Properly Painting Trim: Step-by-Step

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Well, you're almost there! This is the penultimate exterior painting step. Tomorrow we will finish up with deck stain.

Continuing on from our previous article, today we're going to go over step eight in the home painting process "How To Paint Your House In 10 Steps", and that's painting the trim.

Properly Painting Trim

After following the steps in our last article, your house should already look much better! After so much preparation, it’s nice to see your painting project come together. This step will bring your project together, giving your home a fresh new look.

Just a quick note that Sherwin-Williams has some great step by step lists as well.

Tools of The Trade

When we say trim, we’re talking about all of the various pieces of fascia on your home. The door jambs, the gutter boards, and window trim can all be pained in this step. If you’re working up high, you’ll need an extension ladder and some pads. Everything else on our list is fairly inexpensive.

The most important tool in your kit is going to be your brush. We’d recommend getting one between three and four inches in width. Using a fresh one can really improve the quality of your paint job, but an old one can be used as long as it’s clean.

A thick nap roller (the ¾ inch ones) works perfectly for corner boards, and a four-inch roller can be used for painting larger trim. Finally, a small paint tray makes it easier for you to move around the house, and doesn’t cost very much money.

You’ll need a few rolls of masking tape, and your 5-in-1 tool. I told you it would be useful!

Painting Techniques For All Trim

It’s important to be specific when painting trim. You don’t want to splash additional paint on other parts of your house. The trick to making this look nice is cutting.

You simply take your brush and lightly run it along the side of the trim piece. Once you’ve got the borders cut in, you can take your roller and apply an even coat from the top down. Take care when you’re in the corners not to press too hard, as this can cause drips.

Painting Fascia

We worked top to bottom when we sprayed the house, and we’ll do the same while painting trim. Take your extension ladder and set it at the highest point. Make sure the ends are padded, as the last thing you want to do is mark up your brand new paint. If your ladder doesn’t have pads, some rags and a little tape will do.

Start at the high point and work your way across. You can use the large roller for the flat sides and the brush for the corners. Don’t lean over the side of the ladder too much! Take the time to move it so you don’t risk falling over. If you’ve got any window frames or gutters up high, it’s a good idea to do them while you’re up there.

Painting Door Trim

Doors can be a little tricker than other pieces of trim. There is a lot of intersecting parts, and many small edges. We like to work with one board at a time, using our brush. Work from the inside (closest to the wall) to the outside. Take care to get into all of those little nooks and crannies so there is nothing left exposed.

Painting Windows

The most important part of painting window trim is to properly tape off the glass. When you’re working on the upper trim, you’ll want to make sure you don’t press too hard. If paint drips off the trim, it could land on your window. We always like to keep a damp cloth on hand to clean up any paint spills immediately. If it starts to dry, getting that window clean will be a real challenge.

As with the rest of the painting procedure, work from the top down. Painting trim can feel a little tedious, but the end results really bring your paint job together!


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