Painting Wood Trim

The most important thing about painting wood trim is: preparations. Half of the time spent on a painting job is about sanding and cleaning. That's not everyone's favorite job, but it makes the paint get a grip, and hold for a long time. But first make sure if your wood trim is really wood, and not some synthetic material or laminate.

Door with painted wood trim

Painting straight lines

When you're painting wood trim, it's good to use masking tape, to define the outer lines and corners of the wood trim. First prepare everything else for the job, then put on the masking tape - and take off the tape immediately after painting. Click here for more on painting straight lines.

What paint to take for painting wood trim

Most of the paints you can buy are acrylics. But for more than 15 years ago, painting wood trim was usually done with oil-based paint. This can be painted over with oil based paint. For durable results with acrylics, it's best to do an oil-based primer (after doing preps like sanding and cleaning), before applying acrylic house paint.

Green alternatives for painting wood trim

It's a pity oil based paints went out of fashion, because the environmental pro's of acrylic paints are not that big. It's true, acrylics can be diluted and washed with water instead of turpentine - but acrylics still are a very chemical substance. There are other alternatives: for painting over oil based painted wood trim, you can use organic oil-based paint. Or you coat it with shellac, and apply latex over that. Latex is not a very sturdy paint, but it can be made stronger by using a polyurethane laquer. New wood trim can be painted with milk paint, caseine- or eggtempera, or it can be stained and waxed. Linseed oil or tung oil are good for impregnating natural wood as well. Cllick here for more on non-toxic paint

Painting new wood trim

This can be done in many ways: you can either stain them, or give them a hiding paint coat. New wood trim needs to be primed first. Primer paint is thicker, it fills the wood grain and prevents the acrylic laquer paint from soaking into the wood.

Colors for painting wood trim

What paint color you choose, depends on the style of your interior design. If you want to keep it "safe", just pick a color that's the same as the wall, only darker or lighter. White can be very fresh too, combined with colored walls. For white walls, offwhite wood trim might be the obvious choice. Wich can look great too, if you make it into an impeccable highgloss. But there's more to explore. Click here for more on choosing paint colors. Also check out these tips on underlying paint colors

Paint sheen

Your paint sheen has an influence on the appearance and styling. Highgloss can be very suitable in some designing styles, but it does take an impeccable surface - lots of painting preparation: not just sanding, also surface equalizing and more sanding. Matte or semi-gloss paint can do with only sanding - though it's always good to first check your project on holes etc., and give them some filler.

Brushes for painting wood trim

For acrylics, take synthetic brushes, and for oil-based paint you best take bristle brushes. Not the cheapest ones - they leave hairs in your work. With just one brush - a flat one, not too broad or thin, just 2 or 2.5 inch broad - you can do most of the work. Edges can be painted with that too. Only for really difficult corners you might need an extra small artist's brush. Most DIY paint stores sell those as well.

Painting impeccable wood trim

One thing that helps in neat painting, is attention. Wet the tips of your brush with paint, and roughly fill in the surface you intend to cover. Then slowly drag your brush along the edges. After that, drag your brush over the wood trim to level out the paint. Hardly anyone can paint without little mistakes on the edges, but that's not a problem if you clean them right away. Just put a wet cloth over your finger, and run it along the edge. For oilbased paint you wet the cloth with turps, and for acrylics, just with water.

Using masking tape

If the steady hand really is a problem: use masking tape. Tape it on after sanding and degreasing - right before you start to paint. And remove it as soon as you're done. Sometimes the paint still creeps under the tape, but if you remove it right away you can see what extra cleaning is needed. Paint stains can still be removed while they're fresh. Only when painting dark wood trim along a very light wall, some extra precaution is needed. Use the masking tape, and cover some extra square feet with plastic or newspapers, to protect them. It's some extra work, but it saves you a lot of stress.

Related pages:

Oil Painting Techniques

Acrylic Painting

Watercolor painting

Color Schemes

Interior Painting techniques

Interior Painting Ideas


[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines

Painting ebook

house painters