How to Paint Trim for a Home Refresh How to Paint Trim for a Home Refresh

What You'll Need
Painter's tape
Interior Premium Wall and Wood Primer
Interior latex paint (semi-gloss or high-gloss finish)
One damp sponge
Tack cloth
Sandpaper (120-grit, 100-grit and 80-grit)
Spackling or putty knife
Paint trays
Paint sticks
Paint brushes (2-inch angled brushes)

Live in your home long enough and you are bound to have to repair a few things. One of those is most certainly going to be repainting walls, ceilings, and trim. When painted neatly, trim creates a beautiful finishing touch to any room. Many people hire a professional because they are afraid of making a mess and find it difficult to repaint trim. If you are considering repainting trim in your house, there is good news. Follow the steps below and you can easily master the technique of painting the trim yourself and save a few bucks.

Part 1 - Preparing the Trim

Step 1

Clean all dirt and grime from trim using a damp sponge. Be sure to leave a clean starting surface. Use the rough side of the sponge if needed.

Step 2

Sand the surface of all trim to be repainted. If the trim is fairly smooth, use 120-grit sandpaper and lightly sand until there is no shine on the trim. If the trim surface is rough, sand with 80-grit sandpaper first, and then use sandpaper that is less course like 100- or 120-grit.

Step 3

Use a lightweight spackling compound and fill in all holes, cracks, and dents. Once the spackle is dry, completely sand the spackled areas lightly with 120-grit sandpaper. Remove any remaining dust from the trim with a tack cloth.

Step 4

Peeling tape away from wall trim

Tape off ceilings, walls, and floors surrounding the trim with painter's tape. To help the tape adhere to the surface, dust off all walls and ceilings. Pull tape out 3-4 inches at a time and press firmly against the wall. Hold this "starting spot" and pull out six more inches of tape, securing it firmly to the wall. Repeat this process for the entire length of the trim. Do not allow the tape to stick to the trim itself. Also, try to use one long piece of painter's tape instead of several shorter pieces. This will help prevent the paint from bleeding through the tape. Once the tape is applied, use a putty knife and press it against the tape's edges to ensure the tape adheres completely.

Part 2 - Paint the Trim

Step 1

Mix the trim primer with a paint stick and pour a small portion into a paint tray. Use an angle brush and apply primer to the trim. Ensure the primer covers any bare wood and areas which have been spackled. Allow the primer to dry for at least 24 hours. Once the primer is completely dry, inspect your work and if any spackle or bare wood is showing, apply another coat of primer if needed. Sand the trim lightly using 120-grit sandpaper to remove any paint drips or brush strokes.

Step 2

Various painting tools and a tray of grey paint

Mix the desired paint with a paint stick and transfer a small amount into a paint tray. Use an angle brush and dip it into the paint, covering only 1/2 to 1 inch of the brush. Paint the trim using short, horizontal brush strokes. Only paint a few feet of trim at a time.

Step 3

Before you add more paint to the brush and move forward, take the brush and drag it in one long motion over the area just painted. Repeat this process, if necessary, to give the trim the appearance of long, smooth strokes. If your trim is wider, it may require several parallel brush strokes. If the trim is thinner, then it may only require one or two.

Step 4

Follow steps two and three and paint the next step. Continue repeating the process until all trim is painted.

Step 5

Remove all painter's tape off walls and ceilings before the paint dries.

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