How to Properly Paint Trim

How to Properly Paint Trim

One of the most important things to consider when painting your home or place of business is the trim, which accents and complements your main color. For as much attention as we tend to give to the latter, it’s the former that helps really make it pop. Selecting the proper trim can breathe whole new life into your old interior decorating space.

However, it won’t matter what paint color you choose if your trim looks sloppy.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how to properly paint trim colors.

Examine and Sand Flaws

Before you even pick up a paintbrush, you’ll want to remove any flaws in the siding on which you plan to paint your trim. This can include everything from imperfections in the wood such as bumps or chipping, wooden blocks that don’t align properly, and traces of dirt and lead. If there’s an imperfection and you paint over it, you won’t cover that flaw. On the contrary, it will show through and make your paint trim look sloppy. Fixing alignment issues, sanding away imperfections, and other preparatory work is thus essential.

Apply Masking Tape

Paint trim needs to be precisely applied in a perfectly straight line. You don’t want it to look crooked, and you certainly don’t want it spilling over onto your main color. Applying masking tape to the surface ahead of time is thus another essential step in properly painting on trim. This gives you a straight line to paint along and likewise helps protect surrounding colors and fixtures from the paint.

Choose Complementary Colors

Paint trim is the Robin to your main color’s Batman. While it can stand out in its own right sometimes, it’s really there to help the main attraction pop. That’s why you’ll want to make sure your paint trim complements rather than clashes with your main color.

Complementary color combinations examples include:

  • Red brick and black
  • Blue and grey
  • Light and dark greens
  • Creams and burgundies
  • Yellows and blues
  • Dark and light sandy browns

Use a Roller

While paintbrushes are often used for painting trim, rollers have their place as well. They can be especially useful if you have to paint long straight stretches of trim along a doorway.

Use Primer

You need to make sure that your strokes are smooth and even when painting trim. To aid with that, you’ll want to apply primer. This will prep the surface and ensure that the paint goes over it smoother.

Remove Excess Paint

One big mistake amateur painters often make is thinking the more paint, the better. In fact, excess paint can glob together. Slap your paintbrush or tap your roller gently on the paint can or receptacle to remove excess paint so it doesn’t drip or glom on in excessive amounts.

Be Careful Around Edges

The issue of dripping can also be all too real around the edges of the frame. You thus want to paint from edges inward so paint doesn’t drip down over the side.

These tips can help keep your trim neat and, well, “in trim,” adding to your décor in the process.

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