natural wood moulding

Trim & Moulding Paint Tips 

Moulding around the edges and along the ceiling of any room has the capability to transform a room from plain and ordinary, to visibly extraordinary. The details associated with trim and moulding really can add flair and substance to any room in your house. Here is a quick guide on how to paint these special aspects of your home. ceiling moulding

What is Moulding? 

Moulding is a fairly inexpensive way to add value and detailed beauty to your home’s interior. There are a number of styles and materials to choose from, from the classic elegance of traditional moulding to the sophisticated styling of crown and accent moulding.  

Types of Moulding 

The types of moulding varies depending upon the style and character of the home you have. 

  • Crown moulding is traditionally used to mark the transition from wall to ceiling. 
  • Chair rails are a type of trim or moulding that are designed to protect walls from bumps and scrapes from chairs and are commonly found in dining rooms and kitchens. 
  • Baseboards are pretty standard in most homes and allow for a transition from the wall to the floor. There are numerous styles that can be used to do this type of trim. 
  • Wainscoting is really meant as a decorative style of moulding below a chair rail or picture rail. 
  • Window casings are used to fill the gap and provide transitions form the walls to the window areas. 

Interior Trim Painting

Painting Moulding 

Regardless of the type of moulding you have, there are some standard steps that you will want to follow if you plan to paint the feature in one of your rooms. We suggest starting by thoroughly cleaning the moulding or trim. This may mean more than just a quick wipe down with a warm cloth. You may need to use a special pointed tool to get into the crevices of the moulding to remove any dust, dirt, or flecks of paint. 

Once you have cleaned the moulding, examine for any defects such as holes, scrapes, or scuff marks. This is especially important for baseboards and chair rails that tend to see quite a bit of damage. Fill holes or markings with putty, sand down, and then prime any areas that need repair. 

Before painting any moulding, which tends to be directly adjacent to a wall, window, or ceiling, you may want to consider using painters tape to protect the walls. This will ensure that paint does not stray onto any areas that are not part of the moulding. If you are choosing to forgo the tape, be sure to use an angled brush to “cut in” properly. 

Are you looking for expert tips on color choice and painting of your mouldings or trim? Check out these two articles in This Old House and Family Handyman