How Long it Takes to Paint a House Interior: An In-Depth Guide

February 1, 2023
By Fresh Coat


Painting your home is one of the simplest ways to give your home a facelift. Opting to give your home’s interior a fresh coat of paint is also the preferred DIY project for Americans. On painting, 49% of Americans said this is a project they would like to handle themselves.

Understanding the average time to paint a room or how long it takes to paint a house interior in full enables you to plan your project and allocate your free time. Fun fact: a conventional 10” x 10” room can take up to ten hours to paint for the amateur DIYer.

Estimating the time to paint a room means going through the whole process step-by-step so that you fully understand what it entails. 

Home Interior Painting    

How Long Does It Take to Paint a Room?

Painting a room can be a challenging task, but if you have a plan, it’s one you can conquer. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the size of the room, the type of paint used, and the amount of time it will take to complete each step. Generally, it will take an experienced painter no more than a day or two to paint an entire room, depending on the size and complexity of the job. 

Smaller projects, such as accent walls, may take a few hours to complete. If you are painting a room by yourself, it may take a bit longer. You will need to properly prepare the surface, apply the paint, and allow it to dry before moving on to the next step. Depending on the type of paint and the number of coats, it may take up to a few days to complete. 


Prep Work

The first step is to prep your room. In other words, move everything out of the room. Don’t just move items to the side or center of the room—they must be out of the room. Paint splatters can cause irreparable damage to prized furniture and fabrics.

Cover larger pieces of furniture with canvas drop cloths and tape the edges down. Invest in professional covers. Ordinary lightweight fabrics, such as bedsheets, will allow paint drops to soak through.

Other prep work stages include:

  • Use a drop cloth to cover the floor.
  • Remove picture frames, switch covers, and other wall décor.
  • Fill wall dents and holes with caulk or spackle.
  • Cover baseboards and window frames with painter’s tape.
  • Sand down exposed wood.
  • Scrape away peeling paint. 

Depending on the size of your room, this process can take up to two hours, especially if removing large, heavy furniture pieces.

Cutting In

Cutting in is the technical part of interior painting. It’s used to paint a sharp line between the wall and ceiling, around trim and doors, or when adding a second color to a wall. The technique involves using a brush or a small roller to apply paint to the edges of a surface, creating a gradual transition between two different colors or spaces. It takes practice to master the technique and ensure the line is even and straight.

When determining how long it takes to paint a room, note that this is the lengthiest part of the process. That said, cutting in is fun because it is the most artistic part of painting your home.

Follow these tips for cutting in:

  • Use a small or medium-sized brush equipped with angled brushes. Smaller brushes are ideal for working your way around corners.
  • Take a paint cup with a handle to stop drips and wipe away the excess paint.
  • Make your life easier by using a platform bench instead of a ladder. The average home ceiling height is nine feet, meaning most rooms do not justify wrestling with a full-size ladder.

Expect cutting in to take up to three hours. If this is your first time, slow down and spend more time perfecting your technique.

Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Priming and Painting

Priming and painting take a while, but the results are worth it. Start by cleaning the walls and removing any dust, dirt, or debris. Once the walls are clean and dry, apply a primer that is suitable for the type of paint you’ll be using. After the primer has dried, apply the paint in thin and even coats. For a smooth finish, use a brush for cutting in around the edges and a roller for larger areas. Allow the paint to dry between each coat, and use a quality topcoat to seal in the finish.

We suggest you buy a 14-18-inch roller to cover more ground with each stroke. You should also have an extension rod to negate the need to climb a ladder. 

Priming and painting can take up to three hours for a single coat. However, always apply a second coat regardless of what it says on the can. Most interior walls call for two coats, with darker finishes benefitting from an additional coat. 

Cleaning Up

Cleaning up after painting can be a tedious task. It can take anywhere from an hour to a whole day, depending on how much you have to paint and the size of the area. But, it is a necessary step if you want to keep your home or workspace looking neat and tidy. 

Cleaning up after painting requires taking the appropriate steps to get rid of unwanted paint, clean the surface, and ensure that it is free of dust and debris. 

  1. Remove any painter’s tape or drop cloths used during the painting process.
  2. Clean brushes, rollers, and other painting tools with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.
  3. Remove any ladders or scaffolding used during the painting process.
  4. Dispose of any leftover paint or painting materials properly.

