How to Determine the Time It Takes to Paint A Room

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How to Determine the Time It Takes to Paint A Room

time it takes to paint a room

Time It Takes To Paint An Average Sized Room

When it’s time to paint, it’s definitely important that homeowners ask for a written estimate from a professional painter. Whomever you hire, they should not only provide references and a true cost for the job, but should also be able to estimate the timing of the job. Homeowners should know if their painter is charging a fair price for their time and completion of a interior paint project.

Of course, every painting contractor works differently, but for the most part, the time it takes to paint a room will depend upon the following factors:

  • Size of the room
  • Type and sheen of paint (Flat, Latex, Satin)
  • Number of paint colors to be used in each room
  • Ceiling and trim
  • Rolling/Painting the Walls
  • Cleanup
  • Touchup

The current report from the National Home Builder Association states that the average size for a bedroom is 432 square feet. This amounts to roughly a 13′ x 13′ bedroom with 8′ ceilings

The standard method for most professional painters is to apply one coat of primer and two coats of paint on the walls, and one coat of a standard white paint on the ceiling. It can take longer if there are different colors on each wall within a room. Typically, lighter paint colors will only need two coats, but darker paint colors will probably need three to four coats.

To prep any room for painting, it’s essential to first wipe down the walls and all the trim with a damp rag to remove dust and to allow the painters tape to stick properly. For an average sized room, this step should take about 10 minutes.

Once the walls and trim have been cleaned, the painter should remove outlet and switch covers so they don’t get covered with paint. It usually takes 50 minutes to properly tape a room from start to finish. Your painting professional should use a high-quality tape in order to save time with taping the room. If the tape is poor-quality, it will not stick properly and the paint could leak through.

Your painting professional should then sand the walls with either a sanding sponge or a sanding pole. Whatever sanding dust remains should be wiped off the walls with a dust brush, damp rag or shop vac. It should take about 20 minutes for this step if your professional has the right tools.

The very last step to prep the room for painting will be to lay out drop cloths and set up paint brushes, rollers and trays. It should take about 10 minutes for any room to complete this step.


Cutting in the ceiling involves painting next to the ceiling with your brush to create a sharp clean line in the corner where the walls meet the ceiling. When you hire an experienced professional, it should roughly take about 20 minutes for the first coat of paint and 10 for the second. Cutting in the trim is similar to cutting in the ceiling but you have the trim already taped off, so it should only take 20 minutes for that.
The painter should be able to use a paint brush next to the trim, outlets, and switch covers where a roller cannot get to. Cutting in trim should take roughly 40 minutes per coat for an average room.


This is the final step in painting a room and is quite easy if the room has been prepped properly. Rolling is much more efficient and the painter should constantly look back over their work. If there are any missed spots, they can re-roll over those areas for a smooth finish. Any professional should only spend about 60 minutes to roll out each coat of paint in an average room.


The final step is essential for the completion of any painting project. The painter should remove the tape off of the trim, cleanup up any dust, fold up drop cloths, and replace all the outlet and switch covers. The best professional will also inspect the room for any missed spots, light areas, paint on trim or paint on the ceiling. The timing of this step could depend on whether the painter cleans as they work. It should take about 30 minutes to completely put the room back together.


So the total time a professional painter should spend painting an average sized room should be somewhere around 4 hours.

When you’re ready to begin a painting project in your home, let us help you estimate timing. J. Canabe has a team of painters with many years of expertise – we’ll complete your project on time and to your satisfaction. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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