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How Long Does It Take to Paint the Exterior?

How Long Does It Take to Paint the Exterior?

Painting the exterior of a house can transform its appearance. However, many homeowners wonder how long this process will actually take. The duration of an exterior painting project can vary widely depending on several factors. 

In this article, we will break down the various factors that affect the duration of an exterior painting project so that you will know what to expect when planning to paint your home’s exterior.

The Factors that Affect the Duration of an Exterior Painting Project

The time it takes to complete an exterior painting project can vary significantly. Here are the key elements that influence how long it takes to paint the exterior of a house:

  • Size of the House: The larger the house, the more time it will take to paint. More surface area requires more paint, more preparation time, and labor hours.
  • Condition of the Surfaces: If the exterior surfaces require extensive prep work, such as scraping, patching, and priming, the project will take longer. Well-maintained surfaces that need minimal preparation can significantly speed up the process.
  • Type of Paint: Different types of paint dry at different rates. Oil-based paints typically take longer to dry than latex-based paints, which can affect the overall project timeline.
  • Weather Conditions: Painting exteriors is highly dependent on weather. Ideal painting conditions are dry and mild. Rain, high humidity, or extreme temperatures can delay the project, as conditions must be right for painting and drying.
  • Complexity of the Architecture: Homes with intricate trim, multiple stories, or hard-to-reach areas require more time and labor. Simple and flat surfaces are quicker and easier to paint.
  • Number of Coats Required: Some painting projects may require multiple coats to achieve the desired finish and color quality. Each additional coat will add to the overall time needed to complete the project.

By considering these factors, you can gain a better understanding of the timeline for your exterior painting project and plan for a smooth execution.

Tips for Speeding Up the Exterior Painting Process

The painter paints the outer wall of the building with a gray paint roller

Painting the exterior of your home is a significant undertaking that can take considerable time. However, there are ways to make the process faster and more efficient. Here are some practical tips to help speed up your next exterior painting project:

Plan Ahead

Ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials before you start. This includes ladders, brushes, rollers, paint, and cleaning supplies. Having everything on hand will prevent delays that occur when you have to stop work to purchase additional items.

Check the Weather

Plan your painting project around the weather forecast. Look for a stretch of dry, mild days; good weather conditions are crucial for the paint to dry and cure properly. Avoid painting in damp or very hot conditions, which can slow down your progress.

Use Efficient Tools

Invest in high-quality rollers and brushes to ensure efficient paint application. For large and unobstructed areas, consider using a paint sprayer. The sprayer can significantly speed up the process compared to traditional methods.

Prepare Surfaces Quickly

Use a pressure washer to clean the exterior quickly and effectively, rather than scrubbing by hand. Make sure to repair any damage to the surfaces as part of your prep work to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts longer.

Apply Primer and Paint Together

If appropriate for your project, use a paint and primer combination product. These products can reduce the number of coats you need to apply, saving time.

Organize Your Work

Plan your approach to tackle one side of the house at a time, starting from the top and working your way down. This methodical approach prevents you from having to redo areas and helps manage the project more efficiently.

Enlist Help

More hands mean lighter work. If possible, involve family members and friends or hire additional help to tackle the painting project together. This can drastically reduce the time spent on the project.

Do You Need to Hire Professional Exterior Painters?

Man up a high ladder painting gable end of pebbledash house.

When considering an exterior painting project, one might wonder if hiring professional painters is necessary if speed is a priority. Here are several reasons why bringing in professionals can help expedite the painting process:

  • Efficiency and Speed: Professional painters are trained to complete painting projects efficiently. They have the techniques and tools to cover large areas while ensuring quality quickly.
  • Experience with Complex Situations: Professionals have experience handling complex architectural features and can navigate around obstacles that might slow down less experienced painters.
  • Access to Advanced Equipment: Professional painters use commercial-grade equipment like paint sprayers, which can significantly speed up the painting process compared to traditional rollers and brushes.
  • Teamwork: Painting companies usually deploy a team of painters to work simultaneously. This team of painters greatly reduces the overall time needed compared to DIY efforts.
  • Preparation Expertise: A significant portion of painting time is spent on preparation. Professionals know how to prepare surfaces quickly and effectively.
  • Reliability: Hiring professionals means you can set a schedule, and then they will stick to it. This reliability can be crucial if you have a tight timeline.


Proper planning and understanding of the factors mentioned above can help you set realistic expectations and ensure that the painting process is as efficient as possible. Hiring professionals can also significantly improve the work’s speed and quality.

If you’re looking for reliable and efficient exterior painting services, consider Custom Painting, Inc. You can reach us at 925-294-8062 or fill out our contact form for more information and to get started on your project.


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