Paint A Dining Room in A Day + 5 Tips

Paint is by far the most affordable, and in my opinion, the best way to completely transform a room in less than a day. If you’re a beginner painter, follow these 5 tips to paint a dining room in a day for a quick transformation!

Paint A Dining Room In A day to see a complete transformation. This dining room was painted top half cyberspace by sherwin williams, which is a dark blue/grey color. The bottom half, below the chair rail trim, is painted white dove by behr. Gorgeous antique mirror and white curtains flow to the ground.

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How Do You Paint A Room in A Day?

In order to paint a room (size dependent) in a single day, there are some things to consider like paint brand, type, and finish.

Another important factor will be proper preparation steps being taken to ensure the most efficient process. Then there is the matter of essential tools being gathered into a central location for ease of use.

When I paint a dining room in a day I start with my trim and edging. I do two full coats, then let them both dry before taping off the trim using delicate surface tape.

The next step is, cutting in for the wall coverage of the white walls, White Dove by Benjamin Moore.

When this was finished I cut in for the wall coverage of the dark color. For this part, I chose Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams. Overall two coats of paint in an eggshell finish were sufficient for full coverage. I use a paint + primer in one by Behr.

Before You Begin Painting: How to Pick the Right Color And Finish

Believe it or not, there are things to consider before you ever put your brush in paint. Important decisions like paint color, brand, and even the sheen you choose.

There have been rooms painted in my home that were ultimately a learning experience for me with the wrong paint colors. We may even call them gross negligence. I didn’t know what my real style was at that point, so I’ll claim ignorance.

When in doubt I always go white now. Color is easy to add with decor and accents later on. If you’re unsure, go with something neutral that won’t be a huge regret in a year.

Both windows in my dining room with farmhouse-style trim. A vintage wooden mirror hangs between them over the chair rail trim. The top of the walls painted a dark color cyberspace by sherwin williams and the bottom half painted a white, white dove by benjamin moore.
Because my walls were already painted White Dove by Benjamin Moore I only had to do one full coat of Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams (the dark color) on the walls. There were very few places where I had to do additional touch-ups.

Bright reds and yellows tend to do a poorer job of hiding colors – in all types and qualities of paint. These organic pigments are naturally transparent, and the deeper bases that are used to make these colors just tend to have poor opacity. As a result, these colors tend to deliver uneven coverage. Consider using a high hiding white primer under these bright clean colors for best results.

Contrasting Colors: Dark to Light, Light to Dark

If you’re going from white walls and go to a dark wall color you will likely be safe. However, if you’re trying to go from a dark color to a light color you may need 3 to 4 coats instead of the typical first coat and second coat. If you’re going to make dramatic color changes keep this in mind. Or use a good coat of primer before your color.

Bonus Tip: Get several paint samples in different colors you’re considering and try them out on different walls in the room you’re considering painting. Look at them in different lights throughout the day and see how well they cover. It will help you decide. 

How You Apply Paint Matters

There are Three Things To Consider for Interior Painting: 

  • 01 Quality of Your Tools – A higher quality roller pad will do a better job of applying a uniform coat than cheap roller pads. Therefore, they achieve better coverage. 
  • 02 Apply Evenly for Best Coverage – Be careful you’re not pushing down on your roller which could cause you to overspread the paint.
  • 03 The Surface Porosity and the Specific Product Being Used – Many latex paints cover around 400 square feet per gallon. However, on raw wood which is very porous, it likely won’t go as far. One paint-covered roller will approximately cover about 9 square feet. 4 Passes (9″ roller x 4 = 36″) or 3 feet by 3 feet space before needing to be refilled.

The Quality of Paint You Choose

I always use Behr Paint + Primer, but I’ve also had great success with Sherwin Williams. The best quality of paint in light colors will do a better job hiding other colors than a cheaper quality paint.

The basic equation is Low Quality/Cheap = More Coats, Time, Effort, and overall more paint purchased or used. Whereas if you invest a little bit more money in a good quality product you will get more coverage, which means less time, effort, and paint used.

Beautiful Farmhouse-style trim painted in two coats of white dove by benjamin moore. I added an old dresser embellishment above the door for character. My shelves are full of copper and pfaltzgraff dishes.
Everything is a process in my house. This room’s renovation has caused a lot of mess elsewhere. But that’s the give and take sometimes of big projects.

