NEW: BP Podcast 66: Flips, Apartments, & Protecting Yourself From Professional Tenants with Michael Blank

Hide this

From the BiggerPockets Blog

 BiggerPockets Blog »

Jump to Forum View All

Click a category below to view different forum categories.


General Info

BiggerPockets Q&A, Site Questions, & Announcements

1513 topics, 14397 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:22AM

BiggerPockets Exclusive PRO Area

117 topics, 839 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 05:47AM

New Member Introductions

10887 topics, 85628 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:24AM

Real Estate Success Stories

396 topics, 6155 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:59AM

General Real Estate

General Real Estate

Buying & Selling Real Estate

5935 topics, 46780 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:21AM


643 topics, 5816 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:12AM

Get Foreclosure Help - Help Stop Foreclosure Forum

316 topics, 2557 posts — Last Post 04/16/14, 03:58AM

Home Owner Association (HOA) Issues & Problems Forum

237 topics, 1609 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 08:53AM

Do it Yourself

654 topics, 6264 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 01:54AM

Reviews & Feedback

Real Estate Deal Analysis and Advice

3676 topics, 29456 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:23AM

Real Estate Guru, Book & Course Reviews and Discussions

1133 topics, 11558 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:03PM

Ask About A Real Estate Company

740 topics, 7318 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:52AM

Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Strategies


5604 topics, 43742 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 05:32AM

Rehabbing and House Flipping

3333 topics, 30994 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:20AM

Real Estate Development & New Home Construction

553 topics, 4683 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:25PM

Innovative Strategies

703 topics, 6027 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 08:48AM

Tax Liens, Notes, Paper, & Cash Flows Discussion

866 topics, 6678 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:06AM

Rent to Own a.k.a. Lease Purchase, Lease Options

692 topics, 4877 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 03:32PM

1031 Exchanges

143 topics, 1054 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 08:41AM

Foreclosure Investing

General Foreclosure & Pre-Foreclosure Forums

1686 topics, 11286 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 05:56AM

HUD, VA, and Tax Sales

414 topics, 3089 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 12:05PM


1214 topics, 10570 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 02:28PM

Short Sales

1534 topics, 13120 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 04:44PM

Landlord & Tenant Forums

Landlord & Rental Property Questions

7201 topics, 70743 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:59AM

Mobile Homes & Mobile Home Park Investing

638 topics, 5140 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 03:22PM

Investor Basics

Starting Out

7699 topics, 60439 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:17AM

Investor Psychology

431 topics, 6104 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 06:08PM

General Real Estate Investing

4717 topics, 37190 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:23AM

Real Estate Investor Marketing

1731 topics, 14094 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:39AM

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Investing Forum

1410 topics, 8985 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:17PM

Multi-Family and Apartment Investing

1109 topics, 9226 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:11AM

The Business of Real Estate

Real Estate Technology and the Internet

Real Estate Technology, Social Media & Blogging

641 topics, 4888 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 07:04AM

Business Basics

Goals, Business Plans & Entities

831 topics, 7562 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:25PM

Real Estate Finance & Legal

Financial, Tax, and Legal

Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA

2785 topics, 20005 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 05:28AM

Property Insurance

309 topics, 2045 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 07:41PM

Personal Finance Discussion

328 topics, 2731 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:33PM

Loans, Mortgages, Credit Lines

Private & Conventional Lending Discussion

2832 topics, 19695 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:40AM

Creative Real Estate Financing

1209 topics, 8769 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:24AM

Crowdfunding Real Estate

35 topics, 461 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 05:17PM

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agents

1209 topics, 7988 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:30PM

Bankers, Lenders, and Mortgage Brokers

441 topics, 1922 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 09:39AM


268 topics, 1678 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:38AM

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate Networking & Recommendations

1988 topics, 11603 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:42PM

Americans & International Real Estate

161 topics, 566 posts — Last Post 04/14/14, 11:19AM

Foreigners Buying in the USA

62 topics, 409 posts — Last Post 04/10/14, 06:27AM

Canadian Real Estate

64 topics, 428 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:22AM


Real Estate Marketplace

Real Estate Marketplace

15016 topics, 53954 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:35AM

Real Estate Events and Happenings

164 topics, 2506 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:41AM


Off Topic


2905 topics, 32409 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 06:16AM

Housing News & Real Estate Market

914 topics, 8351 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 08:41AM

BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing Summit

97 topics, 1751 posts — Last Post 04/10/14, 02:27PM

BiggerPockets Resources

Forums » Do it Yourself » How long to paint a room?

