How to Paint Trim Like a Pro
There is a lot more wall than trim when it comes to painting the interior or exterior of your home. So why does it seem more difficult to paint trim than to paint walls? It is because trim baseboards are so close to the beautiful flooring that you don’t want to ruin? Or maybe it’s because of all the curves and grooves that make it harder to paint?
Even though trim may seem like a more technical task than painting walls, there are ways to achieve trim paint jobs like a pro. Follow these tips and you will be done painting your trim in no time with beautiful results!
Choose the Right Finish
Trim is typically painted with a Satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish. The general rule of thumb is to choose a finish that is two levels above the paint finish of your walls. Although trim is a small part of your interior, a glossy finish will help accentuate the trim as it complements the rest of your home. The higher sheen will also make it easier to wipe your trim for cleaning, without ruining the paint.
Patch Cracks and Holes
Glossy paint finishes tend to highlight imperfections more than flat, eggshell, and satin finishes, so it’s imperative to take a look over your trim, molding, and baseboards to fill any holes or cracks before painting. Depending on the material of your trim, you might need to use wood filler, vinyl filler, or dry spackling. You may also want to use caulk to fill any open seams for a flawless look. Smooth down the filler and caulk over your surfaces by using your finger or a paper towel as you patch up open spaces. Once the filler has dried, sand the surfaces one last time before painting.
You will want to start by choosing a ceramic paint, that is designed for trim. These paints level out extremely well, reducing unsightly brush strokes.
Professional painters recommend that you paint trim before the wall because it’s simpler to tape off trim than it is walls. If you end up getting paint on your walls, you can lightly wipe it away to avoid dried paint edges that may show up as texture. Otherwise, you can just cover the paint when it’s time to paint your walls.
Protect Your Carpet and Floors
When your baseboard trim sits adjacent to the carpet, the last thing you want to do is ruin your home’s flooring. The best way to protect your floors, whether it is carpet, wood, tile, or any other type of flooring, is to use masking tape. Place two inches of masking tape where the baseboard trim meets the floor. Use a putty knife to try and tuck the edge of the tape beneath the baseboard. For further protection, lay down a drop cloth over the tape.
Dip the tip of your angled brush into the paint, and tap it against your paint tray to let out the excess paint before applying your paint. A paintbrush soaked in paint is more likely to drip onto your floor, or, even worse, bleed through the seams of your tape and onto your carpet. Make sure to wait until the paint is completely dry before removing the tape.