The Brand of Paint and Sheen You Choose Matters

Each brand of paint will have its own formula which will ultimately decide its worthiness on your walls.

  • 5 Types of Sheen: Gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, satin or pearl, and matte (also known as flat). The shinier the paint, the more imperfections. Just keep that in mind. There is give and take.
  • Viscosity: The thickness and structure of a paint (solid count). A higher count viscosity will mean less splattering and mess to clean up. Also, better coverage.
  • Durability: Sheen goes hand-in-hand with how washable paint is (i.e., glossy more than flat). High gloss is more durable, but I still prefer an eggshell sheen.
  • Low toxicity (VOCs): Wet paint emits certain amounts of fumes. Low and non-VOC paints reduce unhealthy off-gassing.
  • Budget: Less expensive paints are typically diluted with extenders, which will result in poor coverage. Basically, they’re watered down which is why they’re less expensive.

Watch this on Youtube:

01 Follow These 7 Tips to Prep Your Room For Paint Like A Pro

Before you pick up a paintbrush let’s get your room ready. Prep may seem like just an extra step, but let me encourage you by saying when you do this prep work it makes the process of painting so much smoother. And bonus, they’re really simple tasks.

About to apply spackle in a brad nail hole on my new farmhouse-style trim in my dining room. Then I'll wipe away excess with a putty knife.
About to apply spackle with my finger.

7 Quick Tips to Paint a Dining Room In a Day

  • Repair Holes in the Wall Surface
  • Caulk or Touch Up Caulk to All the Trim
  • Clean the Surface You’ll Paint Thoroughly
  • Remove Light Switch And Outlet Covers
  • Apply Painter’s Tape
  • Cover Furniture and Flooring with Drop Cloth
  • Use Quality Paint Equipment: Using the Right Tools

For all of the details you should totally check out the full post here, 7 Tips to Prep for Paint Like a Pro. I always follow this list to quickly and efficiently paint an entire room in a single day. 

02 Gather All Your Paint Supplies + List of Essential Paint Tools to Have On Hand

I cannot tell you how many times I start a project only to have to get up and go get another tool or supply. That time spent gathering really starts adding up. The best advice would be to plan your project through and make a comprehensive list of Essentials and gather them before you start.

In fact, I’ll help.

Good quality painting supplies. Wooster tray, roller, and pad. Tray liners, Scotch painter’s tape (two types), and my hoard of Wooster 2″ angle brushes.

9 Essential Tools To Have on Hand to Paint A Dining Room In a Day

  1. 9″ Roller
  2. 2-4 Foot Extension Pole (for high ceilings & to save your back)
  3. Roller Pads – Smooth Surface Walls or Textured Walls
  4. A Roller Tray & Tray Liners
  5. 2″ Angled Brush
  6. Paint Edger Pro
  7. Paint Cup
  8. Painter’s Tape
  9. Drop Cloth – Plastic or Fabric

03 Start with All Your Trim and Edging

Don’t forget to continually look for any runs or drips as you go along. When you finish a spot go back to the previous spot and check for any before they start to dry.

When you start with the trim, it makes painting the delicate edges of the walls much more manageable. It all comes down to the difficulty of applying painter’s tape. When you paint the trim first, it’s much easier to cover those edges with tape than the floor, windows, and doors.

After you’ve finished the walls and start to paint your trim, you have to be meticulous and pay careful attention. One wrong move, and you could accidentally splash paint on your already finished wall. Starting with your walls first ultimately leaves them vulnerable when you paint your trim, which might be something you’d like to avoid.
Painting a Dining Room in a Day takes determination. This is the second window in the dining room and a vintage mirror hanging between both windows. Light and airy curtains hanging to the ground.
I always choose to paint my trim first in a project. In my opinion, it makes the entire process that much more efficient.

Pros and Cons of Painting Trim First

Yes, even this has a pro and cons list. Either one you choose will have valid points for and against starting your trim first vs the walls.

