Do you burn calories while painting?

Painting requires physical movement and activity, so it does burn calories. The amount of calories burned varies based on the type of painting, the duration, and the intensity of the activity. Here are some quick answers on burning calories while painting:

How many calories do you burn painting per hour?

On average, a 155 pound person will burn the following calories per hour while painting:

  • Light painting (decorating, watercolor): 140-220 calories per hour
  • Moderate painting (interior house painting): 220-300 calories per hour
  • Heavy painting (exterior house painting): 300-400 calories per hour

Heavier individuals burn more calories and lighter individuals burn fewer calories when painting.

Does painting a room burn calories?

Yes, painting a room will burn calories. The exact amount depends on your weight and the intensity of the activity.

For example, a 155 pound person painting a room at a light intensity may burn around 160 calories per hour. At a moderate intensity, they may burn around 275 calories per hour.

Is painting a good workout?

Painting can be a good moderate intensity workout that gets your heart rate up and burns calories.

Activities like exterior house painting that require climbing ladders, reaching, crouching, and using painting tools can provide a cardiovascular workout similar to walking at 3-4 mph.

Lower intensity painting like watercoloring may not significantly raise your heart rate but still provides some calorie burn and health benefits.

How many calories do you burn painting a house?

Painting the exterior of a full 2-story house can burn around 500-800 calories. This is based on painting moderately for 4-6 hours.

The amount of calories burned painting a house depends on:

  • Size of the house
  • Type of painting (interior vs. exterior)
  • Intensity (light vs. moderate vs. heavy)
  • Duration spent painting

In general, exterior house painting burns more calories than interior painting.

Does the type of painting matter for calorie burn?

Yes, the type of painting impacts the number of calories burned:

Type of Painting Calories Burned Per Hour
Light painting (decorating, watercolor) 140-220
Moderate painting (interior house) 220-300
Heavy painting (exterior house) 300-400

As shown, heavy painting like exterior house painting burns the most calories per hour. Decorating and watercolor painting burn fewer calories.

Does speed of painting impact calorie burn?

Yes, your speed or intensity level when painting affects calorie burn. Faster painting that elevates your heart rate more will burn more calories per hour than slower, lighter painting.

For example, a 155 pound person may burn around 275 calories per hour painting a room at a moderate pace. If they paint at a light casual pace, they may only burn around 140 calories in an hour.

Do different painting positions affect calorie expenditure?

The position your body is in while painting can impact the calories burned. Positions that engage more muscles and require more energy expenditure will burn more calories.

For example, standing and painting a wall will burn more calories than sitting at a table painting a small canvas. Painting overhead engages more muscles than painting at eye level.

Do painting tools impact calorie burn?

Using heavier painting tools like paint sprayers, 5-gallon buckets, and painting extension poles can increase the intensity and calorie burn compared to lighter tools like small paintbrushes.

The motion of painting tools also impacts calories burned. Using a paint roller to cover large surfaces is more vigorous than using a small detail brush for trimming.

How long should you paint to burn a significant amount of calories?

For most moderate intensity painting activities like interior house painting, you need to paint for at least 30-60 minutes for a significant calorie burn of 200-300 calories.

Short 5-10 minute painting sessions may only burn 30-50 calories. Longer painting sessions of 2-3 hours can burn 400+ calories.

What are the best types of painting for weight loss?

The best types of painting for weight loss include:

  • Exterior house painting – burns 300-400 calories per hour
  • Interior house painting – burns 220-300 calories per hour
  • Painting large canvases – burns 210-280 calories per hour
  • Painting while standing – burns more calories than sitting

Focus on painting activities that keep your heart rate elevated in your target zone for at least 30 minutes at a time.

How many calories does painting burn compared to other activities?

Painting burns a comparable amount of calories as other moderate intensity exercise when done vigorously. Here is a calorie burn comparison per hour for a 155 lb person:

Activity Calories Burned Per Hour
Painting (interior house, moderate effort) 220-300
Walking (3-4 mph) 200-300
Light bicycling (10-12 mph) 260-340
Water aerobics 240-320
Heavy gardening 300-400

As you can see, moderate to vigorous painting can burn as many or more calories than other everyday moderate intensity activities.

Can you lose weight by painting?

It’s possible to lose weight by painting if you:

  • Paint vigorously enough to elevate your heart rate into your target fat burning zone for extended periods
  • Follow a reduced calorie diet for weight loss
  • Paint for long enough durations and frequency to create a calorie deficit

For significant weight loss, aim for vigorous painting 4-6 days per week for 30-60 minutes along with a calorie controlled diet.

How many pounds can you lose painting for 1 hour a day?

If you painted vigorously for 1 hour per day, you could expect to lose around 0.5 – 1 lb per week, or around 2-4 pounds per month.

This estimate is based on a 155 lb person burning around 250 calories per hour painting, resulting in a 3500 weekly calorie deficit for 1 lb of weight loss per week.

The more calories you burn painting per hour based on your weight and intensity, the more weight you can expect to lose.


Painting can provide an enjoyable form of moderate intensity exercise that burns calories and helps you get fit. While calorie burn varies based on the type, duration and intensity of painting, most vigorous painting activities can burn 200-400+ calories per hour.

Focus on painting frequently for long durations, using large motions, and including other forms of exercise to maximize your calorie burn for effective weight loss over time. With persistence and hard work, it is possible to burn fat and lose weight by incorporating painting into your regular exercise routine.

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