Trim Painting Tips

Trim Painting Tips

Make your walls look perfect, your trim flawlessly smooth and your life drip-free.


Family Handyman

How to repaint chipped, flaking or cheating moldings so they look like modern ; the secrets of a professional-looking job.

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Careful sanding is the key to a perfect job

Sand all moldings

Smooth all harsh spots with sandpaper. If your woodwork is smooth, barely give it a once-over with 120-grit emery paper. But if your shipshape is in grating shape like ours, start with 80-grit emery paper. Switch to 100-grit for smoothing and blending in the areas with layered paint. finally, go over all the woodwind with 120-grit. Buy emery paper labeled ‘ no-load. ’ No-load sandpaper won ’ thymine clog as easily and is better for sanding painted surfaces .


If your home was built before 1979, check the paint for precede. Call your public health department for instructions on how to test for lead and on what to do if you have lead paint .

Fill holes and dents

Fill all holes

Fill holes with spackling compound using a flexible putty tongue. abstruse holes will require a moment fill up after the first dries. To repair large dents or gouges on edges that are vulnerable to abuse, use hardening-type bipartite forest filler ( Minwax High Performance Wood Filler is one brand ). Fill smaller dents and holes with spackling compound. Since spackling compound shrinks as it dries, you ’ ll have to apply a moment ( and possibly a third base ) coating after the previous coat dries .
Shine a strong unaccented across the woodwork to highlight depressions and ensure that you don ’ triiodothyronine miss any spots as you ’ re applying the filler. Let the filler dry and backbone it smooth .

Caulk for a seamless look

Caulk all cracks

Squeeze caulk into every gap and snap. here ’ s a gradation that many beginners don ’ metric ton know about but pros swear by. Caulk every crack or break, no matter how little. Use latex paint ( Acrylic ) caulk or a paintable latex/silicone blend. The key is to cut the caulk metro topple very carefully to create a bantam, 1/16-in.-diameter hole. Fill all the little cracks beginning. then, if you have wider cracks to fill, recut the caulk pipe point to make a larger hole. Move the caulk gun swiftly along the cracks to avoid an excess buildup of caulk. If necessary, smooth the caulk with your fingertip. Keep a muffle rag in your scoop to clean caulk from your finger and to keep the topple of the caulk tube clean. If caulk piles up in the corners, remove the excess with a flexible putty knife .

Spot-prime to avoid blotches

Prime bare wood and filled areas

Brush a stain-blocking primer over bare wood and filled areas to prevent spotting when you paint former. Brush a stain-sealing primer ( B-I-N is one mark of shellac-based primer ) over the areas that you ’ ve patched or filled, and over areas where you ’ ve sanded down to bare wood. If you have a set of patches and bare spots, it ’ ll be faster and easier to just prime the entire coat. besides varnish discolored areas or marks left by crayons, pens or markers to prevent them from bleeding through the coating coating of key .

Add an extender to latex paint

Add a conditioner

A conditioner normally helps reduce unsightly brush marks. Most pros prefer to use oil-based key on trim for two reasons : Oil-based paint doesn ’ metric ton dry equally firm as water-based paint, leaving more time to brush. And oil-based paint levels out better than most water-based paints, leaving a drum sander surface with few visible brush marks. But because water-based paint is more environmentally friendly, less icky and easier to clean up, it ’ s a better choice for DIYers.

You can make water-based paint do more like oil paint by adding latex paint paint conditioner. Floetrol is one brand. Conditioners make the paint flow better and slow down the dry time, allowing you more time to spread the key without leaving brush marks. Check with the manufacturer of the paint you ’ re using to see if it recommends a particular post of conditioner .

Paint from a separate pail

Pour paint about 1-1/2 in. deep into a offprint bucket. A alloy cougar ’ s bucket ( shown ) ; a peculiarity pail ( at key stores and home centers ) ; or even an empty 5-quart ice cream bucket all study great. Placing a humble total of paint in a bucket allows you to well load the bristles of the brush by dipping them about 1 in. into the rouge .

Slap, don’t wipe

Slap the brush

Slap the load brush against the sides of the can to avoid drips when brush. Slap the brush gently against each slope of the bucket to remove the overindulgence paint. This method of brush load is best for laying on paint because it keeps the bristles in full loaded with key. To use the brush for cutting-in, follow up by wiping each side of the brush gently on the brim to remove a small more paint .

Cut in edges before you fill the center

Cutting in technique

Brush close to the border beginning, then right along the edge with a second smooth stroke. Cutting-in is a skill that takes practice to overcome, but it ’ sulfur worth the feat. To cut in, first load the brush. then wipe most of the excess key off by lightly scraping the bristles on the edge of the can. Start by pulling the brush along the boundary, but keep the bristles about 1/4 in. away from the rampart or ceiling to deposit some paint on the wood. now return with another brushstroke, this time a little airless. Sneaking up to the line like this is easier than trying to get it perfect on the beginning try. At the end of the stroke, arc the brush away from the cut-in line. Cut in a few feet and then fill the middle using the lay-on, lay-off proficiency we show in the adjacent incision .

Lay on, lay off

Unload your brush quickly

Lay on your paint in a few strokes. Smooth it with a individual stroke. Avoid overworking the surface. The biggest error beginners make is to work the paint excessively long after it ’ second applied. Remember, the paint starts to dry adenine soon as you put it on, and you have to smooth it out before this happens or you ’ ll end up with brushstrokes or worse. so here ’ s the tap. Load your brush. then cursorily drop on the come on with a few back-and-forth brushstrokes. This is called “ lay on ” the paint. Repeat this until you ’ ve covered a few feet of trim with paint. Don ’ thyroxine concern about how it looks even .
now, without reloading the brush, drag the tips of the bristles over the wet paint in one long stroke to “ lay off ” the key. Start in the unpainted area and haul into the previously painted trim. Sweep your brush up off the surface at the end of each throw. Areas wider than your brush will require several parallel laying-off strokes to finish. When you ’ re done laying off a section, move on and repeat the process, always working promptly to avoid brush over partially dried rouge. Try to complete shorter pieces of trim with a continuous laying-off brushstroke .

Don’t start a brushstroke on already-smoothed paint

Start your brush stroke in an unpainted area

Lay on paint from your load brush in an unpainted area and brush toward the already coated zone. Setting the paintbrush on an area that ’ south already been smoothed out with laying-off strokes will leave an unsightly target. Try to start laying-off strokes at the end of a spare piece or dining table, or in an unpainted area. Brush toward the finished area. then sweep the brush up and off, like an airplane taking off from a track, to avoid leaving a stigmatize .

Don’t brush across an edge

Avoid brushing across an edge

Brush toward edges or along them. If you get a paint build-up or drip, wipe it away immediately. Brushing across an edge wipes paint from the bristles and creates a heavy buildup of paint that will run or drip. Avoid this by brushing toward edges whenever possible. If you must start a brushstroke at an edge, align the bristles carefully as if you ’ rhenium cutting-in, rather of wiping them against the edge. If you by chance get a buildup of paint that could cause a run, spread it out good off with a dry paintbrush or wipe it off with a dampen rag or your finger.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you ’ ll salvage time and frustration .

  • Caulk gun

Putty knife, flexible
Paintbrush, 1-1/2 in. or 2 in.

Required Materials for this Project

Putty knife, flexiblePaintbrush, 1-1/2 in. or 2 in. Avoid last-minute shop trips by having all your materials ready ahead of clock time. hera ’ s a list .

  • Acrylic caulk
  • Paint can
  • Paint conditioner
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Spackling compound
beginning :
Category : How To

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