How Long Does It Take to Paint a House? An Insider’s Guide

Bob Thomas


Painting your house can be a transformative and rewarding experience, but it's also a project that requires careful planning and consideration.

One of the most common questions homeowners have when tackling this task is, "How long does it take to paint a house?"

As a qualified painter and decorator, I'm here to share my expertise and provide you with a comprehensive guide on the factors that influence the time it takes to paint a house.

Quick Summary

  • The time it takes to paint a house depends on factors like the size of the house, the type of paint, weather conditions, and your skill level.
  • Preparation, such as cleaning and repairing surfaces, can add to the project timeline.
  • Hiring professional painters can speed up the process.

Factors Affecting the Time It Takes to Paint a House

  1. Size of the House
  • Larger houses require more time to paint.
  • Consider the number of rooms, their layout, and the amount of detail work needed.
  1. Type of Paint
  • Oil-based paints take longer to dry than water-based paints.
  • Some colors may require multiple coats for proper coverage.
  1. Weather Conditions
  • Humidity, temperature, and sunlight can impact drying times.
  • Avoid painting in extreme weather conditions.
  1. Skill Level and Experience
  • DIY painters may take longer than experienced professionals.
  • Consider your familiarity with painting techniques and tools.
  1. Preparation Work
  • Cleaning, repairing, and priming surfaces can add to the project timeline.
  • Proper preparation ensures a long-lasting, high-quality result.
  1. Number of Painters
  • A team of professional painters can complete the project faster than a single DIY painter.

Estimated Time to Paint a House by Size My Personal Experience

House Size
DIY Painter - Interior
Professional Painters - Interior
DIY Painter - Exterior
Professional Painters - Exterior

Small (1-2 bedrooms)

3-7 days

1-3 days

3-6 days

1-3 days

Medium (3-4 bedrooms)

1-3 weeks

3-7 days

1-2 weeks

3-7 days

Large (5+ bedrooms)

2-4 weeks

1-2 weeks

2-3 weeks

1-2 weeks

Last summer, I painted a medium-sized, three-bedroom house on my own.

The project took me about two weeks to complete, working 6-8 hours a day.

Preparation work, such as cleaning the walls and repairing minor damages, took two days, and I spent the rest of the time applying two coats of paint to the walls, ceilings, and trim.

I used a water-based paint that dried relatively quickly, but I had to be cautious of the humid weather conditions that occasionally slowed down the drying process.

Tips for a Successful Painting Project

  1. Assess the area: Before starting your painting project, take time to evaluate the area you plan to paint. Check for any damage or repairs needed, such as cracks, holes, or peeling paint. Address these issues before you start painting to ensure a smooth surface.
  2. Choose the right paint: Research and select the appropriate type of paint for your project. Consider factors such as the surface material, whether it's interior or exterior, and the finish you desire (e.g., matte, satin, or glossy). High-quality paint will provide better coverage and durability.
  3. Select the right tools: Invest in high-quality brushes, rollers, and other painting tools. Good quality tools will help you achieve a more professional-looking finish and can make the painting process more efficient.
  4. Prepare the surface: Proper surface preparation is crucial for a successful paint job. Clean the walls and surfaces to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. Sand and prime the surface as needed to ensure proper paint adhesion.
  5. Protect your surroundings: Use drop cloths, painter's tape, and plastic sheeting to protect your floors, furniture, and other nearby items from paint splatters and spills.
  6. Plan your approach: Determine the order in which you'll paint the surfaces, starting with ceilings, then walls, and finally, trim and baseboards. This will help you avoid smudging or dripping paint on freshly painted areas.
  7. Apply multiple coats: Be patient and allow the paint to dry completely between coats. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for drying time and the number of coats needed for optimal coverage and durability.
  8. Maintain a consistent technique: Use consistent painting techniques, such as maintaining a wet edge and using even strokes, to avoid visible brush or roller marks.
  9. Clean up properly: Clean your brushes, rollers, and other tools thoroughly after each use. Store leftover paint in airtight containers for future touch-ups or disposal.
  10. Inspect and touch up: Once the paint is completely dry, inspect your work for any missed spots or imperfections. Touch up as needed to ensure a professional-looking finish.
  11. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation during and after the painting process to help the paint dry faster and to reduce fumes.

Remember, if you're unsure about your painting abilities or want to save time, consider hiring professional painters.

They have the expertise and equipment to complete the project efficiently and to a high standard.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q: How does weather affect the time it takes to paint a house?

  A: Weather plays a significant role in house painting projects.

High humidity, rain, and extreme temperatures can prolong drying times, potentially delaying the overall project. It's best to paint during mild, dry weather conditions.

Q: Does the type of paint used affect the time it takes to paint a house?

  A: Yes, different types of paint have varying drying times.

Oil-based paints generally take longer to dry compared to water-based paints.

Fast-drying paints are also available, which can speed up the process.

Q: Can I speed up the drying process between coats?

  A: To some extent, you can speed up the drying process by ensuring proper ventilation and using fans to circulate air.

However, it's crucial not to rush the drying process, as this can lead to an uneven finish or other issues.

Q: How long should I wait between applying primer and paint?

  A: The time between applying primer and paint depends on the specific products used.

Generally, it's best to wait at least 24 hours for the primer to dry before applying the first coat of paint.

Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for drying times.

Q: Is it more time-efficient to use a paint sprayer or a roller/brush?

  A: Paint sprayers can cover large areas quickly, making them more time-efficient for some projects.

However, they require additional preparation, such as masking and covering nearby surfaces.

Rollers and brushes may take longer but provide more control and precision, especially for detailed areas.


The time it takes to paint a house depends on various factors, including the size of the house, the type of paint used, weather conditions, and your skill level as a painter.

Suggested Products:

  1. Purdy Clearcut Elite Paintbrush: A high-quality paintbrush suitable for cutting-in and providing a smooth finish.
  2. Wooster Pro/Doo-Z Roller Cover: A professional-grade paint roller cover that ensures even paint application and reduces splatter.
  3. Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint: A high-quality exterior paint that provides excellent coverage, durability, and color retention.
  4. KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Stain Blocking Interior/Exterior Latex Primer: A versatile primer that provides excellent adhesion and stain-blocking properties.
  5. 3M Safe-Release Painter's Tape: A reliable painter's tape that helps achieve clean lines and prevents paint bleed.
  6. Graco Magnum X5 Airless Paint Sprayer: A user-friendly paint sprayer suitable for exterior painting projects, providing fast and even coverage.
  7. Wooster Sherlock Extension Pole: An adjustable extension pole that allows for easier painting of high or hard-to-reach areas.
  8. HANDy Paint Pail: A convenient paint pail with a built-in handle and magnetic brush holder, making it easier to carry and use during your painting project.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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