The Bottom Line

So, how long does it take to paint a bedroom or living room of a standard size? Depending on how many coats of paint you apply, the standard finish can take up to 10 hours, with additional coats requiring up to 14 hours of total painting time. If you are painting a large room with several colors, you may need to add additional time to account for mixing and matching colors.

Home Interior Painting

How Long Does It Take to Paint a House Interior?

To help you understand how many hours to paint the interior of a house, here is a deeper dive into the factors influencing your finishing time.

House Size

How long does painting a room take? As a general rule of thumb, the average DIY painter will spend one day per room. Some rooms may require two days if you work with non-standard wall surfaces, paint the ceiling, or if it’s an extra large space. It takes an estimated three to seven days to paint a home of 2,000-3,000 square feet. This timeline can change depending on the number of rooms, the complexity of the project, and the size of the space being painted.


Everyone has a different lifestyle. Homes filled with lightweight, portable furniture require no time at all to prep each room for painting. However, the time spent moving furniture will increase if you need to call in extra hands to move beds, cupboards, chests, and exercise equipment.

Remember, you also need to factor moving furniture back into the room after your paint job has dried. 

Home Interior Painting

Number of Rooms

The number of rooms in a house affects the time it takes to paint a house in two ways: first, the larger the number of rooms, the longer it will take to paint the entire house. Second, the larger the number of rooms, the more difficult it may be to access certain areas of the house, which can add additional time.

You also have to consider whether you will repaint your entire home interior at once. Homeowners often prefer to tackle separate home improvement projects divided by room.

Repair Work

The secret to a good paint job is providing a smooth surface for your roller to glide across. Holes, cracks, and sagging will result in an uneven finish. While you can ignore minor damage by using a smaller brush to fill in the gaps, it’s far from ideal.

Fixing holes in the drywall and errant hairline cracks produces a superior finish.


The priming process is relatively straightforward with simple room layouts. Standard square or rectangular rooms are a matter of following the lines. More complicated layouts containing alcoves, shelving, bay windows, and other non-standard elements can present a unique challenge for the DIY painter.

Drying Time Between Coats

Paint is complex chemistry in action. The type of paint chosen impacts the drying time between coats. Latex-based paints can take as little as one hour to dry, making them a homeowner’s favorite. Expect to wait anywhere from two to four hours before applying another coat.

Oil-based paints can take up to eight hours for a single coat to dry. In this case, painting a single room with multiple coats can take two to three days.

Other factors, such as temperature, humidity, and drying conditions, can impact drying time between coats. Many factors will depend on where you live and what time of year you’re painting. If you’re asking, “How long does it take to paint a house interior?” it becomes tough to answer without consulting a professional.

interior painting

How Fast Can a Professional Paint Your Home?

Asking “how long does it take to paint a bedroom?” and actually having the time to devote to the project are two separate things. Plus, painting is deceptively complex, and it only takes one miscalculation to leave a poor finish or a splatter on your favorite bookcase. Hiring a professional eliminates this problem because you are harnessing knowledge and experience the average homeowner doesn’t have.

Professionals have the know-how to paint most home interiors in their entirety within 2-3 business days. As a ballpark figure, a professional painter can complete the job in half the time of an amateur.

Moreover, other advantages exist to hiring a professional, such as:

  • Expertise – Expert painters have dedicated their lives to painting. Mistakes aren’t in their vocabulary.
  • Finish – Get a superior finish. Telling the difference between a professional vs. a DIY paint job is not difficult.
  • Coloring – Unless you choose white or cream, a professional can advise you on the colors, shades, and tones that will help your home pop.
  • Convenience – Avoid home improvement becoming a burden, and hiring a professional means not having to lift a finger.
  • Return – Homeowners often look at the price of a professional painter and recoil with sticker shock. The initial investment is a proven way of upping the value of your home, meaning the superior finish will see you making a positive return.

While hiring a professional may not be for everybody, it is the right decision if you prioritize standards as part of your home improvement drive.


multipurpose room

Let Fresh Coat Painters Help

How long to paint a house’s interior varies depending on the home and the proficiency of the homeowner. At Fresh Coat Painters, we understand that you are busy and may not have the time to paint your home. We offer affordable professional house painting services for the homeowner that demands the perfect color and impeccable standards.

Leave the job to the professionals and have your home upgraded the right way. To learn more about our team or to schedule your appointment, get your free quote from Fresh Coat Painters now.