How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room?

A painter can typically complete the job in a day, depending on the size of the room. Painters spend two to 4 – 8 on average painting a room. Depending on the size of the room. This includes the prep work (cleaning, caulking, and priming). You’ll need at least that much time to properly prep, prime, and paint.

What Do You Need To Paint A Room

how to paint a room

You will need the following tools to paint the room:

  • a good paintbrush to reduce brush marks
  • a 3-8 microfiber roller sleeve
  • a paint tray
  • masking tape
  • drop cloths (or old bed sheets)
  • plstic tarps to protect your furniture
  • acrylic caulk and caulk gun (for trim and baseboards)
  • spackle to fix any nail holes or stress cracks

What Paint Should I Use For Walls?

Paint is typically categorized by the finish, which pertains to the amount of shine in the sheen.

The more shine, the more durable it will be and the easier it will be to clean. The less shine, the better it will hide surface imperfections.

Flat, eggshell, and satin paint are best for interior walls.

Semi-gloss and gloss paint is best for trim and woodwork.

what is the best paint finish for walls and trim picture

Here’s why:

  • Flat paint has no shine; it’s good at hiding surface imperfections because light doesn’t reflect off those surfaces. It also absorbs light and can make a room appear smaller.

Use flat paint on areas that you want to hide or don’t want to draw attention to — such as ceiling paint and other low-traffic areas.

  • Eggshell has a slight hint of shine, but not enough to create a reflective surface that highlights imperfections on walls and ceilings.

And because eggshell reflects some light, it can brighten a room by helping it appear lighter and larger than it actually is.

  • Satin finishes have a slight sheen, making them perfect for areas that get touched often (think bathrooms, stairways, or even kids’ bedrooms). Satin finishes are also great for high-traffic areas.

Related article What’s The Best Paint Finish?

How To Prep A Room For Painting

Before you can start painting your room you will have to prep it first.

Cover and protect everything that you don’t want to get paint on such as floors, furniture, light fixtures, outlets, and door frames.

cover furniture to prep room for painting

Make sure the walls are clean and sanded before painting.

Use 220 grit sandpaper or a sanding block to dull any uneven surfaces, wash away dust with a damp cloth or sponge, and a good degreaser like dawn dish soap.

Let the walls dry thoroughly.

If you don’t lightly sand and wash the walls before painting you could likely end up with an uneven finish. Your paint could also start peeling off.

Tape off edges with painter’s tape to protect against smudges.

Remove all outlet and light switch covers. (place them in a ziplock bag or Tupperware)

Fill in any holes or dents with spackle or putty

Do You Paint The Ceiling Or The Walls First?

If you are thinking about updating your home it is got to know how to paint a room and where to start. A good strategy is to start at the top and work your way to the bottom, ceiling to floor.

But in some cases, a different approach might be better.

I always start by painting the window trim first in this scenario.

how to paint a room and where to start trim

Then I will mask the trim off where it meets the wall with some tape (after it dried for 2 hours)

That will give me a nice sharp line between trim and wall.

Yellow Frog Tape works best for freshly painted trim.

yellow frog tape
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Lastly, I will paint all of the bottom baseboards around the floor.

Again, you don’t have to worry about any paint getting on the wall because the walls are being painted.

Next, I will paint the walls. 

How To Roll Paint On A Wall

To roll paint a wall

I suggest using a 9-inch x 3/8 in. roller sleeve.

For the best possible finish, I like using these.


I would still suggest running the tape along with the bottom baseboard trim around the floor using yellow frog tape

The reason I suggest yellow frog tape is because it is meant for delicate surfaces Last night to medium adhesion. 

Those attributes make it so that you will be able to use it on your trim after it dried for at least 2 hours

Without damaging the fresh paint after you pull the tape. 

If you use regular blue or white masking tape, chances are you will peel the paint off your trim.

Tip: To avoid any lint in your finish make sure you de-lint your roller sleeve with some masking tape and a damp rag.

As I demonstrate here.

Can I Paint My Walls Using One Coat Only?

I always suggest you do 2 coats whenever you paint your walls.

The reason being is that you will not achieve the desired finish unless you do two coats. 

Related article What’s The Best Paint Finish?

Your Sheen will not be accurate and it is more likely that you will see roller marks because of uneven application. 

How To Cut In Your Ceiling When Painting A Room

 If you are comfortable cutting in without having to mask the trim, go ahead and do so. 

You’ll need a good quality angled sash brush (preferably Nylon) to make it easier to get a clean cut in without getting paint on your freshly painted ceiling.

Load your brush with paint and start cutting in with your brush pulling from left to right.

To eliminate brush marks I like to go over the cut in line with a mini roller.

Painting Ceilings And Walls Only

In this case, I would suggest always starting with your ceilings first. Apply your two coats, considering you don’t have to Prime first. 

Priming ceilings are usually not necessary unless you have some water stains from a leak or some smoke damage from candles, a fireplace, or a furnace for example. 

In this case, you will have to use a shellac-based or oil-based primer such as kills for instance.

I like using a 4-inch mini roller to paint the edges first. 

In most cases, I use a half-inch microfiber nap. 

I like using the ones that have the microfiber at the end, that way I can get right into the corner without a problem. 

mini roller - how to paint a room


Depending on how comfortable you are cutting in I would suggest you put tape on the trim around your windows, or not. 

Personally, I like masking them because realistically you won’t get a straighter line cutting in freehand. 

Since in this scenario you didn’t paint the trim, you can just use regular blue/medium adhesion masking tape.

Painting Ceilings Only

If you are only painting the ceiling I suggest you tape your edges using the green frog tape. 

If you don’t have a perfect ceiling and your Corners are uneven, you can use the green frog tape to accommodate and make your own straight line. 

I prefer using the 2-inch tape because it makes it easier to cut in your corners without having to worry about getting ceiling paint on the wall. 

how to paint a room ceilings (1)

After running the green frog tape along your wall, use a damp rag to wipe over it. 

This will help activate adhesive and swell the tape a bit. 

Doing so will prevent the ceiling paint from bleeding onto the wall underneath the tape. 

After you paint your ceilings use caution when pulling off your tape.

Don’t go too fast. 

Pay attention to what’s happening. 

Just in case any paint starts peeling with your tape you can control the damage. 

Usually, this will not happen when you are using flat ceiling paint.

But if you are using an eggshell, semi-gloss, or any higher Sheen it might happen that the paint will dry on top of your pain and peel when you pull it off. 

If in any case, you do use a higher Sheen then flat to paint your ceilings I would suggest you either pull off your tape while the paint is still wet or use a razor knife/utility knife to cut along the edge of the tape before you peel it.

frog tape-image


Painting Walls Only

If you don’t feel comfortable enough with your cut-in skills then tape off the edge of your ceiling with frog tape or any medium adhesive tape. 

This is so that you will not get any paint on it while painting your walls. 

Unless you have to prime your ceilings because of water stains or smoke damage, paint your ceiling with two coats of whatever paint you choose.

In most cases, it is a flat white ceiling paint

Mask off your trim and baseboards to event paint from getting on them. 

Always apply 2 coats whenever you are painting your walls. 

And always spot Prime any spackled areas before you paint

After you paint your walls be careful when pulling off your tape. 

Any paint sheen higher than flat will dry on your tape and is likely to peel off with your tape unless you use a razor knife/Utility knife and cut along your tape. 

You don’t necessarily have to do this but make sure you are aware and go slow when you are pulling off your tape.

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