Allison Jaffe's Blog
The trim is one of the trickiest parts of a home to be properly painted or stained. There’s many steps that must be taken for the trim to be painted well including:
- Nailheads must be set below the surface of the wood
- Holes need to be filled and sanded
- Damaged wood must be repaired and replaced
- Old paint and varnish must be removed
The work that needs to be completed on both the walls and the trim should be done before you begin painting and staining. There’s no rule as to when you should paint the trim -before or after the walls are painted- the only thing that matters is that the prep work should be done before the painting step begins.
When you’re stripping the surface, wear protective glasses along with a dust mask. The chemicals that you’re using can contain toxic fumes. The room needs to be ventilated properly as well. Wear gloves to keep the chemicals off of your hands. You’ll also protect your hands from splinters.
As an additional precaution, when you’re painting, you’ll want to test for lead. Many homes may have lead paint in them, especially those that were built prior to 1978. You can remove lead paint yourself if you take the right precautionary steps, but in some cases, you may need a professional to do the job.
Get The Trim Ready For Painting
Once the trim has been scraped down, you’ll want to wash the surface of the trim with a mild household cleaner. Then, rinse it with water or a water and vinegar mixture and let the trim dry. Scrape any remaining loose paint from the trim.
Sand The Trim
Use a small flat sander to sand the walls or woodwork. For more contoured surfaces, try to use a flexible sanding block. These flexible sanders work great for more curved surfaces.
Have A Strategy
If you’re a less experienced painter, it will be easier if you paint the trim first. This will make it much smoother to prepare the details and paint all of the details. Once you paint the trim, mask it off with painters tape. This will prevent any splattering from occurring while you’re painting of the walls.
Tips For Painting The Trim
Once you complete all of the prep work for painting the trim, use a primer. Next, topcoat the trim using some kind of a latex or enamel. Remember that glossy surfaces accentuate the woodwork in a home, making it stand out from the walls. Moldings, doors and windows require a higher sheen than a wall since there’s more contact on these surfaces.
Painting trim can be challenging, but when you do it safely and in the right order, your painting job will go much more smoothly.