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How Long Does It Take To Paint A 1200 sq ft House?

This article will tell you exactly how long it takes to paint a 1200 sq ft house along with some helpful tips from a professional painter allowing you to speed up the process.

When trying to find the time to paint your home, one of the most frustrating things is that the actual application of the color that you want is not very time-consuming.

It’s the prep work that takes the most time.

man prepping a room for painting

How Long Does It Take To Paint A 1200 sq ft House?

To paint every wall in your 1200 square foot house, you should allow 4 days to get it all done. If the weather is dry and you have your supplies lined up early, you can do it in 3. The following steps will help speed up the process, especially if you have a partner.

The following is an outline of the required steps to complete each day to ensure your 1200 sq ft house is painted within 4 days.

Day 1: Clean

If the house is empty, the whole process will go more quickly. If not, move all your furniture into the middle of the room.

Take down all the artwork and carefully dust everything before putting it with your furniture and covering the whole pile in plastic.

covering furniture in plastic

Once the walls are bare and accessible, move around the space and unscrew the outlet covers and light switch covers. Take the time to flip the breakers that control these outlets.

Plug in a basic radio with no batteries and turn up the volume. Flip breakers until the sound quits. This should also power down the lights in that space.

Go ahead and mask the floor next to the wall. I prefer a canvas drop cloth; wet plastic can be quite slick.

Next, you will need

  • a clean broom
  • large sponges
  • a mild degreasing soap
  • two buckets
  • masking tape and a pencil

Sweep the walls down from ceiling to floor, then sweep along the baseboard. If you have a working partner, one of you can sweep the walls while the next one washes.

After the wall is swept, add a bit of soap to a bucket of warm water and grab a sponge.

Wipe the wall from ceiling to floor. If you need to use a ladder, wash everything you can reach from the ladder. Climb down and move the ladder to the next stop.

Wash the rest of the wall down to the baseboard before you climb back up.

As you wash the walls, look for holes or dings in the surface. Use your masking tape to make a small mark on the baseboard under the area that needs patching.

Also read: Painting a 12×12 room: how long does it take?

Work your way around each room with your bucket, changing out the water and the sponge as needed. If your partner is willing, switch tasks.

Climbing up and down a ladder can be exhausting and put you at risk of a fall. If you’re working alone, take a snack break and stretch a bit.

Once everything has been brushed and washed, you’ll need to rinse. Take a fresh sponge and rinse everything you just washed, rinsing the sponge frequently in your second bucket. Keep inspecting.

If you notice your tape marker but see more than one hole, circle the holes with your pencils.

Run fans in the space, especially after rinsing, so you can get to patching as soon as possible. If you get everything brushed, washed, and rinsed in one day, you’re making great time.

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If you still have some energy, you can patch.

woman washing a wall with a sponge

Day 2: Patch

There are a lot of wonderful patching kits in your local hardware store. If you’re just dealing with small nail holes, get a small container of fast-drying sheetrock mud and a good-quality drywall taping knife.

Get one with a comfortable handle; a bad grip can tire out your hand quickly.

Run the taping knife over the hole dry to make sure you don’t need to scrape. Dab on just a bit of mud and smooth it carefully. The thinner the mud, the faster it will dry.

Once you’ve addressed all the holes and dings, seal the mud, clean your tool and go to bed.

drywall patching tools

Day 3: Sand and Prime

Next morning, gently sand all your patches. As you sand, run your other hand over the patch to make sure there are no ridges at the edge of your patch.

After everything has been sanded on one wall, vacuum up the baseboard and any visible dust so you don’t track it around the house.

Prime your patches with a microfiber roller and fast-drying primer. It may be tempting to use a cheap brush, but cheap brushes leave brush marks.

A tiny paint pan and a quart of primer will be plenty to gently coat your patches. Work the roller over the patch in a cross-hatch pattern to avoid ridges and drips.

Check the can to see how long the primer should dry. Primer is tacky; if you roller over primer that is almost dry it will read through your topcoat.

If it needs to dry for 24 hours, let it. Once you have primed all the holes, you can pull the masking tape markers.

If you have an accent wall of a strong shade and you want to cover it with a light color, prime the accent wall.

man sanding drywall

Day 4: Top Coat!

Once the primer has dried, you can finally mask your baseboards and the trim around windows and doors. Don’t skip this step! You will not be happy with the final outcome if the trim is messy.

If you’re painting the whole house in one shade, the process will be quicker and you can actually save costs by getting paint in 5-gallon buckets. Use a good quality roller cover and a quality cutting brush; the angled Purdy brushes can work quite well for this. Just clean them as soon as you’re done.

Start by cutting high. The corner where the wall meets the ceiling will take a steady hand; a masking shield can also help but will take both hands.

Start a bit under the corner and give yourself a practice line until you see how the paint is flowing. Next, cut along the baseboard.

Roller in a V pattern from left to right, then work from right to left to fill in the pattern. Don’t push too hard; you’ll get ridges of paint at the edge of the roller. Always work top-down so you can manage drips. Always cut ahead of where you roller.

using a paint roller with white paint

Tips To Keep Costs Down

If your budget is tight, check out your local ReStore or hazardous materials places for cheap or free latex paint. For those who are a bit more adventurous, try mixing free white paint with a strong color from a scratch and dent rack.

Mix in a 5-gallon bucket so you have plenty; matching it again will be tough. Do invest in moisture-resistant paint for your kitchen and bath.

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