Should You Paint Trim or Walls First?

Should You Paint Walls or Trim First

Should You Paint Trim or Walls First?

You’ve compared paint swatches and dotted your wall with multiple paint samples. After narrowing down your options, the time has finally come. It’s painting day.

As you stand there — paint can open and paintbrush in hand — you look around wondering where to begin. What do you paint first in a room? Should you paint the trim or walls first?

The answer is: paint the trim first! Here’s our guide to why this is the best method and tips for how to get started when painting trim in a room.

Top Four Benefits of Painting Trim First

During any interior painting job, it’s important to work in a systematic way to save you time and ensure a high-quality result. Painting the trim first is the most commonly used method among professional painters.
You can enjoy these benefits when you paint the trim first:

  • It’s faster and easier to tape off trim than it is to tape off walls.
  • It’s more efficient to cut in the wall color along the fine lines once the trim is complete.
  • You can ensure total coverage of the wall to be painted without worrying about drips and splatters.
  • Saving the walls for last can be beneficial, especially if the room is under construction.

Top 10 Tips for Painting Trim

Here are 10 tips and tricks to keep in mind when painting trim in a room:

  • Before you begin painting the trim, fix any holes or rough edges. You can shine a 60-watt bulb across the trim to illuminate any patches that need to be filled in or smoothed down.
  • Use painter’s tape or masking tape rather than trying to paint trim free-hand.
  • Stir your paint first to eliminate any bubbles and avoid bumps on the painted surface.
  • Use a 2-inch sash brush to paint trim. Make sure to only cover about a third of the bristles in paint to avoid splatters.
  • While painting, use a single stroke going in one direction to avoid brush marks.
  • Don’t worry about being perfect. Focus on applying a smooth, even coat. If you get paint on the walls, you can paint it over later.
  • Use a smaller or thinner brush to paint tight sections and corners.
  • For an ultra-smooth finish, sand the trim lightly before the first coat and in between coats.
  • If your sandpaper or sanding block doesn’t fit in tight areas, try using a flexible putty knife to scrape those spots.
  • Don’t take the painter’s or masking tape off too soon. Make sure the paint is completely dry so you don’t mess up your hard work. Paint usually takes at least 24 hours to dry completely.

Contact Neighborhood Painting for a Free Color Consultation and Estimate

At Neighborhood Painting, we divide each painting project between two teams. Our first team prepares and cleans, then the second team comes in to paint. By preparing and painting the trim first, we ensure crisp, straight paint lines for a professional-quality job.

If you are interested in interior painting services in the Kansas City Metro area, contact us today for a free professional color consultation and estimate.

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