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How To Paint Trim

DIY, Home Maintenance
By on Mar 1, 2017
How To Paint Trim

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If you’re looking to make a change in your room, one of the first things you might try is a new coat of paint. However, a subtler change can be painting your trim. This small detail can make a big difference in your room, without having to invest in a completely new color.

Painting trim is an easy project that most homeowners can do themselves. It’s a great way to see if you enjoy DIY projects without risking too much change. The trim is the first place you should start if you’re painting an entire room. See how you can update your room with a fresh coat of paint for your trim.

Are you looking for a bigger change to the look of your room? Contact a remodeling pro today for up to four quotes from local contractors for free.

Sunny Living Room Trim

Interior Painting Costs

Before starting any DIY project, it’s a good idea to figure out your budget. After all, by doing it yourself, the goal would be to save money! The biggest item to budget for in this project will be paint. But don’t forget about other necessary materials. The average cost for a small paint project, like painting trim, is $597 with most homeowners spending between $409 and $657.

Wall Trim Painting Tips

Before you get started on your paint project, refresh yourself on a few painting tips that could be helpful for this project:

  • Spills and drips could happen. Use tarp or canvas to keep paint off any unintended surfaces.
  • If you’re painting trim on the ceiling, be sure to move or cover any furniture as well.
  • For smaller paint projects, use a paint bucket instead of a tray.
  • Don’t waste paint or materials. Wrap brushes and trays in plastic if you need to complete the project later.
  • If you’re painting the entire room a new color, you should always start by painting the trim first.

Trim Paint Materials

Materials Needed

  • Angled Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Paint Bucket
  • Sandpaper
  • Dropcloth
  • Paint Guard
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Bucket
  • Detergent
  • Sponge

Entry Way Trim

Step 1: Prepare The Surface

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Like any paint project, painting your wall trim will start with a cleaning. Fill your bucket with detergent and water, depending on the dilution direction for the soap product you are using. Some products may need to be rinsed off with just plain water. You’ll need to let the trim dry before continuing.

Next, you’ll need to sand off the current finish or paint, allowing your new color to adhere appropriately. While you don’t need to take it off completely, it’s important to create a rough surface. If your home was built before 1980, you may want to consider testing for lead. Many older homes have lead-based paint that is toxic if lead dust is inhaled. If you have lead-based paint on your trim and want to continue this project, you may want to consider contacting a pro.

Step 2: Tape Off The Wall

Once your trim has been prepared, it’s time to prep the area. Protect the wall by using painter’s tape around the edge of the trim. Try to get as close as possible to the trim. Smooth with your finger and press down the tape’s edges completely to ensure that the trim paint does not bleed through.

Step 3: Prime The Trim

You’re now ready to get painting. For a fresh look, you’ll want to start by using a primer on the trim. Paint carefully and use a paint guard to keep a clean look on your trim. Priming your trim is especially important if you are painting a lighter color on a darker or wood finish.

Step 4: Sand The Trim

Once the primer has completely dried, you’ll want to very lightly sand to eliminate brush strokes and allow for the paint color to adhere. This will not be like how you sanded to remove the finish but rather just to eliminate any imperfections.

Step 5: Paint The Trim

Finally, it’s time to add the new color to your room. Using your paint brush, carefully paint in one direction and then back the other way. Repeat these brush strokes for an even coat. Use your paint guard to very carefully paint the top edge of the trim.

Step 6: Dry Completely

Let the first coat of paint dry completely before adding the second, using the same technique as above. Smooth out any spots where paint may have dripped. Finally, step back and admire your work!

Don’t forget to clean up when you’re done! Watch How To Clean Up After A Paint Project for a few tips.

Living room Trim


Painting your trim can be an easy and cost effective way to transform a room. A lighter color can give a fresh new look while a bold color can make the trim work really pop! This is an easy DIY paint project that can be enjoyed by all.

Do you love DIY paint projects? Read How To Paint A Brick Fireplace to see more ways you can transform your home with paint!

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