How long to paint a room?

27 posts by 24 users


· Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Just curious about those who do their own painting. How long does it take you to paint an avg. size room. Let's assume:

- a 10x12 room
- ceiling one color, with a simple piece of moulding in the same color
- walls a different color
- 2 windows, 2 doors, cutting in
- two coats needed
- not including painting baseboards and casing and prepping all done. No primer needed. Brush and roller, no spraying.

I am just finishing up a SFR that I couldn't spray. So I wanted to do a statistically irrelevant survey among BP DIYers.

SFR Investor · Tulsa, Oklahoma

I have knocked out a room of that size in under a day. Typically the most time consuming aspect of it all has been taping.

Real Estate Investor · Vancouver, Washington

How long it takes to paint a room depends on the person painting, The quality of paint jobwanted and time for paint to set between colors/coats. You should be able to do a good paint job in a day with touch up next morning with fresh eyes Good Luck

Real Estate Investor · Ellicott City, Maryland

I've only tried it once (in my personal residence). Took about 2 days before I gave up and called my painter, who started over and got it done in about 4 hours.

Small_lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 770-906-6358


Prep work completed? Throw down something to protect the floors and I could get it done in under 6 hours. Longest part would be drying in between coats, really.

SFR Investor · Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Prep can take as much time as painting. If the room is being used, moving everthing out and back in can be the most time consuming of all. But starting with an empty room, doing prep and painting, a day.

I recently painted a closet. That's just as much work as a real room! Well, not quite, becuase there was only one door. But just as much cutting in as a full sized room. And good luck keeping your butt out of the paint.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

· Evans, Georgia

When we say "you could get it done in a day", what is a
day"? Are we talking the average 8 hour work day? Are we talking the hours that there are daylight so you can accurately see the paint job and now be influenced by the shading of artifical light? Are we talking the 24 hours in a day?

SFR Investor · Annapolis, Maryland

Originally posted by Jon Holdman:

I recently painted a closet. That's just as much work as a real room! Well, not quite, becuase there was only one door. But just as much cutting in as a full sized room. And good luck keeping your butt out of the paint.

Painting half-baths are my nightmare. You have to be a contortionist to get paint around the plumbing without making a mess, and cutting in feels like you're doing a whole house instead of just one tiny room.

Real Estate Investor · Maybrook, New York

If you only have one day to complete this project, assuming the room is empty and walls are prepped and Figuring 4 hours between 1st and second coat of paint, I would cut the ceiling and walls (as far as I can reach from my small rolling scaffolding) at the same time. Roll the ceiling. Finish cutting walls, windows and doors, roll walls. Then cut and paint woodwork around doors and windows and baseboard. Eat a lunch. Then Re-roll ceiling and walls. Cleanup and eat dinner. Then touch up walls. (I always use spot light when painting to avoid the problem of shadows. When you use 300 watt bulbs to light a room while painting, It is very hard to find mistakes under normal light when finished.) I estimate starting at 7 am and finish cleanup by 7 pm.

Hope this helps.

Residential Landlord · Chicago, Illinois

Rental: 3 hours. Wouldn't do a 2nd coat on ceiling. If walls need it I will go back over them again. By the time I get back for the 2nd coat the wall is already dry.

Real Estate Investor · Michigan

@Dave M. is right. If the ceiling is already a light color, a good paint in flat white whould only take one coat. That should only take 30-45 minutes. When I've painted walls, I would do all the cutting on two walls and then roll them. Then the same thing on the other two walls. Should take about 1-2 two hours. I would put a fan on it and then paint it again soon.

