Painting trim is one of the more delicate home painting projects, and DIYers need to be prepared if they want to do it right – with no smears, spills, or poor coatings. Before you start, check out our quick guide with tips on exactly what you need and what steps to take to ensure the best results for all kinds of trim.
Highlight Any Defects in the Trim
Grab a pencil and a flashlight, and take a very close look at your trim. Trim can see a lot of activity over the years, and damage is common. Look for scratches, gouges, and any other problems, and circle them with your pencil. Do this for all the trim you are painting.
Sand Down and Prepare the Trim
Buy some sandpaper, and sand down all those defects in the trim until they are no longer visible and the trim is smooth to the touch. It’s a good idea to get lighter sandpaper and feather out the sanded spots when you are done so that you can’t tell the difference with the surrounding wood. It’s a great idea to lightly sand all the trim to remove the old paint – a sander can help this task go by much faster, but it’s not required, especially for smaller projects.
If there is any chance you are working with older paint that could have lead in it, do not sand it! Check to see if you can get a lead test done with local kits or professionals before taking any next steps.
If there is lots of damage, you can use spackle to fill in holes and other spots. However, at a certain point, you should think about replacing the trim entirely.
Vacuum and Clean Up
When sanding is completed, grab a vacuum cleaner and vacuum up all the dust you created. We advise using your brush attachment so you can get really close to the trim without worrying about causing any damage. It’s very important that you remove all dust particles before you begin painting since they can cause problems if you accidentally paint over them.
Apply Painter’s Tape
Set up painter’s tape lines around the edge of the trim. This is a very important step because it will allow you to paint the edges of the trim without worrying about getting paint on the surrounding walls. Go slowly, and make sure that the tape is right up to the edge of the trim as you go.
Paint the Trim with a Small Trim Brush
If you visit a local department store, you will find a type of small, angled brush called a trim brush. We highly recommend picking a couple of these up to start your painting project. They make painting trim much easier. Now you are ready to begin!
Still, need some help? Is there a painting project that’s a little too big for you to tackle right now? Let us take care of it for you! Contact Tar Heel Painters today to arrange for a meeting or quote.