Painting Tips for Trim and Molding

September 16, 2020
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Painting Tips for Trim and Molding

Typically, the walls are the focal point when you paint a room. But it's just as important to consider carefully how the paint will look in your space on the trim and molding. Most people stick to neutral tones with trim and molding to complement the main colors in the room, with real consideration being around the type of paint finish.

What Type of Paint Do you Use on Trim?

When it comes to painting trim and molding, you can purchase paint that is specifically designed for this purpose. Trim paint usually has a glossier shine and is designed for smoother application to have a thicker consistency (similar to oil paint). However, paint that is marked as trim or molding paint does not actually have to be used.

If you use standard paint rather than trim paint, you may need to decide what kind of finish you're seeking. Which type of finish you are using depends on a variety of factors, such as where you are using it, and the overall look you want in your room.

What is the Perfect Finish For Trim?

When choosing the finish style for your trim, you'll want to consider what kind of surface you're painting and how it's going to stand up to wear and tear.

High gloss: This shiny finish with enamel can look very high-end, but it can also show off any surface flaws. If you use high-gloss, you need to ensure that the surface is perfectly smooth and that the application also needs to be perfectly smooth. If you don't do it right, you'll be able to see any brush marks and other minor defects due to how the light reflects off the paint.

Semi-gloss: This is the traditional trim and molding finish. It has an element of shine as high gloss, but it's easier to cover imperfections by the slightly more dull finish. It is also very robust, and easy to clean, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

Satin: This matte finish works well to make less overwhelming heavy, ornate trim work and to establish a more contemporary look overall. Also, cleaning is simple and looks great in minimalist spaces.

How to Prep Trim For Painting?

The key to getting a great finish on trimming and molding is to ensure a smooth surface for you to start with. It appears to be the surface type that reveals any imperfections, which can affect your room's overall look. If your trim or molding has any dents, nail holes, or cracks, you may need to patch them with a wood filler to smooth out the surface.

Is It Necessary to Sand Before Painting Trim?

What makes trim and molding difficult to paint is that any uneven surfaces will show up. These are very difficult to conceal. It is best to sand down the whole surface before painting the trim or molding to smooth things out. Make sure to work in small parts while you sand so that you don't miss any rough spots.

Wipe it off with a damp cloth after sanding, and allow it to dry. Remember that if you have filled and sanded any areas, you just need to use primers on those areas and at any places where the wood is showing through. Otherwise, the exterior may be painted directly without the interior painting being primed.

If you wish to know more about painting trim and molding, contact the Residential Painting Contractor in West Hartford, CT.

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