As far as using tape, it's a waste of time. If you ever hire a painter and he shows up with tape, send him home. A pro will sneak right up to the edge and not waste time and money on tape. That blue tape is for people that don't know how to paint.

Last year, both of my daughters wanted their bedrooms to be pink. I dropped them off at my parents house and went ape bleep on their rooms. I had to remove their names in wooden letters from the walls which pulled off some of the drywall. I patched the bad spots with 5 minute mud and put a fan on it. I went back and forth between the bedrooms and did several coats of mud. I then sanded and primed those areas. I didn't paint the ceilings or trim, but was able to paint each bedroom with one coat and then put on a second coat the next morning. The hardest part was moving all of their small furniture out in the hall and then had to move beds and dressers back and forth.

They had no idea I was doing all of this and when they came home from spending the night at grandma and grandpa's, they were super excited. The whole project was worth it. I was pretty happy with how fast I got it all done, although it was a very late night.

· Illinois

I told the last tenants, "I'm not painting it. Everything was in good condition from when we lived there for 9 years. When we rented out my wife's former residence, we didn't paint that either.

Too many LL's out there think they gotta paint the whole house upon turnover. If it's bad, of course. I've found a tan color really holds up good; I can spot paint over it & they don't know the difference.

Slap the paint on the roller as much as you can...laye it on thick.That's one thing. And always paint across from the sun.

@Rob K is correct - if they need tape, they suck. Once, I was working on a rental between tenants. It was a somewhat shady area & some dude renting a room next door was making conversation w/ me. Turns out he said he was a former painter. "How much? $10/hr. I quized him (my white trash interview), tested him on some stuff in the rental & then said, "You're hired!"

He was an awesome painter. I had him paint everything, including the garage.

The last night, he started screwing up. I figured he was getting tired since he was working 12 hour days. Turns out it was an empty bottle of an 8 ball Colt 45.

Residential Real Estate Agent · Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Varies pretty wildly depending on who's doing it. I just had a 1000 sq ft 2br house painted. Took a couple days to prep. Day to trim paint, day to 1st coat and another day to 2nd coat.
I was shocked how fast he was able to roll the walls.

This was with a professional doing it. Would have taken me 2-3 weeks and would still look like garbage.

Landlord · Seattle, Washington

Wow. I worked with an apartment painter for about 6 months in the early eighties. He happened to be my father-in-law at the time. He typically had to complete 2 to 3 apartment units in one day. These were generally 2 and 3-bedroom units. The apartments were empty but were usually move-in ready and only needed to be painted.

The apartments each used the same paint and paint color between move-ins and it was necessary to do a full repaint (one coat). The managers liked his work because they rarely found paint skips, drips or other paint issues.

I was spoiled after working with him. I worked for several painting contractors later doing accounting work and writing up paint and drywall estimates. It didn't take me long at all to find out that most painters didn't work nearly as fast as my father-in-law.

Rehabber · Atlanta, Georgia

The key to painting is.... tools and prep work AND good paint.

Good paint cannot be stressed enough! If you're working with a roller and brush, then having good paint makes such a difference in completion time it's hard to believe. Painting with cheap paint is like trying to roll on food coloring... it's messy and very hard to get right.

A good roller is important. You'll want a 4' extension for walls and ceilings. You'll want a 3.5" or 4" cut-brush.

As has been noted - don't use tape. Tape takes a really long time to lay out and costs a ton of money. Learn to cut with your cut-brush instead.

Also, using the standard sized roller is like trying to paint the world with a tooth pick. Consider buying a large roller - it will make the job go a LOT faster and you'll wonder why you ever messed around with a small roller.

A pro painter will use stilts to cut a ceiling/crown trim. I don't want to buy stilts because I don't paint or run enough mud or trim, so I use two 6' step ladders with a 10x2 run between them. Yes, it takes a bit longer to set this up... but it BEATS THE STINK out of having to cut in 3'... move ladder... cut 3' feet... move ladder. This will cut your paint time down so much you'll be amazed.

Get a paint cup for your trim brush. I like the purdy one from Home Depot... put in a liner, pour in your paint, and go to town.

