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Painting Trim and Molding 

April 16, 2023

Painting a room without considering the trim is like heading out to a fancy dinner with an elegant dress but none of the accessories that bring the outfit together nicely. Trim should not be an afterthought or rushed during the painting process. Rather, it should be considered when choosing the color scheme and given the proper attention throughout the process. 

Paint Order for Trim 

One of the questions that often comes up is the order in which items should be painted. The general answer is to start at the top of a room and work your way down. Paint the ceiling, move to the walls, including the ceiling trim, and end with your floorboard trim. This will help with drips or accidents that inevitably happen during the painting process. 

If you are installing new trim on the walls, windows, or floorboards consider painting these prior to installation in the room. This will save you so much time painstakingly painting the trim without hitting the other surfaces such as the ceiling, floor, or walls. 

If your trim is already in the room, decide if you want to paint the trim first or save it until after you have painted the majority of the walls and ceiling. Whatever you decide, go in an organized fashion and take your time. 

It is advisable to paint the trim when you are most well-rested and you have a steady hand. Mistakes can happen especially if you plan to paint the trim without using painter’s tape. 

Sheen or Finish for Trim 

Another popular question regarding trim is what sheen should be chosen. Should you choose the same sheen as the walls or a level-up for your trim? For instance, if the walls are being painted in an eggshell sheen, should you use that same level sheen or change it up so the trim stands out? 

Most design experts suggest using a different sheen on the trim than on the wall surfaces. One reason for this is the fact that hands tend to get on the trim more often than on the flat walls. The higher the sheen, the easier it is to clean these finger smudges or grime off. 

Another reason to choose a higher level of a sheen than what will be on the walls is to differentiate and show off the details on the trim. This is especially true if the trim has detailed molding such as dental moldings or carvings in it. 

Most homeowners choose a higher-level sheen for trim such as satin, semi-gloss, or high gloss to really show off the detail and to make clean-ups easy. 

Make Repairs Before Painting 

Before starting the process of painting your trim, be sure to take the extra time to make any needed repairs such as filling any holes, fixing cracks, and sanding down any peels or bubbles that may be on your trim. 

Talk to our team at Jerry Enos Painting and get started with a free estimate for your paint project this spring. 


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