Painting Interior Trim: The Right Way

Painting your house’s interior trim is one of those things you can’t skimp out on during renovations. When done right, it not only changes how the room feels but adds an air of elegance and brightness to the space. But even the professionals will admit that painting interior trim can be a little tricky. It’s really a delicate affair that takes a certain finesse to avoid drips.

However, it isn’t impossible. With a few of the tips below, you’ll be a step ahead in achieving those smooth, perfect results.

Let’s take a look.

paint interior trim

1.   Get your trim prepped up

Preparing the targeted surface is essential to any painting project. And the trim is no exception. In this case, there are a few things that you can do during prep:

  •         Clean the surface – First, get rid of any grime or dirt from the grim. You can use a damp sponge to do a thorough wipe. For best results, use the rough side of the sponge.
  •         Sand the trim – Next up is to make the surface smoother by sanding all the moldings. If it is already smooth, you can do a lighter sand with 120-grit sandpaper. If the trim is worn out and rough, go with a courser, 80-grit sandpaper, followed by a less coarse sandpaper like 100-120 grit.
  •         Fill in dents and holes – Repair any holes by filling them using a spackling compound and flexible putty knife. For deeper holes, you might need to go in for a second fill once the first one dries(it will likely shrink as it dries). For the large dents and edges which are prone to damage, you’d be better off using hardening-type two part wood filler.
  •         Caulk any cracks – Next up, squeeze caulk into any cracks or gaps. You want to make a really tiny hole at the tip of your caulk tube, so it goes easily into small cracks. You can make the hole bigger once you get to the bigger holes. Remove any piled up caulk using a flexible putty knife.
  •         Apply painter’s tape – Painters’ tape will help seal off any sections you don’t want the paint getting on. Therefore, apply it to ceilings or walls surrounding the trim. The key is to go for one long tape instead of breaking it down into small pieces. This will prevent the paint from seeping through.

2.   Prime the bare wood and areas you’ve filled

Priming will prevent spotting when you apply the paint. Therefore, before you take out the actual paint, brush over the patched areas on the trim with a stain sealing primer. This is faster than priming the whole surface and should yield good results.

The primer can also help seal off any crayon of pen marks or discolored areas, so they won’t bleed through the paint once you’re done.

You want to let the primer dry for at least 2 hours. If bare wood is still showing, you can add on another coat of primer. Once done, sand the trim once more using a 120 grit sandpaper to get rid of paint drips or brush strokes.

3.   Apply your paint

Finally, it’s time to apply your paint of choice. This can either be oil-based, which is preferred by professionals for trims. It levels out better, which makes for a smoother surface. Still, you can also go for water-based paint if you want something more environmentally friendly. One way to make your water-base paint yield similar results is by adding latex paint conditioner

Tips when applying the paint:

  •         Use short but horizontal strokes.
  •         Repeat this motion until the trim is covered in paint
  •         Once you’ve done short strokes, smoothen them by applying one final long brush stroke (without adding more paint to the brush)
  •         As you dip your brush in paint, use the side of your paint tray to squeeze off any excess paint to avoid drips
  •         Remove the painter’s tape carefully before the paint dries

Take away

And just about sums it up! If you follow the above steps, you should be on your way to achieving a perfect trim. If it still seems a little daunting, you can always reach out to our professionals at Painter Bros and have us take care of it.

For years, we’ve continuously worked on and perfected the art of painting. We can comfortably say that we know all the angles and techniques needed to guarantee a beautiful clean job. So don’t be afraid to contact us today and get a free quote.