How To Paint Trim: The Complete Guide To Painting Trim

Painting shave is among the most common painting tasks that homeowners undertake, correct along with walls and cabinets .
Olive Room With Painted Trim Painting your trim can completely change the search and feel of a room, it can brighten the quad or make it more elegant .
I ’ ve painted a draw of tailored over my 15-year painting career. I ’ ve brushed out trimming in homes, I ’ ve sprayed trim and I ’ ve painted the reduce in countless newly construction homes. I have a fortune of advice that will not merely make your tailored look amazing when completed, but will speed up your paint process and give you a finished product that will last for decades .
Paint Brush and Painted Trim

How To Paint Trim

There are a few unlike ways to paint trimming. You can brush it after installation, you can spray it after installation or your can pre-finish the snip before facility ( which I entirely recommend in very few certain circumstances ).

Brushing Vs Spraying Trim
In theory, spraying your trim is constantly going to leave you with a better polish. It will be smooth and leave a antic looking finish up. In newly construction, I always spray the shave, no questions asked .
In the reality of an existing home, spraying your tailored will cause you a long ton of extra cultivate while delivering results that while better than brush, are not significant enough to justify the excess work for 95 % of the people out there, the possibility of overspray getting on areas you don ’ metric ton want it or the extra spirit that will be in your family .
besides, let ’ s be honest, cipher is going to get down on their hands and knees and look so close at your baseboard that they will be able to tell that it has brush strokes in it. And even if you can see them in the trim around your doors and windows, personally, I like the look of brush strokes, it adds character .
even in my own home, I chose to brush all of our shave when I painted it. It looks capital and I am wholly happy with it. To me, the difference between spraying and brushing was not worth the extra work .
Because of all this, I am not going to be going into detail on spraying in this article. Though most of the information is interchangeable for spraying and brush, I ’ ll just be dropping a few random spraying tips hera and there .
Grey Basement Room With Painted Trim

Painting Your Trim Index

Painting shave requires only a few basic tools and materials .

Time Needed To Paint Your Trim

Painting spare can actually be quite a time-consuming project, specially if you are doing window and door trim. Floor tailored ( baseboards ) tends to be significantly faster than window and door trim ascribable to the fact the window encase and door casing involve many surfaces, lots of caulking and more smash holes to fill .
A typical 15×15 bedroom with 1 main door trim, closet doorway snip, basis trimming and two sets of window clean-cut should take approximately 1 hour to prep, 1 hour to prime and 2-4 hours to top coating .
A typical 15×15 bedroom should then take you anywhere between 4-6 hours. Once you are know, 2-3 bedrooms worth of trim can easily be painted in a day .
Curious how long it takes to paint a room? Check out my article on How Long It Takes To Paint A Room. 

Estimating the Time For Your Entire Trim Painting Project

To estimate your entire trim paint project, I typically plan on 1.5 hours per set of window shave, though different size windows and unlike casings require more or less time with some of the more complicate larger windows requiring 2+ hours .
For door shell and trim, assuming you are painting both sides, I recommend budgeting 1.5 hours per door trim fructify .
ultimately, for basal tailored, I recommend budgeting 1 hour per 25 feet of pare .

Painting Trim or Walls First

This is a question I often get from friends, family, and visitors : “ Should I paint the walls before I paint the trim ? ” .
The answer is to constantly paint the trim first .
Blue Sunroom With Painted Trim By painting the trim first gear, you are saving excess homework clock time late on and creating a open that will be easier to tape a absolutely straight agate line on belated .
The rationality for this is that if you paint the walls final, then when you are painting the reduce you can caulk the trim to the walls ( which vastly improves the look ) and allow the tailored key to flow from the trim, over the caulk, and onto the wall .
finally, trim paint ( enamel ) dries excess hard and this makes it so you can tape off your trimming and get a decent clean magnetic tape credit line when painting your walls by and by on .
If you paint your walls first, taping the walls to paint the reduce is extremely unmanageable and the paint is normally not about arsenic arduous dry as clean-cut paint, so the rouge can well pull off when you pull the tape. besides, pulling the tape can lift not alone the paint but besides the top layer of paper from your wallboard and that is a calamity !

