How Long Does it Take to Paint the Interior of a Home?

A new paint job can brighten up your space, make it feel more modern, and add value to your property. But one of the first questions homeowners ask when they are considering a painting project is ”how long will it take“? The answer to that question isn’t always straightforward. After all, there are a lot of factors that can affect the amount of time it takes to paint a house interior, from the size of the space to the size of the painting crew. In this blog we will discuss some of the variables so that you can get a better sense of how long your next interior painting project will take.

House Size

One of the biggest factors affecting how long it takes to paint your interior is the size of your house. A small home with just a few rooms will obviously take less time to paint than a large home with many rooms. That being said, even a small home can take longer than you might think, especially if there are tricky areas like high ceilings or detailed mouldings.

A large room to paint
This size room will take longer to paint than a smaller room

If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the cost of painting the interior of the whole house, why not paint a room or two. It can get done fairly quickly and it takes a professional painter just a day or two. Of course, this may vary depending on the size of the rooms, possible wall repairs, or having to move a lot of furniture out of the way.

Number of Coats

Another factor influencing how long it takes to paint your home is the number of coats required for the colour to look good. Most professionals apply two coats of paint to get good hiding and ensure that your new paint job lasts for many years. Some colours and sheens require more than two coats of paint to look good. Reds and yellows as well as drastic colour changes need three and sometimes four coats. It’s important to allow enough drying time between coats of paint, otherwise the surface texture will look rough. As a rule of thumb, each coat should dry at least four hours before applying subsequent coats. Note: Using better interior paints like Aura from Benjamin Moore will speed up the drying time.

Type of Paint

The type of paint used will also affect how long it takes to complete an interior project. For example, an oil based primer takes longer to dry than an acrylic one, sometimes as much as 24 hours! This means that the project will take longer to complete, especially if you are applying multiple finish coats.

A wall with perfect sheen
Creating the perfect sheen takes time

When using semi-gloss and glossier paints, adhering to the manufacturers’ dry time recommendation is crucial. In fact, to get the full gloss on the surface, some manufacturers even recommend better quality primers with better hold out properties. All these extra steps and drying times obviously add more time to a project.

How Long Does it Take to Paint a 2,000 sq. ft. house?

After taking into account the variables affecting completion, how long does it take to paint the interior of a vacant 2,000 square ft. house? This two storey house has 3 bedrooms with basic size closets, two bathrooms and a powder room. There is an open floor plan with the kitchen extending into the dining room, living room and hallways. The stairway area will need painting as well as the laundry room. 

The scope of work is for two painters, working at expected industry production rates. It includes 2 coats of paint on walls and basic prep of patching and caulking. There is an option for one coat flat white on the ceilings, and one coat satin for the trim.

The scope of painting work of an average house

Here is how long it will take to complete the scope, broken down by areas:

  • 3 bedrooms including painting the closets – 27 hours.
  • 2 bathrooms and powder room – 14 hours.
  • Laundry room – 5 hours.
  • Living room, dining room – 12 hours.
  • Stairway and landing 16 hours.
  • Kitchen without cabinets – 6 hours.

TOTAL time is 80 hours – One week for two painters.

If you are painting the doors, door casings, baseboards and window frames, add another 32 hours or two days. For the ceilings the painters will need about 24 hours or a little more than a day.
Depending on the customer’s needs, the contractor can add another painter or two to speed up the job.

Based on similar calculations, it takes about a week to paint the interior of a 2,000 square foot house. If you are not painting the whole house, a painter paints about a room per day.

Can I Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?

There is a range of opinions on how soon after the painters finished you can sleep in your room. However, the general consencus is that it is fine to sleep in a freshly painted room, as long as the paint is dry and there is good ventilation. You can request that the painters use zero VOC paints that produce low, even zero odours. Of course, if you are sensitive to paint odours, it is always best to err on the side of caution and sleep in another room until the paint cures further. For most people though, a quick turnover shouldn’t be a problem. So, if you need to sleep in your freshly painted room, give it a few hours and open a window. Note: one of the reasons contractors find painting smaller jobs challenging is the drying time between coats of paint.

Can You Paint a Home in a Day?

Painting your home in one day has some benefits and there are some companies that advertise to that effect. Maybe you are in a hurry to sell your home or you don’t want the painters working in your home for an entire week. Why live in a construction zone for days when you can go back to your normal life the following morning?

a colourful home takes longer to paint
A colourful home with white trim takes longer than one day to paint

But can the painters complete a whole house in one day? Of course they can, with the right preparation and planning. A big crew of experienced painters can get the job done in one day, and while it may be a bit chaotic, it’s absolutely doable. It’s always best to consult with your contractor about how long the job will take, but most companies should be able to accommodate your timing needs.


As you can see, there are quite a few variables that can affect how long it takes to complete an interior painting project. From the size and number of rooms being painted to the type(s) of paint being used, there is a painting crew to match your requirements. That being said, most projects can be completed in just a few days (provided there aren’t any major complications). So if you’ve been putting off repainting your living room or kitchen because you think it will take too long, think again! With a little bit of planning and help from our professional painters, you can have your dream home in no time at all.

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