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Painting 101: How to Perfectly Paint Trim

calander Oct 21 , 2019 user-icon Nash Painting

The trim around your windows and doors may seem like a small part of your home painting project, but painting these features properly requires preparation, patience, and precision. You can always hire reliable interior painting contractors to get the job done right. But if you’re up for the challenge, here is a crash course on how to perfectly paint trim.

1. Be Prepared

Preparation is key for every paint job, big or small. Painting trim is no different. To start, make sure you have the right materials on hand. These include: primer, paint, paint trays, angled paint brushes (1 to 2 inches), painter's tape, sandpaper (varying grits), caulk, caulking gun, spackle, putty knife, tack cloth, and sponges. You might also want rubber gloves, a facial mask, and eye protection for safety. Make sure your work area is well-lit so you can clearly see what you’re doing, and lay down drop cloths underneath the trim to avoid major messes.

2. Get Rid of Old Paint

If you want your new coat of paint to stick, you should start by removing the old layers. Soak your sponge with a paint cleaner, then apply it to the trim you’ll be painting. Then, use sandpaper to loosen up and remove the old paint. Depending on how old or worn the previous paint job is, the paint might flake off easily or refuse to budge. For more stubborn sections, you might want to use a paint scraper or lower-grit sandpaper, but be careful not to damage the surface itself. Continue sanding until the surface is nice and smooth.

3. Keep it Clean

You want your surface to be as clean as possible before painting, but after removing the previous coats, you’ll be left with a fair amount of dust and dirt. Soak another sponge with water and detergent to clear away this residue. Once everything has dried, use a tack cloth to remove all dust.

4. Seal Those Gaps

Painting your trim gives you the perfect opportunity to ensure that your home is well-sealed. Take a moment to fill holes with spackle and seal gaps with caulk. After these materials have dried, sand them down until smooth and flush with the surface.

5. Painter’s Tape for Precision

Now, it’s nearing time to actually paint the trim. Because trim is thin and features many edges, it’s difficult to paint it without running into nearby surfaces like walls, doors, and windows. Using painter’s tape will help you only cover the surfaces you want. Try to use long, continuous pieces of tape to avoid bleed-through. Make sure the tape is completely flat and does not stick to the trim, only to the surrounding surfaces.

6. Choose the Right Brush

For optimal accuracy, use a smaller, finer, angled brush. Interior painting services typically use 1-2 inch trim brushes for the job. These brushes will help you cover every inch of trim without applying too much paint or missing your mark.

7. Time to Prime

Always start with a coat of primer. This will help keep the new paint job around for a longer time. Don’t apply an excessive amount, either. Once the primer has been applied, let it dry for a full day. If there are any dried drips, lightly sand the surface down one more time until smooth and remove any dust.

8. Paint Carefully

Finally, it’s time to paint your trim. It might seem odd that this final step comes so late, but home interior painters can tell you just how important the previous steps are for achieving the best results. When painting your trim, move in sections, starting with shorter horizontal strokes and then going over the area again with one long stroke until all areas have been fully coated. When you’re happy with your paint job, carefully take off the painter’s tape (do this before the paint has dried).

If you follow all of the above steps, your trim should look clean, even, and fully covered. That said, there are many nuances within each of these steps and perfectly painting trim takes lots of practice. So, if you’re not confident in your ability to paint your own trim, reach out to a Nashville painting company with years of experience under its belt. Nash Painting is a detail-oriented painting service that assures high-quality work in everything we do. For more about us, our services, and our values, call us at (615) 829-6858 today!