Step 1: Prepping The Room

The beginning thing you need to do with any paint job is to start with proper homework work .
To prep a room for spare painting I start by first clearing out the board and prepping off the floors .
If You Have Carpet Floors
If you have carpeted floors, start by taking a roll of tape and ripping 1′ – 3′ strips of tape off the roll and tucking the inside edge under the shave but over the carpet. This is arduous to do without ripping a 1-3′ piece of tape off the roll .
By tucking the videotape under the spare but over the carpet, you are making certain there is a clean separation between the trim and carpet that you can paint up to .
After you ’ ve done this around the entire board, add a second row of 1.5″ tape around the board. After this second row of tape, it will be a lot easier to pull a sink cloth up to the tape where you are working .
Read more on how to paint baseboards with rug .
If You Have Solid Floors (wood, linoleum, tile )
For solid floors, take your roll of painters videotape and run a comic strip right where the floor meets the trim. Take your clock time as a arrant note here saves a draw of cleaning time late on .
After the first strip is laid down, I again like to run a second strip around the room to give me more working space next to the clean-cut ( 2-3″ ) .
once I have taped off the floor, I will run a roll of 36″ rosin newspaper around the room rather of dragging around a drop fabric. This acts as a permanent fell fabric around the room and avoids the harass of dragging around your fell and potentially defame paint drips from your drop fabric onto the floor .
Prepping Windows and Doors
For windows, you ’ ll want to run a undress of tape where the trim/casing ends and either meets up with vinyl on the windowpane, glass or whatever material is not to be painted .
You ’ ll besides want to remove any window coverings and cranks .
For door snip, you have two options. You can completely remove the door and hinges, or topographic point two strips of videotape over the hinge, then outline the doorway hinge with a razor blade knife and cut off the excess videotape so only the hinge has tape on it when completed .

Step 2: Cleaning The Trim

Any quality paint job has to involve cleaning of the surface that is to be painted and trim is no exception .
If the room is a relatively clean and jerk room, a vacuum with a shop vac should be sufficient .
If the room is a kitchen, where dirt has built up over the years, then a mix of warmly buttery water should be used to hand wash all the trim. I ’ m not talking about an hour or two of scrubbing, just 10 minutes or sol and wipe down all the surfaces that will be painted .
Make certain to go over the surfaces a immediate moment time to remove any soap remainder .
Dining Room With Green Walls and Painted Trim

Step 3: Filling Nail Holes

If you are painting your trim flannel ( or actually any other color ), every hole, gap and crack is going to show after it has been painted. All holes will show as a contrast black and be dreadfully noticeable .
I like to fill all my nail holes with spackling spread. It is easy to work with and sands very easily .
This dance step should take you no more than 5-10 minutes or so in a standard room .
Do not fill gaps between the wall and the trim with spackle or gaps between trimming boards. These gaps require a flexible caulk or they will crack about immediately after the job is completed. But hold off on caulk, for immediately, caulking is step 6 for a reason .
If you were painting kitchen cabinets, this is where I would talk about filling the texture of the wood to ensure the smoothest finish possible. But this is tailored. Trust me, not worth the time and campaign to fill the grain on your trim .

Step 4: Sanding The Trim

Sanding your trim before paint has multiple purposes .
first, it will smooth out the nail holes that you filled with spackling paste .
second, it smooths down the surface and helps the final examination product feel and look better .
Third, it breaks down any previous surfaces that may not be porous adequate to allow the flat coat to attachment a well as it should. Sanding scuffs the surface and allows the primer to chemical bond by rights with the trim that is being painted.

For my first round of golf of sandpaper, I like to use medium grit 3M sandpaper sponges. The leech foam forms nicely to the trim as I am sanding, keeps my hand away and prevents slivers, and is boisterous adequate to promptly and effectively prepare my surface for painting .
After you have sanded all of your tailored, you ’ ll need to once again shop vac everything. A great paint job requires a flawlessly clean exercise area to prevent scatter and debris from getting in your ending, so don ’ thymine fair vacuum off the trim, but vacuum the room .

Step 5: Priming The Trim

After all the work of getting your trim quick for paint, you finally get to bust our your paintbrush !
There are lots of different primers that will work bang-up for priming your shave. I ’ m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn ’ thymine use here, but rather give you a few tips .
Note On Oil vs Water-Based Paints For Trim
If you are going to use an oil-based lead coating, you should use an vegetable oil based primer. If you are going to use a water based top coat, then you should use a water based primer ( though you can opt to use an oil-based flat coat to help lock in stains better therefore they do not bleed through into the water-based top coat ) .
typically in a residential home, I am going to constantly recommend water-based paint. Oils tend to release besides many VOCs and stink up your home. Oils are besides harder to clean up since they require paint thin and you must properly dispose of that thin. Water based paint can be cleaned up in your laundry slump .
The deviation in look from urine to oil-based paints is becoming smaller and smaller every year as water-based finishes get better and better .
When you start brushing on your fuse, try to use retentive evening strokes that go with the duration of the pare. Try to come down gently on the trimming and lift off gently on each stroke .
The smoother your brush strokes are, the smoother your finish will look when completed .
Your goal should be to use enough flat coat where you are applying it thick but not thick adequate to cause runs. Try to find that sugared spot .
After the flat coat has had ample time to dry 100 %, you ’ ll want to sand all of the trim again. You ’ ll notice that quality paint jobs require many unlike rounds of sanding !
For sanding the primer, I recommend using 3M very well grit sandpaper sponges. These sponges are a little bit finer than the culture medium grit I recommend using before priming and they get the fuse feel extra smooth and fix for the adjacent step .
After you sanding is complete, make certain to shop vac all of the trim and the room to wholly eliminate any dust in the environment .
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Interior Trim Painting Pinterest

