Last Updated on July 16, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
How long does it take to paint a bedroom? Well, it depends. But I can tell you what it depends on, and how to make it take less time.
It depends on the tools you have. Or whether the bedroom is empty or furnished. It can even depend on the kind of paint you use.
General rules and assumptions
An average bedroom is about 11 feet by 11 feet, and the ceilings are 7-8 feet high.
It goes faster with a paint sprayer but it will take more prep work. With a sprayer, I can put one coat of paint on a wall in about 10 minutes. With a roller, it takes more like 45.
Yellows and reds are hard to cover. Bright, vivid colors are hard to cover. And it’s harder to cover dark colors with lighter colors.
If you have to cover a really difficult color, get a good quality primer, like Kilz or Zinnser, and get it tinted to close to the color of your final coat. If I’d known that trick when I painted a pink room, I wouldn’t have needed four coats.
I recommend something along the lines of keystone gray. It looks good, never goes out of style, and it’s easy to take care of.
Paint makes a difference
In case you’re wondering, paint that costs $40 a gallon does cover better than paint that costs $11 a gallon. But I’ve had $25/gallon paint take three coats to cover, and I’ve had $11/gallon paint get it done with two coats. Don’t assume that $25/gallon paint from a paint store is better than $25/gallon paint from a hardware store. It might be, but it might not be.
The $25/gallon paint that needed three coats was a tremendous waste of money. But the $11/gallon paint that got it done in two coats is a nice value. So if you have time, see if you can buy just a pint of a couple of different brands and price points of paint and try them out the week before. Use a fresh brush on each.
Expensive paints often promise to cover in a single coat. Depending on what you’re covering, they may. It saves you a lot of time if they do. It’s a waste of money when they don’t.
Tools make a difference
If you roll rather than spray, don’t bother with roller covers from the dollar store. Get at least a mid-grade cover from a hardware or paint store. I don’t like super-cheap brushes either, but I’d rather deal with a dollar-store brush than a dollar-store roller cover. Cheaper rollers are easier to deal with than cheap roller covers.
I use edgers around the ceiling and around the woodwork. It’s much faster than trying to cut in with a brush. A deflector helps when the woodwork is too narrow for an edger. Keep the rollers on the edger clean so you don’t get paint on the ceiling.
You may spend $20 on supplies in addition to the paint. Factor that in. Better supplies lead to a faster, higher quality paint job.
While you’re painting, you may find some painted outlets and covers. Here’s how to clean up outlet covers to like-new condition.