How to Paint Wood Trim

Painting wood trim is a straightforward process that you can do over a rainy weekend stuck inside. All you need is a few materials and a little know-how and you can have your home looking refreshed before you know it. Prestige Painting & Contracting’s step-by-step guide is the first tool you’ll need when it comes to painting trim and painting baseboards.

Can You Paint Wood Trim without Sanding?

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First things first – you can absolutely paint over wood trim – and you don’t even have to sand it so long as you give it a good cleaning and use a good deglosser. If you’re satisfied with the design of the current trim, just utilize the proper technique and you can paint it whichever colour you’d like.

Types of Paint for Wood Trim

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Some things to consider when selecting paint for your trim include type, sheen, colour, and even brand.

An important thing to remember when choosing a trim paint is that when it comes to a sheen – the shinier the better as this is more durable, and holds up better over time. Semigloss is a good option – has a classic look and is easily wipeable. Satin paint is another option to consider. Satin trim painting offers a more contemporary look with its matte finish but is still rather durable.

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When it comes to interior trim, you’ll have to decide between oil-based and latex paint. Oil-based is often stronger and more durable, but it has a strong odour, takes longer to dry, and is hard to clean. Oil-based paint’s slow drying tendency is the magic behind brush mark-free trim as it self levels during the drying process. That said, water-based paint has come leaps and bounds in the past few years and is an equally good option. This is especially true if you’re looking to avoid fumes.

How to Paint Stained Wood Trim

  1. Degloss the Trim – This can be optional but the rule of thumb is that if your wood trim has any sort of sheen to it, you should degloss it to ensure that the primer and paint will properly adhere to it. If you’re not facing a glossy sheen, you can consider skipping this step. In order to degloss, apply the deglosser to the trim with a linen free rag and be sure to properly follow the directions on the bottle.
  2. Clean the Trim – Perhaps you decided to degloss or maybe you opted to skip that step, nevertheless it is necessary to properly clean the trim to rid it of any oil that can build up over time. Doing so allows the paint to better adhere to the surface. Any all purpose cleaner and microfiber cloth will do the trick when it comes to adequately cleaning the trim.
  3. Prep – Another optional step, but you should consider using painters tape to tape off the edges of the trim in order to prevent paint from getting on walls and floors.
  4. Prime – If you’re dealing with especially dark stained trim, you should definitely consider treating it with an oil-based primer for better coverage. That being said, in most instances, an all-purpose water based primer can do the trick and is certainly easier to clean up. Using your two-inch angled brush, make long, smooth strokes to carefully prime the trim. If too much wood is still visible after the first coat of primer, you should allow it to dry and apply a second coat.
  5. Fill Holes – You should consider waiting for the first coat of primer to dry before filling any holes or cracks in the caulk because they are far easier to spot. The white primer is much more visible than the wood trim, however filling holes and cracks prior to priming is also certainly an acceptable practice. Regardless of when you choose to do so, use a wood filler to fill nail holes and a small bead of caulk to fill cracks. Wipe the filler or caulking with a damp rag to remove any build up and allow the products to dry according to manufacturer direction.
  6. Paint – The final step is to paint. Select a high quality trim paint and be sure to make long smooth strokes with your two inch angled brush. If necessary, apply a second coat.

Prestige Painting & Contracting is also a great option – sit back and relax and leave the heavy lifting to us. Give us a call today!