painting trim white - how to paint trim

Painting Trim White

Written by David | October 10, 2021

Do you have wood trim in your house?

Well- duh! yeah! While that may seem like a no brainer question, there are some homes with plastic or foam-based trim in their homes. I would say 95% of all homes have wood trim. I would go further to say most homes have wood trim that has been stained. Most trim that is stained is either Oak or Pine. If you are tired of stained wood then painting your trim white is a great way to give your home an update!

wood trim - how to paint wood trim white
wood trim that has been stained

Can I paint stained wood trim white?

Without a doubt yes! If it is wood it can be painted. There are a few questions we have to ask and you have to consider if you’re going to tackle this job yourself or have us paint it for you.

  • How old is the wood or stain?
  • Is the trim oak or pine?
  • What color is the trim you have now?

So, why the questions? It helps us and you prepare for what we need to do to get your trim painted properly. The age of the stain will determine a few things: the older the stain the more likely it is oil and is peeling in areas exposed to heat/cold or water. If you have oak, that means you will have heavy grain in in the wood that will have to be filled or accept the fact you will see wood grain after it is painted. However, with wood that is pine, the new paint will lay flat and smooth. Then, the color of stain you have now, if it is dark it may mean 2 coats of primer with the two coats of paint.

wood trim painted white - interior home painting
wood stained trim painted white

What primer to use for painting trim

There are several really good primers that we use and are readily available. (Of course there are material shortages as of this article which could affect which primer you can find.) We have two favorites: Stix and Odorless oil primers.

Zinsser odorless oil primer
odorless oil primer
Stix bonding primer
stix bonding primer

What is the difference? Quick and easy. The green can is oil so it will block out any tannins, or stains, etc. from bleeding through the paint. The blue can is meant to bond to almost any surface.

What is the process for painting wood trim white

We could get into deatils of this but i will try and keep this simple.

  • You will need to remove all window treatments and brackets mounted to the windows.
  • All the painted surfaces need to be cleaned. We wipe/vac/and then use a cleaner.
  • We mask the walls around the windows to make sure no paint or primer gets on the walls.
  • Next is primer! Roll or brush it on the trim.
  • Once the primer is applied and dried, you must fill in nail holes and caulk all the gaps you see that will look like black lines.
  • We then do a quick sand to smooth out the surface.
  • Finally!! We paint.

This a a quick checklist and we could get into details but with Youtube, you can see the details like the types of brushes and rollers to use, what kind of paint to use, or tape to use.

Should you paint walls before painting trim?

Easy question and easy answer in my opinion- NO! If you paint the walls first then you have to wait for the paint to cure and you will then have to mask the walls. One of the issues we have is when the walls are masked is you don’t know what you will have to work with. Did the walls get primed? Were the walls dirty the last time they were painted? These are just two reasons that even with a delicate tape there are high chances that the tape will pull the paint off the wall in places.

How can we help you with your painting questions

So, do you have any questions? Let us know how we can help!

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