Another thing that will help cut down your time is to put your brushes in the refrigerator if you want to take a break. It will keep the brushes wet up to a day ro two... might ruin the brush though. Rollers go in a ziplock bag and then go in the fridge as well. That way you don't have to clean brushes between coats so much.

To more directly answer your question... you sound like the trim is already done (except for some crown maybe), so you're really just cutting and painting field.

A 10x12 room with that kind of set up - you should be able to lay down a full coat of paint in about an hour, maybe two at the max.

· Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Interesting answers. We're all over the board with the times. Nobody has tried the "hand grenade in a paint bucket" method yet? :)

To finally add my two cents:
Looking back at the last project, I haven't timed myself, but from gauging the times between looking at the clock, I think it took me about one hour for the ceiling, incl. brushing the simple moulding. I mostly did one coat here as well, since it's a rental.

Then I painted the trim around doors and windows plus baseboard (if applicable), 2 coats at maybe 1 hour each. No cutting in around the walls, and then if the windows have glass panes I just brush like there is no tomorrow and scrape it off with a razor blade once dry. I found this to be way faster than going at about 1 inch per minute and trying be neat.

Then cutting in plus corners. I think under half an hour per coat. I don't use tape anymore either, but here I actually successfully used that pad thingy with the two rollers that keep the pad from touching the other side. Works quite well once you get the hang of it. Get's a little tricky with a thin or rounded of baseboard, for example.

Then rolling the walls, about an hour to 1.5 hours for the first coat, little quicker for the second coat.

And no, closet not included, that goes extra. Like others said, almost as much time as the whole room.

The most frustrating in this house was actually the living room: It had a swirly texture to it. Looks quite nice, old fashioned, but with up to 1/4 inch thick swirls. Even the 1-1/4 nap roller wouldn't come into all the crevices. And that room had so my little corners and details, and the fireplace with stone inserts that you had to cut in. Freaking nightmare. One coat for just the walls took me at least 8 hours. Needless to say I found there was no second coat needed for this room...

Real Estate Investor · Michigan

Just to throw it out there, if you're doing any exterior painting, I would highly recommend investing in a sprayer. I've painted the entire exterior of a house with two coats in less than a day. I once painted an aluminum house with a brush and it took four days. Once I bought the sprayer, I felt like an idiot for ever using a brush. Some people will tape the outside, but it's not necessary. You can use a small piece of wood (luan is good) and use it as an edger. You can then touch up with a brush after.

Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri

Originally posted by Uwe K.:
Just curious about those who do their own painting. How long does it take you to paint an avg. size room. Let's assume:

- a 10x12 room
- ceiling one color, with a simple piece of moulding in the same color
- walls a different color
- 2 windows, 2 doors, cutting in
- two coats needed
- not including painting baseboards and casing and prepping all done. No primer needed. Brush and roller, no spraying.

I am just finishing up a SFR that I couldn't spray. So I wanted to do a statistically irrelevant survey among BP DIYers.

How high is the ceiling and what style of ceiling is it?

How many people will be doing the help even if it's just you doing the application?

What are you using to paint, what size of brush would you use, rolling it on is faster. It goes quicker if you throw the paint on from 16 oz cups...LOL

Uwe, are you drinking beer while you work? HB is fine and should spped the process up. By now, it should be finished.

I'd plan on a couple hours Uwe, no breaks, phone calls, kids, dogs, mishaps or the police telling you to hold down the noise. The trim will take likely longer. :)

Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com

· Norfolk, Virginia

Actually based on experience, it depends on the painter and the motivation :) Sometimes, if inspired, it will only take hours. Paints composition and chemical are now advanced that it has to dry fast. Another thing is that it also depends in the number of painters. If you are doing it alone then typically, it would take long and vice versa.

Virtual Assistant · Austin, Texas

When it was my first time painting an average sized room, I finished it in three days. That was my first time and I even needed my friend to help me out finish it. It was a mess.

But then the next time I did I really asked and had to be taught by my friend how to do it right and fortunately the next time I painted the room I finished it in one day.

Sign up