How To Paint Trim
Knowing how to paint trim is a simple process that will enhance the look of your rooms. Trim is considered any of the strips of wood that are used to conceal or enhance where doorways, windows, ceiling and flooring are flush against the walls. Depending how ornate your interiors are (older houses usually have more elaborate trim), painting the trim can be time consuming because there is a lot of prep work involved. Do not be surprised if the project stretches out longer than anticipated.
To paint trim, you will need:
- Brushes - One and a half inch angled brush and two and half inch straight brush will cover most jobs
- Paint scraper or putty knife
- Trisodium phosphate solution or TSP for cleaning
- Fine grit sandpaper - 80 and 120 grit are perfect
- Spackle for any nicks, holes or dents
- Blue painters tape – The two inch works well but if you have carpet you will also want the wider tape
- Clean. The first step to paint trim is to carefully clean off all the dust, dirt and grease from the trim. Follow the instructions on your TSP cleaning product. When you are done, use water to rinse everything once more and then allow the trim to dry completely.
- Repair. Inspect the trim for any loose paint or damage and use a paint scraper or putty knife to remove any chips. Fill in any holes or damaged area with spackle. When the spackle is dry, lightly sand your repair work so it is flush with the trim.
- Tape. The most time consuming part when you paint trim is the tape. It is also a very important part if you do not want to make a huge mess. Both sides of the trim need to be covered so you can work without worrying if the paint is bleeding onto other surfaces. Make sure you press the tape flat without any gaps the paint will sneak through. If you have carpet, apply the tape so it just barely touches the bottom of the trim. Then push it down and it will slip under the trim and protect the carpet.
- Paint. Now all that is left to do is to paint the trim. Use the one and half angled brush for thin jobs like the trim in window panes and the two inch square brush for larger surfaces like baseboard trim. Allow the paint to dry for at least a full 24 hours before you remove the tape. If it has been rainy or you live in a humid area, you might have to wait even longer.
Tip: Save the leftover paint because you will inevitably find spots you missed.