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Painting Trim: Tips and Instructions for Interior Painting

Painting trim work around your home with a straight line can be one of the most difficult parts of an interior painting project. This is because it can be tricky to get the paint to stay on the edge of the tape you use in the work area, and you need to pay special attention to brush marks on your trim work.

In this blog post, we will provide tips on how to paint trim successfully as well as explain the prep work needed before you begin painting baseboards or trim work around your home.

Why Painting Trim Is Important For Any Interior Painting Project

When it comes to interior painting, the trim is often one of the most overlooked detail since many homeowners only think about painting the walls of a room. Yet, taking the time to paint the wood trim can make a big difference in the overall look of a room since it can create the illusion of a bigger room, and helps brighten up the room.

Whether you’re looking to achieve a sleek and modern look or something more traditional, taking the time to paint the trim is always worth it.

Trim typically includes areas of your home like baseboards, door/window frames, and crown molding. While your rooms may have different wall colors, the trim throughout your home will be the same to keep a consistent look and feel throughout your home.

The most common color for trim is pure white, and the best type of paint to choose for the trim is a high sheen like semi-gloss since this type of paint stands up to wear and tear better than paint with less gloss.

Plus, you can wipe down and clean paint with a high sheen better, so you will be able to keep your trim looking clean and new throughout the year.

What’s The Best Way To Paint Trim?

Whether you’re repainting an entire room or you’re just repainting the trim, you will need to use painter’s tape to prevent paint on the walls or the floor. Laying down a layer of painter’s tape on the floor and another layer on the wall surface will help you avoid applying a coat of paint to areas that you don’t want to paint.

Even if you have a steady hand you should first tape off the floor and wall area around the trim work that you want to paint to ensure you have clean lines as you cut into the floor or wall areas.

If you plan on painting the walls of a room, it’s typically best to start with the trim first since you can paint the outer lip of the trim for a French Cut. This gives your room a finished look and this will ensure you apply a sufficient amount of paint to all sides of the trim around a room.

Once you have a few coats of paint on the trim and baseboards you can wait for the paint to dry and then apply a layer of paint on the trim work before you paint the rest of the walls in the room.

What Supplies Will You Need To Paint Trim In Your Home?

Painting trim work is a great way to add a fresh, new look to any room in your home. But before you start, it’s important to have the right supplies on hand to ensure you paint your trim as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare the trim and complete your trim painting for a professional look:

  • A good quality paintbrush. Synthetic brushes are ideal for latex paints, while natural bristle brushes work best with oil-based paints. Choose an angled brush when painting trim since you will need to cut along the walls, floors, and wall surface during the painting project. You will also likely need to paint in the corners of a room during this process, and an angled interior paintbrush can help you complete this task in less time.
  • Various painting tools like caulking, sandpaper, and putty for prep work around the woodwork. You may need to use filler on the trim work to fill in dents and scrapes before painting. Be sure to allow the spackling compound to dry before painting walls and trim work, and use a damp rag to wipe away any dust before painting.
  • A 5-gallon bucket. Be sure to pour at least half of a gallon of paint into a 5-gallon bucket so you can reload your brush with paint throughout the project. The last thing you want to do is hold a heavy gallon of paint, and a 5-gallon bucket can help you carry paint around your home and speed up the process of painting your home’s interior trim.
  • Painter’s tape. This will help you create clean, sharp lines between the paint and the wall or ceiling. Be sure to have several rolls of painter’s tape on hand since you will need to apply tape along the entire wall surface or floor where the trim meets these areas.
  • Drop cloths or old sheets. You’ll want to protect your floors from excess paint and paint splatters. You should not have many drops of paint if you don’t overload your paintbrush with paint, but if you are painting door frames, crown molding, or window frames then you want to be cautious since one paint drop will spread the higher you are off the ground.
  • Ladder or step stool. If you’re painting trim work like crown molding near the ceiling, you’ll need something to help you reach high spots. Be sure to have a ladder clip to hold your paint bucket while painting so you don’t have to get down from the ladder to put more paint on your paintbrush.

How To Prepare Trim Before Painting

The first step is to remove any hardware from the trim, such as nails, screws, or door handles around certain closet doors. Once these items are removed, you will want to use a putty knife to fill in any holes or cracks to ensure your trim is smooth before adding paint to the area.

Next, sand down the trim with medium-grit sandpaper so that the paint will have something to grip onto. Wipe down the trim with a damp cloth to remove any dust from sanding before painting.

Now you’re ready to apply painter’s tape to the wall surface and floor as needed. In addition to adding painter’s tape, you may want to lay drop cloths or old sheets to protect your floors from paint drips and excess paint.

With These Supplies On Hand, You’re Ready To Start Painting Trim Like A Pro!

Just be sure to take your time and follow the instructions to complete all necessary prep work above for the best results. Painting your home’s trim work can be a fun and rewarding project that transforms any room in your home with minimal effort and brings your entire painting project together in the end.

Just be sure to have patience, use quality materials, and prep the trim properly before starting your project.

And soon you’ll have beautiful, newly painted trim that looks like it was done by a professional!

Tips For Painting Trim In Your Home

Painting trim can be a daunting task, but with a little patience and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-looking results. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Dip your paintbrush about 1/3 of the way into the paint. This will ensure you have enough paint to cover a few feet of trim before you have to load your brush with more paint.
  • Start painting trim at one side of the room and then continue painting trim in one direction to ensure you apply an even coating across the entire interior space.
  • Be sure to start painting your crown molding first since you don’t want to bump baseboards or door frames with your ladder.
  • Apply paint to trim with a smooth stroke of the brush. You will want to finish each section of trim with a single stroke to smooth out any brush strokes or other imperfections.

Paint Trim For A Perfect Interior Project

Painting trim may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tips and tools, it can be a breeze. Follow these guidelines to have clean lines and a beautiful finished product. Happy painting!


Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a professional painter with over 10 years of experience. I want to show homeowners tips, guides, and advice to save them time and money when painting their own home. I know it can be daunting to take on a painting project yourself, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and some guidance, you can easily paint your home and save money in the process.


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