Why Paint Your Home’s Interior Trim

Are you looking at the paint in some rooms and less than excited about what you see? Maybe you still love the wall color but the total visual of the room is not what you want. Consider this, you can get a big bang impact when you paint the trim in a room. A coat of paint on the trim can enhance the wall color in the room, make the room really “pop” and look fresh. If you want to create more visual interest in a room or the interior of your home, try painting the trim! To get the best paint job possible, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for you when embarking on the trim-painting project. Of course, if you aren’t inclined to paint or just don’t have the time to spend, contact us at Osborne Painting. We are experts at providing beautiful results that you will enjoy for years to come!

How to Paint TrimProper Steps with Tips and Tricks

Follow these steps with tips and tricks to get a high-quality trim paint job.

Collect Your Supplies

Before you begin to paint, gather all the supplies you need. It’s a headache to be running back and forth to get your stuff while you’ve already started the job. Be sure to have the paint, a way to stir the paint, a 2″ angled trim brush, wipes, and painter’s tape. 

Clean the Trim and Baseboards

Getting the dust off of baseboards and wiping grime off trim is important before beginning to paint. Many times trim near doors, in bathrooms, and in kitchens has dirt and grime. Dish soap, water, and a rag are all you need. Wait for everything to dry completely before moving on.

Tape Off the Trim

Unless you have an extremely steady hand, you need to tape off the baseboards and the trim. This ensures you get a clean, crisp line, instead of paint all over the adjacent walls and floors! Obtain the appropriate kind of tape for the job so you have the correct adhesive. Press the tape down fully along the edges so it is secured well to the surface. For baseboards, apply it along both the top and bottom being sure to protect the flooring or carpet, and then use a second strip of tape to make a wider masked area. When the room has carpet, use a flat putty knife to tuck 1/2-inch of 2-inch masking tape between the baseboard and carpet.

Smooth the Surface

If any of the wood has rough surfaces, you will want to take care of them. You may need to sand any rough spots with sandpaper. If the woodwork is smooth, just lightly go over it with 120-grit sandpaper. But, if it is in rough shape, start with 80-grit then move on to 100-grit and finally 120-grit.

If your woodwork has holes, fill them with a spackling compound using a flexible putty knife. If the holes are deep, go in with a second fill after the first dries.

Caulk for a Seamless Look

Caulk all cracks and gaps. The trick is to cut the caulk tube tip carefully to create a tiny, 1/16-inch diameter hole. Fill all the small cracks first. Then, for wider cracks, recut the caulk tube tip to make a larger hole. Move the caulk gun swiftly to avoid an excess buildup of caulk. Use a damp rag to clean caulk from your finger and to keep the caulk tube clean. Be sure the caulk doesn’t accumulate in the corners by removing the excess with a putty knife.

Prime the Surface

If you have a lot of areas that you have filled in or patched, you need to prime the entire surface. Use the primer to seal discolored areas or marks from crayons, pens, or markers so they won’t bleed through the finished coat of paint. If you only have a few areas that need primer, use it just in those spots, and then use 120-grit sandpaper to smooth them.

Add a Conditioner to Water-Based Paint

Another trick is to add a conditioner if you are using a water-based paint. The conditioner makes the paint flow better and slows down the drying time so you have more time to spread the paint without leaving brush marks. An oil-based paint doesn’t need a conditioner because it doesn’t dry as fast and levels out better, leaving a smoother surface with few visible brush marks.

Pour Into a Clean Separate Pail or Tray

Pour the paint, 1 1/2 inches deep, into a clean pail or tray. A painter’s pail or an empty 5-quart container will work. By working with a small amount of paint, you load the bristles more easily and have less potential for spilling.

Use the Slap Method to Load the Paintbrush

When you load the brush, slap the bristles against the sides of the can to avoid drips and remove excess paint. This is the best method of brush loading because it keeps the bristles full of paint. If you are using the brush to cut in, follow up by wiping each side of the brush gently on the rim to remove a little more paint.

Cut In When Painting

Using the cut-in technique allows you to get a more perfect coat by avoiding too much paint on the trim close to the wall. It may be a bit awkward at first when you’re trying to cut in and you haven’t done it before. Wipe most of the paint off the bristles on the edge of the can. Then pull the brush along the edge, but keep about 1/4-in. away from the wall or ceiling. Afterward, return with another brushstroke a little closer. When you gradually get closer to the line this way, it’s easier to get it perfect on the first try.

Don’t Brush Across an Edge

Brush toward edges or along them. Brushing across an edge wipes paint from the bristles and leaves a buildup of paint that will run or drip. So, always brush toward edges when possible. If you accidentally get a buildup of paint that could run, spread it out immediately with a dry paintbrush or wipe it off with a damp rag or your finger.

Required Tools and Materials

Have the necessary tools for the project before your start to save time and frustration.

  • Caulk gun
  • Two putty knives – one flexible and one stiff
  • Paint brush, 1-1/2 inch or 2 inch
  • Acrylic caulk
  • Paint can
  • Paint conditioner
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Spackling compound

Contact Osborne Painting for a Quality Job

Contact Osborne Painting for our expertise in interior painting. If you would like a professional to take care of your projects, we have the experience you need for high-quality paint jobs.  Call us at (919) 878-6611 or complete the easy-to-use form below.

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