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How long does it take to paint a room?

Posted by davisgard (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 11, 11 at 12:14

I'm a novice painter and I'm wondering if I can paint a smallish room in a 2-3 day weekend. Reading all the advice, it seems as if there is a lot of waiting time for drying between coats.

Here is what I'm thinking the steps are:

Prep room (move furniture, sand trim, dust walls, repair small holes)
Cut in on ceiling. Let dry (for an hour? 2-3 hours?). Cut in again. Let dry. Roll ceiling. Let dry. Roll ceiling again.
Paint trim. Let dry. Paint trim again. Wait overnight.
Tape trim and tape ceiling (because walls will be a different color). Will the ceiling be dry enough to tape?
Cut in walls. Let dry. Cut in walls again. Let dry. Roll walls. Let dry. Roll walls again.

Does that sound right? Is there a lot of waiting time? Should I try to paint two rooms at once?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

Newer paints dry a lot quicker than the older ones did. Also the tape is better than it used to be-doesn't pull paint off surfaces as much as it used to do.

Your procedure sounds good, but while you are waiting for areas to dry, you can be painting other areas. E.G., while ceiling is drying, work on the trim. By the time you finish the trim, you'll be ready to go back to the ceiling.

I don't usually tape the ceiling unless I'm using a pretty dark color. I usually do it freehand so I don't worry about waiting for the ceiling to dry to tape it. But I think you'd want to wait at least a day to tape it.

If you can get the ceiling and trim done the first day, you should be able to do the rest the following day. You would have waiting time the second day between the two cut in wall coats and the two rolled wall coats. During that time, you could start in on another room-wall prep, ceiling/trim, I'd think.

I'm not a pro and no spring chicken, but I'm chief painter and bottle washer in this household and uninterrupted, I can finish a decent sized room easily in 2-3 days.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

Thanks--this is very encouraging! I'm no spring chicken myself, so I'm pleased to hear 2-3 days is easily doable.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

My 2 girlfriends and I just did some painting. Here's the breakdown.
3 girls can do 14 walls incl. patch cracks/ holes, remove outlet covers etc in a total of 60 man hours.

That's 4 hours per wall and each wall took 3 coats.
That does not include wall paper removal.
It does include chasing our kids around and making them lunch!


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

Prep room (move furniture, sand trim, dust walls, repair small holes) Good

Have more than one roller pan and set of brushes - buy them from yard sales.

Cut in on ceiling. Let dry (for an hour? 2-3 hours?). Cut in again. Let dry. Roll ceiling. Let dry. Roll ceiling again. Prime the patched spots on the walls now too.

When you cut in on the ceiling, slop over onto the walls an inch or so.

Paint no more than a 2x3 foot section with a full roller load - the problem most people have is that they try to spread the paint to thin and need that second coat to fill in the thin spots.

Paint trim. Let dry. Paint trim again. Wait overnight.NOPE: Stop after the first coat and evaluate the looks. It might not need 2 coats.

By the time you are done with one round of trim in a 10x10 room, the first stuff you painted should be ready for the second coat.

Tape trim and tape ceiling (because walls will be a different color). Will the ceiling be dry enough to tape? No need to tape if you practice a bit. If you get a bit of paint on the trim. wipe it off immediately with a damp rag. I use a plastic paint shield in one hand and the brush in the other for cutting in ... it's faster than tape.

Cut in walls. Let dry. Cut in walls again. Let dry. Roll walls. Let dry. Roll walls again. NOPE: Cut in walls, making sure to feather out 4-6 inches from the edges, immediately start rolling on the first wall, because the paint will be dry already. Again, a 2x3 foot section and then reload the roller.

STOP HERE, let it dry until the walls are no longer cool to your touch (means water is still evaporating
) ... evaluate the looks.

NOTE: Half-dried paint goes through a brief semi-transparent phase where your freshly painted wall is blotchy and looks like crap. Don't panic and start overpainting the areas. Just keep going and let it dry a couple of hours.

Unless you are making an extreme color change, modern paints can be done in one coat.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

With all due respect to lazygardens, I would research the one coat vs. two coats question.

I have learned a lot from the pro painters in this forum and as a rule they recommend primer + two coats (if it has been 10 or more years since the last painting) or at the least two coats.

Search "two coats" or something similar to read postings about this issue.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

And skip the roller pan and use a bucket and bucket screen. Easier to move around, less chance of spilling.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

randita - That's why I said "Stop and Evaluate".

If it looks good, you quit. If you have blotches and show-through, you do a second coat.


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RE: How long does it take to paint a room?

Lazygardens, it's not only about coverage. It's about evenness of color, saturation of color, and durability.

See Why Two Coats of Paint Are Better Than One for one person's opinion.

I can't say that I follow that rule 100%. I've settled for one coat if durability wasn't important or if I'm painting a wall with a very similar color to the fresh paint.

But with allergies in the family, I tend to wash my walls more often than some, so durability is important to me in our heavily used rooms.


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