How to Paint Trim…Properly!

The longer you live in the same home, the more likely it is you’ll have to occasionally tend to a few decorative duties. One of which being the seemingly simple job of touching up interior trim.

It’s not until you actually go ahead and get the job done that you realize how huge of a difference it can make. Even with the most beautifully painted walls, ceilings, doors and so on, things never look quite right with dowdy and damaged trim. And given that it’s not the biggest undertaking as far as home DIY is concerned, it’s more than worth having a go at.

How to Paint Trim…Properly!

So if you’ve decided to take the manual approach, here’s a brief rundown of the basic steps involved in painting trim properly:

Step 1. Preparation

As always, the single most important step in the process is preparation. For one thing, you’re going to need to ensure that all of the trim you intend to paint is as clean as possible. If necessary, feel free to get busy with the rough side of a sponge, as in this instance you’re going to need to rough things up a little anyway.

After cleaning, it’s a case of taking some relatively fine sandpaper and giving things a good going over. You aren’t looking to sand them into oblivion, but rather get rid of all traces of the existing shiny finish. There’s also the option of using a small electric sander if you prefer.

Step 2. Repairs

If you come across anything that could do with being fixed, now really is the time to get it done. There’s really no sense investing time and effort in painting your trim, only to allow the finish to be compromised by cracks, dents, holes and so on.

Instead, grab yourself some lightweight spackling and apply the necessary repairs accordingly. It only takes a few minutes and is guaranteed to make a real difference. Give it plenty of time to dry, sand it with the same sandpaper and get rid of as much dust and residual dirt as possible.

Step 3. Protect

Now comes the time to ensure that all the bits and pieces in the vicinity you don’t want to paint are sufficiently protected. As it’s a relatively precise job, it’s usually enough to protect the surrounding walls, ceilings and floors with some good quality painter’s tape. Use the tape in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, applying it in relatively short lengths, rather than several feet at a time.

Use a putty knife to ensure that the tape is pressed down as firmly as possible, creating a tight protective seal.

Step 4. Apply Primer

Some say it’s not necessary to use primer when painting trim…we disagree. Arm yourself with a small can of the highest quality primer you can find, give it a good stir and use an angle brush to apply it to your trim. There’s no need to be overly generous, just ensure that the surface in its entirety is coated modestly.

Give the primer plenty of time to dry, before moving on to the next step.

Step 5. Paint

When the primer is sufficiently dry, give your chosen paint a stir and use a small angle brush to apply a very thin coat of paint carefully. It’s a good idea to only attempt to tackle a few feet of trim at a time, focusing on perfecting each smaller area before moving on to the next. Rather than attempting to get the whole thing done with one can, plan in advance to apply at least two coats and take your time.

It’s then simply a case of continuing the process until all of your trim has been painted. After which, you can begin removing the painter’s tape as carefully as possible, in order to avoid ripping the paint off your trim in the process.

Ask the Experts…

While most everyday interior painting jobs are within the grasp of the average DIYer, you need to think and act like a pro, in order to produce pro-quality results. Speaking of which, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that the quality of the paints and tools you use will have a marked impact on the quality of the final result. Cut corners at any time and you run the risk of jeopardizing the whole thing.

For more information on any of our services or to organize a free quotation, reach out to a member of the Homm CPS team today.