When it’s time to sell, getting ready to list your home can feel overwhelming. After all, the process of cleaning, repairing, updating, and refreshing isn’t just costly — it’s also time-consuming.
But even when homeowners are short on time, they still may want to invest in some new paint. It’s easy to see why: Not only does a freshly painted home looks more attractive in pictures, it also makes a better impression on potential buyers in showings and open houses.
When you’re getting ready to list your home and time is at a premium, understanding just how long it takes to paint a room can guide your planning process.
Benefits of Painting Your Home Before Trying to Sell
When potential buyers tour your home, first impressions matter. If the first thing they notice is faded, peeling, or outdated paint on the walls, that first impression may be less than stellar.
In contrast, a fresh coat of paint gives rooms a clean, cared-for look. When you choose light, neutral colors, you create a welcoming ambiance that invites potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your house.
Of course, choosing the wrong colors can backfire. Shades that are too dark, hard to maintain, or too trendy may turn off buyers.
A poor or sloppy paint job has the same effect. That’s why it’s so important to take your time, work carefully, and pick the right hues.
Speaking of taking your time, how long does a good paint job take?
How Long Does it Take to Paint a Room?
There’s no one right answer, as the time it takes to paint a room depends on factors such as room size, color of paint chosen, and the painter’s experience level. Let’s get some ideas by using an average-size bedroom — about 13 by 13 feet (432 square feet) — as an example.
First, consider the prep work. Discounting any major drywall repair, it should take about 10 minutes to spackle nail holes or cracks. While the repairs dry, take about 5 minutes to wipe down trim with a damp cloth.
Once trim is clean and dry, it’s taping time. Using a high-quality painter’s tape, cover all floor, window, and door trim. Next, remove outlet and switch covers, and tape the plugs or switches that remain. This step usually takes about 45 minutes.
Now sand any uneven spots and dried spackle with a sanding sponge or pole. Once smooth, remove dust with a vacuum, broom, or damp cloth. This step will take about 20 minutes.
Finally, lay down drop cloths to protect furniture, floors, and light fixtures, and get your paint tray, roller, and brushes ready. This should take about 10 minutes.
Prep total time: 80 minutes
Now you’re ready to “cut in” the trim, ceilings, and corners. Use a small, angled brush and start at the ceiling before moving to the corners. This should take about 50 minutes per coat.
Cut in the trim and around sockets and switches last. This step will only take about 30 minutes per coat, as these areas are already taped.
Cutting in total time (two coats): 160 minutes
Here comes the easy part: Rolling paint on the walls. Since you’ve already taped and cut in, this step should only take about 40 minutes per coat.
Rolling total time (two coats): 80 minutes
Touch Up and Clean
When the paint has dried sufficiently, you can:
- fix missed spots
- pull off tape
- remove drop cloths
- replace switch and outlet covers
- move furniture back into place
- clean and stow painting supplies
Touch up and clean total time: 30 minutes
For a 432 square foot room, the total time averages just under six hours. Of course, you’ll have to adjust these average times to match the actual square footage of your rooms.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re not wrong! Why not make it easy on yourself and sell to HomeGo?
With HomeGo, you don’t have to paint (or make repairs, or stage, or even clean) before you sell. HomeGo buys homes as-is, so you can sell quickly and skip the hassle.