Making the finishing touches easier!

Tricks to Painting Interior Trim

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Tricks to Painting Interior Trim

We want to repaint the inside of our house. I don't mind working with a paint roller, but finishing the interior trim always frustrates me. Are there any tips or tricks that people use to make the job easier/quicker? I hate to think of all the hours it takes to do the trim.

Start with a Good Trim Brush

To paint interior trim, you first need to buy a good "trim brush." This makes all the difference in the neatness of your paint job. Another tip is to use a clean dust pan at floor level to prevent painting the floor. I've also seen an old venetian blind slat or a long piece of cardboard used to catch the drips. Just be sure to wipe the chosen item frequently to prevent smearing and paint collecting underneath the item used to catch the drips.

Paint Trim First

I paint my trim first being as neat as I can without stressing out about it. Then when painting the walls, I use an edger around the trim. This makes a nice straight line.

Practice Makes Perfect

I am a professional painter. I always paint the trim first, so it doesn't matter if you get some trim color on the walls. It's easier to cut in the wall paint against the trim than the other way around. You will also save a lot of money on taping the walls off to paint the trim. I always paint the ceilings first and then I paint all the trim except the base board, which I leave for last. If you practice this, you will get better at painting. Also, if you get a little of paint on the wall at the base board, you won't see it as much when all the furniture is back. The biggest mistake people make is they don't cover all the furniture and floors off. If you do this a few times, you will get better at it.

3 Smart Tricks to Painting Interior Trim

I have painted baseboards, door frames, and other trim many times. I use a 1.5 to 4 inch brush, depending on the width of the woodwork. Along the carpet, floor or painted areas, I hold a stiff piece of cardboard, such as shirt cardboard. It's quicker and cheaper than masking tape and keeps paint off the surrounding areas.

If the trim has been previously painted with gloss or semi-gloss paint, it's wise to sand it lightly first, so the new coat will adhere more easily. Be sure to use a tack cloth and/or vacuum cleaner before you start painting.

If you need to stop painting for a while, store your brush in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This saves cleaning time.
Barbara in CT

Find Help Online

I generally go to Family Handyman to get all sorts of help when I need to find out about most things I'm not familiar with. Their videos are a great help.

Prep, Prep, Prep

Make sure the trim has been lightly sanded, so the new paint will grip on. Then tape and use good painter's tape. Take your time. I did my hall. It took me three days to tape all the doors and such, but I just did it for about an hour at a time since that is not my favorite job.

If you paint the walls first, like I did, you must tape the wall, so you don't get any of the trim paint on the walls. Take your time. Maybe do only one doorway at a time. When you are done for the day, put the paint brush in a zipper bag, zip it up as good as you can, and put it in the freezer to use again later. It will be worth a little extra time and effort. I love my hall now.

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