Step 6: Caulking The Gaps

Caulking the gaps in your pare vastly improves the final look of your painted shipshape. Gaps show up as a black contrast to your white key and the caulk makes the facility look perfective. It besides allows for a razor sharp tape lines when you go to paint your walls .
many painters will tell you to caulk the gaps in your trim before you prime, but I like doing it after priming for a handful of reasons .
First, once all of your trim is primed, the gaps stand out like a huffy finger and you can see precisely where the caulk is needed. This saves you clock from having to caulk areas where caulk is not needed .
second, at this point the trim has been sanded twice and primed, your probability for slivers has reduces dramatically .
Third, the prim and sandpaper has made the trim identical smooth and frankincense allows you to lay a very very well smooth bead of caulk .
fourth, the caulk is non-porus and paintable, it does not need to be primed, so you can top coat properly over it without sacrificing lastingness, quality or count .
How To Caulk Your Trim
I recommend using a dripless caulk gun, a moisture fabric and a pipe of flexible, indoor, white paintable caulk .
Cut a identical small while off the tip of the tube of caulk and make sure to cut it at an angle so you can lay the topple of the caulk neatly into the gap as you squeeze out the caulk .
I like to run a bead of roughly 5′-10′ before stopping and going over the bead with my wet rag to smooth it out. By running the tease over the caulk, it forces the caulk into the col and leaves it looking absolutely smooth .
Make sure to rinse out your tabloid often and keep it identical wet .
Always start your caulk in corners as they are the most difficult to get looking nice and clean .
You should use merely enough caulk to fill the gaps, try not to have any caulk coming out or over the gaps. It is finely to have the caulk run up the wall good a short morsel adenine well .
There is no sandpaper or anything else needed after caulking. Give your caulk ample time to dry and them move on to top coating your shipshape .

Step 7: Painting The Trim’s First Top Coat

now that all your homework, hole occupy, prime, and caulking are completed, it ’ second clock to start brushing on the first top coat of paint onto your trim .
There is no magic trick or amaze tips here, just brush on your top coat using retentive even legato strokes. Try to again find that sweet spot where you are applying enough of top coat, but not then much that you have any runs. Avoid runs at all costs .
There are many different top coats that you can use for your reduce that will work barely ticket. Window and door trim will require something a small more durable that baseboard trim though .
My personal favorites are Benjamin Moore ’ s Satin Impervo and Sherwin William ’ s Pro Classic enamels .
Both of these products are easy to apply, come in water-based versions and dry to a beautiful and durable finish !
Sand and Vacuum Your Top Coat
once your first lead coat has had prison term to thoroughly dry, then it is time for your final examination round of sandpaper .
For this circle of sanding I recommend using 3M Extra Fine sanding sponges .
I ’ ve found that using their fine ( or medium ) sanding sponges can leave bantam scratches that can show in the final coat. however, the Extra Fine sponges will sand off any dust in the stopping point, give it a absolutely smooth complete and the scratches left in the finish are easily covered with the final clear coat .
After sanding, make sure to shop vac the shipshape and the integral room so you are ready for the final top coat .

Step 8: Painting The Final Coat

The concluding step in painting your trim is besides the easiest and quickest. You ’ ve prepped, primed, caulked, first coated and now it ’ sulfur clock time for the final coat .
Nothing fresh hera, make sure you use even strokes and that no debris or debris lands in the finish .
You should find that you need less rouge and that it spreads easier angstrom well. This is due to the fact that the trim has a big barrier already on it and this top coat international relations and security network ’ t being sucked up into the previous coats as a lot .
Take your time, pay attention to detail and you will have a great looking complete product .

Step 9: Cleanup

After all of your painting is completed, cleaning is your last mistreat. All you need to know about killing is to wait until the paint has dried, but not cured .
If the paint is dry, you won ’ t make a batch while pulling tape, paper and drop cloths .
But if you wait besides long ( days ) and have allowed the paint to cure, any drips you find that made their way onto the floor will be drastically harder to remove. Runs in the end will besides be harder to fix .
Mint Bedroom With Painted White Trim

Painting Trim In Conclusion

Painting your trim, whether basis shave, windowpane trim or door trim, does require a good total of time. But with patience and attention to detail, it is a project that any homeowner can easily do and have great results.

Got some of your trim paint on the floor or carpet? Check out my article on How To Remove Paint From Nearly Any Surface. 
Have any questions or comments ? Leave them below, I constantly make sure to answer every question !

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