New House—Painting Trim


Ahhh, painting trim. This takes me back to a dark place. Painting trim was, by far, the worst project of all of my house projects, BUT it made arguably the biggest difference. Our trim started out as a cheaply done, orangey wood. It was in terrible shape, and it looked much past its prime. Since we had plans to paint every wall in the house, I decided I would paint every piece of trim white to brighten the space (sounds easy enough, right?!). Brighten the space it did. Keep me sane it did not. At this point I would like to note, throughout my hell month of house projects, I only had three major breakdowns. One of them was over trim. (The other two, we’ll get to later…) You see, the problem with painting trim, especially if you plan to paint the walls, is that you paint up on to the walls so you don’t have to tape off the carpet and the wall. Well, it saves you a step, but the finishing result looks terrible. And with the walls not being painted, it looks like you’ve accomplished nothing (at least to me). I was looking for quick results, and after the first coat of trim painting, well, let’s just say it looked like garbage. So, I did what anyone running on little sleep and high on paint fumes would do. I cried and ate a lot of candy, all while questioning why in the hell I thought painting all the trim in my two-story house was a good idea. And let me tell you, when painting trim, it never seems to end.

But we’ll jump to the end to avoid a lot of curse words and some accidental paint on the carpet. It all ended up OK. We survived. The trim turned out how I wanted it, our house was transformed, and all it took was about a week of being close to my breaking point—and a whole lot of Frog Tape. I definitely recommend painting your trim if you want a inexpensive change. Just maybe don’t do it in the midst of 73 other house projects 🙂

What You’ll Need:

  1. It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4. First, sand any glossy trim (we started out sanding the trim and eventually just painted right on the unsanded wood…probably for the best to sand all surfaces if you have time, though!)
  2. Caulk any gaps between the trim and the wall. Our trim was in bad shape, so we had to do this quite a bit. Let dry.
  3. While caulk dries, tape off carpet. If you aren’t planning on painting the walls, tape off the wall above the trim as well.
  4. Get painting! Trim will need at least two coats, maybe three in some well-traveled areas. But remember, it’s trim…once you get your furniture back into the space, you probably won’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. So don’t stress over the tiny details!

Time to caulk. No, you don’t need a mask for this…that was for spray painting 🙂

Not looking too hot...yet...

Not looking too hot…yet…


First coat on the front windows…already looking better than the wood up top!


Staircase before…


Staircase before vs. after!

What do you think? Do you like white trim or do you prefer the natural wood look?



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