Tips on How to Paint Wood Trim

Having wood trim around the house can have its benefits. It can provide a feeling of being connected to the natural world, if the wood surface has interesting textures and grain. It can make a place feel more luxurious or lush. This helps to explain why some homes make use of wooden paint textures or patterns. However, having a lot of unpainted wood trim can also have its downsides. Depending on the color and type of grain, the wood trim might make a space feel old, somewhat too heavy, or not very inviting.

One way to take existing wood trim and make it feel lighter, more airy and more modern, is simply by painting it. If you’re interested in how to paint wood trim, there’s a lot of information on the internet. You’ll be able to find a lot of before and after photos online, which show just how much more inviting a space can feel, if the wood trim has been painted a nice color. Some people use moulding paint to make a space with a lot of wood trim feel more modern, even more minimalistic.

That said, there are a lot of homeowners who would like to get started on painting their wood trim, but don’t quite know where to start. The project may seem daunting, especially if there is a lot of wood trim that they would like to paint. I can say though that this type of project is very doable though. You just have to make sure to prepare well, so that you have all the information and equipment that you need, before you begin to paint. And you can also make the project seem less daunting by cutting it up into smaller, bite-sized chunks. For instance, you can focus on one room or one space at a time, so that the project seems more manageable.

Prepare the Wood Surfaces

The first step in the process of how to paint wood trim, involves preparing the wood. Don’t assume that you can just go about painting wood directly. A simple coat of paint might seem fine at first, but there could be problems with the paint peeling off over time. Or the grain of the wood might begin to show through the coat of paint. So some preparation needs to be done.

However, the amount of preparation can vary depending on the specific circumstances. For example, if your wood trim already has existing paint on it, and if the paint has been there for decades, one important step involves checking if the paint which needs to be removed contains lead. If the paint is lead-based, then special precautions are going to be needed in order to safely remove it, without exposing you or others to the risk of lead poisoning. This is a particular concern if you live in an old house, or you’re painting old wood trim.

From there, other preparations will follow. You may need to clean the wood trim, using water and a cleaning solution. There may be a need to locate and fill in imperfections in the wood such as holes. There may also be a need to sand the wood trim, in order to give the surface more grip. And there may be a need to apply caulk to the places where the wood trim meets the walls.

Apply the Primer

At this point in the process of how to paint wood trim, it will be time to apply primer. In order to keep the job clean, you’re going to have to apply painter’s tape to the edges where the wood trim meets the floor as well as the walls. How you will use the tape will depend on how confident you are in painting cleanly, as well as whether you have special brushes that allow you to cut in with more precision.

Then, you apply the primer. This helps to make sure that the texture and grain of the wood isn’t going to peek through your paint, and it also gives the paint something to attach to. Check the instructions that come with your primer. Some products will only need one coat of primer. Others will require two coats. Also make sure to let each coat of primer dry thoroughly, and eyeball it to see if the primer is maintaining its color, or if the wood underneath is still coming through somehow.

How to Paint Wood Trim: Paint Away

Once you’re done with the application of the primer, you can proceed to painting the trim with your desired color. White is a popular choice because it makes the final product very easy on the eyes, and it brightens up the space. Check the instructions that come with your paint product, to determine how many coats are needed. Then paint accordingly.

Once the painting is done, you can use a knife to remove the painter’s tape and carefully peel it off. That will bring this particular project to a close. If there are other rooms or spaces, you can proceed to get those done as well. If done properly, the painted wood trim should last you for many years.

Author: John Clax

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