The Walls Will be Much Easier to Paint Afterwards

I’m one of those painters who believe starting with the trim in a room makes the job more efficient. Since I have textured walls especially, paint doesn’t adhere as well so I end up with more of a mess if I tape the walls vs the trim. The most typical thing to do is to use painter’s tape, but there are other options like an edge tool. Painter’s tape and/or an edge tool like the Shur-Line Edger Tool keep your painting job clean and mess-free. But ultimately you’ll have to decide which option works best for you.

Bonus Tip: If you are using Painter’s tape on an area you’ve recently painted, it really helps to use the Delicate Surface Tape by Scotch. I recently used it and I was extremely impressed. I didn’t lose any paint to the adhesive on the tape.

Painting Trim Requires More Intention, So Get it Out of the Way

Painting trim is much more complicated than painting walls because you have to be super careful. It’s such a small area to cover, and there isn’t much room for error. If you start with the trim, you have a little more wiggle room. If you make a mistake and accidentally get paint on the walls, that’s not a problem since you’ll be painting over it, anyway.

04 Use a Roller and Extension Rod for Tackling Walls Quickly

One of the paramount tools to being able to paint a dining room in a day is utilizing a roller and an extension rod, especially if you have high ceilings.

The french doors that open up to the dining room with their newly installed freshly painted farmhouse-style trim. I hung a beautiful vintage wooden embellishment above them for added charm.
To paint a dining room in a day I utilize a roller almost at the end of the process. Typically once you start rolling walls the room changes rapidly, which is when all your hard work starts to really shine.

When you need to paint large expanses of surfaces in a room, using a paint roller is usually the best route to a quick and even finish. The tools are inexpensive, and set-up and cleaning are easier than with other methods, especially when compared to the more costly method of using a paint sprayer.

Though painting with a roller is a time-tested and preferred method of painting large spaces, it is not as simple as dipping a roller cover in a paint tray and spreading the paint.

The Spruce

You may not need a 5-gallon bucket’s worth of paint to paint a dining room in a day, but you definitely want to know how much paint you do need. Check out this handy calculator at to make sure you’re buying enough paint for your room size.

Bonus Tips for Rolling A Room:

  • 01 If you have a large room to roll it is extremely beneficial to use a 5-gallon bucket and screen instead of a paint tray and liner.
  • 02 Instead of purchasing tray liners, many people use other things to line their paint roller trays like plastic bags, aluminum foil, and even trash bags.
  • 03 When rolling it’s easy to find yourself trying to make the paint on the roller keep going. However, it isn’t advisable to either 1. Overload your roller, which will cause excess paint to drip down your walls, or 2. Press down hard on the roller when it seems to be running out to squeeze out paint onto the walls. This can result in actually undoing some of your work. 

05 Do Quick Touch-Ups After Your Paint Has Dried

The detail work at the end is really when your paint job can either be good or really stand out and look professional. At the very end, after all the paint has dried I come back through with a very good stiff brush and do touch-ups.

You would be amazed at the difference a good steady hand and just the minutest amounts of paint will do for the overall effect.

If you’re worried about having a steady enough hand you can always use a flat surface, like a thin piece of cardboard (cereal box type) against the other wall surface, and paint with your brush against it for a really clean line.

The back door of the dining room that leads out in the back yard. Now painted half cyberspace by sherwin williams, which is a dark blue/grey and half white dove by benjamin moore. A Vintage Painting hangs above the chair rail trim.
I did not utilize this bonus tip, due to time constraints and partially laziness! But I wish I had because there were a few spots where I had to go back and touch up where the dark paint bled.

Bonus Tip: To avoid bleed-through under your painter’s tape you can actually use this hack, paint the color of the trim on the wall edge first so this is the color that bleeds through under the tape. Then when that dries go over it with your true wall color. When you’re finished take the tape off when your final coat is still wet for the most seamless line.


Good Contractors seek out the best quality paint for their jobs, they often choose Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams – two of the best-selling brands on the market. Professional painters all over the world have used these brands of paints with great success for many years.

Those two brands also have a large range of very popular colors.

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→


  1. Love these tips for painting!! We will be painting almost every room in our house soon so I will be keeping these tips in mind!

  2. I absolutely love your style Julie! Drooling over here. Thank you for these awesome tips, my hubs will appreciate me reading this ha!

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