Painting Trim 101
Painted trims — like baseboards, mouldings, window frames and doors — can make a big impact in your home. Along with drawing attention to interesting moldings, a well-painted trim can instantly enhance the wall colors throughout the rest of the room.
But scoring an impeccably painted trim isn’t always easy. That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know to paint your trims to perfection.
2. Prep accordingly.
Apply Painter’s Washi Tape around the edges of the wall (where it meets the trim) to protect your walls from dripping paint.
Put down plenty of drop cloths to keep your furniture and floors safe from spills and splatters. Also make sure to dust or wipe down your trims (especially ones with grooves or moldings) to clear away any dirt or debris.
3. Prep your paint and brush.
Stir your paint thoroughly with a stir stick to minimize air bubbles and mix the color evenly.
Using a 2-inch angled brush, load the top one-third of the bristles with paint directly from the can (to avoid overloading the brush with paint and therefore making it harder to control when applying.) Tap both sides of the brush against the paint can and then wipe the bristles along the sides of the can to remove any excess paint.
4. Paint carefully.
Pressing lightly with your 2” angled brush, apply the paint in a single stroke, in one direction, on the widest part the trims. Work slowly to ensure a smooth and even application along the length of your trim.
Avoid unsightly brush marks by starting any subsequent strokes in a dry area and working toward the wet ones. You can also raise your brush and feather the edge into a previously painted patch to keep the paint even and smooth from one stroke to the next.
Lightly brush paint back over the coat you just applied in the reverse direction.
5. Touch up.
After the first coat of paint has dried, look for areas that look uneven or need more paint and touch up accordingly.
Once the final coat is done, remove tape and let trim dry thoroughly for 24 hours before painting your walls.
Why is semi-gloss the best finish for trims?
Ask any interior designer what their preferred finish is for trims and we’ll bet money the answer will always be semi-gloss. Semi-gloss is the best finish for trims because it provides a radiant sheen that contrasts beautifully when paired with walls in a lower sheen level, like eggshell. That contrast is far more interesting than having all of your finishes uniform. Plus, the radiant sheen really allows your trims and moldings to stand out and shine next to your walls.
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