simultaneously the easiest and most labor-intensive part of the process, and it’s also the part that takes the most time. Painting your primary surfaces means that you’ll be using a brush and roller, or a paint sprayer to apply your paint to the walls of your room. Using a sprayer instead of a brush and roller means that you’ll take a lot longer to paint all of the wall surfaces as you’ll have to roll your paint on in sections, ensuring that each one is blended in with the next along the way.
This can be rather labor-intensive and time-consuming, which isn’t ideal if you’re on a tight schedule.
Using a paint sprayer, as you would imagine, can cut a lot of time out of the painting process. Sprayers allow you to spray large sections of the wall very quickly, and they tend to make the blending process a lot easier as the blending is reliant on trigger pressure instead of how accurately you can use your roller. Because you can apply your paint quicker and more accurately, you’ll be able to paint more walls, create a better finish, and expend less effort while doing so.
Pretty sweet deal, right? That’s why contractors use paint sprayers when painting large surfaces and/or structures, which makes it the best option if your project is time sensitive. How long will it take to paint the primary surfaces of your wall? Well, depending on whether you use a brush and roller or a paint sprayer it can take you anywhere between one to two hours to paint the interior walls of any one room.
This takes things like the type of paint and the drying time into account, which will affect how long you’ll have to wait before additional coats can be applied.
Minimizing Your Paint Time
The physical act of painting a surface, regardless of whether you use a roller or sprayer, can take a long time. However, if you reduce the paint’s drying time you might be able to finish just a little bit faster. Remember that the majority of paints dry by allowing the solvents to evaporate, leaving behind the hardened binder and pigment. You can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes the paint to dry between coats by applying thin layers of paint instead of one or two thick ones.
Not only does this reduce the amount of time needed for the paint to dry between coats but it also improves the overall look of your finish, as layers compound to form a consistent, solid look.
That being said, applying paint in this manner can take some skill, skills which you’ll need time to develop. Why would we mention this then? Simply to point out the fact that the more you paint, the more skill and comfort you develop, which means you’ll be able to work quicker. Proficiency and efficiency tend to go hand in hand, and the art of painting is no exception to the rule.
Therefore, If you want to know how to paint a room fast, it is the combination of planning, having the right tools, and knowing how to use them as effectively as possible that will cut down on any wasted time. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to paint every space you come across in the flash of an eye, but it does mean that you’ll be a lot better at it than most people.
Clean Up Time
Whether you have been painting for years or you’re painting a room for the first time ever, cleaning up is never fun. You’ll have to remove all of the painter’s tape you so carefully put up, roll up the tarp you put on the floor, clean your brushes, rollers, and paint sprayer, and eventually store them all for the next time you’ll need them. Let’s not forget to carry all your heavy paint cans!
Clean-up may not be fun but it’s the best way to ensure that your tools are in good working order for the next time you need them and that you don’t trip over anything in the space you just painted.
Clean-up usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many things you have to do, tools you have to clean, and paint cans you have to seal and store. The nice part about clean-up is that you don’t have to rush.
All of the hard work has been done, so all that’s left for you to do is sit back and allow your paint to do its thing. You might as well use the time to wipe down your paint cans, ensure they are properly sealed, and maybe give your brushes a good soak before they go into storage for a while.
Usually, when people want to know how to paint a room fast, drying time is something that they forget entirely. After all, even if the paint is somehow applied instantaneously, you will still need to wait for it to properly dry and cure before you can make use of the room. Previously, we mentioned that applying paint in thin layers can cut down on drying time, but by how much? Well, applying paint in thin layers means that you will be able to apply your next coat a bit quicker, but this doesn’t mean that the paint has fully cured and is ready to be interacted with.
How long does it take for paint to dry and cure completely? Well, different paint types (mainly oil, acrylic, and latex-based paints) can take vastly different amounts of time to dry.
Generally speaking though, you should wait between 12 to 48 hours for the paint to dry before it is safe to touch. Under ideal conditions, 12 to 24 hours is more than enough time for the paint to dry before the room can be occupied again, but this depends on things like heat, moisture, humidity, and the type of material your walls are made of.
If you would like to be sure as to how long you have to wait before you can make use of your room again, we highly recommend you refer to the manufacturer’s recommended full cure time which should be indicated in the paint’s container. These are usually the most accurate estimates, so it’s best to stick to it.
What Other Factors Influence the Time It Takes to Paint a Room?
This is a good question. After all, not all rooms are the same size or shape, and you might not even need to paint the entire room. The tools you have available to you can also influence the time it takes for you to apply your paint, not to mention how many people are involved.
Here are some other things that can influence how much time it takes to paint a room.
Are You Painting the Whole Room?
If you are painting one or two walls in the room, you’ll get done far quicker (obviously). If you are painting all four walls but you’re going to leave the ceiling as is, you’ll also finish far quicker. If you’re only spot repairing and blending in areas of your walls and/or ceiling, this could cut your time in half compared to painting all the surfaces in the room.
What Tools Are You Using?
How fast you’re able to paint a room depends on what tools you have for the job. If you’re down on your luck and only have a few brushes to get the job done, you’re going to greatly extend the time you spend painting.
If you have a narrow roller or a paint sprayer with a small hopper that you need to refill all the time, you’ll also extend the time you spend painting.
How Many People Are Painting the Room?
This pretty much goes without saying, but if you’re painting a single room on your own it’s going to take a lot longer. The more hands you have the quicker the job will go, so if you have any friends or family that are willing to give you a hand when you’re on a deadline you could finish far quicker than if you tried to clean, prep, and paint the entire room on your own.
Now that you know why it is important to know how much time it takes to paint a room, what factors to consider, and how long each step in the process takes, why not try it out for yourself? Remember to gather everything you need beforehand, and to ensure you wear a face mask and gloves if your paint contains any nasty chemicals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Paint a 12×12 Room?
One of the most commonly painted rooms in any home is the bedroom. Most bedrooms are 12×12 ft, so how long does it take to paint a 12×12 room? If you aren’t rushing through the process, it should only take you around six hours in total.
How Do You Paint a Room Professionally?
If you’re wondering how to paint a room professionally, it can take considerable effort. Even if you have the right tools for the job and find a tutorial detailing how to paint a room professionally, it can take a lot of practice to execute as intended.
Does It Take Long to Paint a Room?
Considering the time to paint a room can be tricky. You will need to consider the time it takes to prepare the space, clean the walls, sand the walls, prime them, and then paint them. The time to paint a room generally equates to around six hours for a regular 12×12 ft room.