Trim – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Trim – Sisu’s Six Essential Painting Tips

Home Painting Interior Painting

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

To get the best results

Whether you have recently installed new trim, or you are attempting to update your old wood work, these tips should help you achieve the results you are hoping for.

1. Choose the correct primer:

If you are painting trim that is bare wood or has been stained and clear coated, you will want an oil-based primer.  Check with your local paint store for the best recommendation.

2. Choose the correct trim paint:

For trim paint, you want a high-quality enamel.  I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Advance; a low VOC modified alkyd.  This is a waterborne paint with alkyd resins that slows down the drying process, so you get a better “float”.  This simply means the paint levels better than traditional water-based paints (think less brush strokes or stipple).

3. Prep, prep and more prep:

Prep for Painting TrimYour paint job will only look as good as your prep.  You will need to fill holes and caulk in your wood work.  You also need to de-gloss the wood work, if it has been previously painted or clear coated.  I recommend sanding the trim or wiping down with a chemical de-glosser.  On especially glossy substrates, I recommend both.

 

 

4. Take your time:

Painting is not a job you want to rush. If you try to hurry your job along, you will get sloppy results. As a novice, it might be better to take on small chunks of the project rather than the whole house.  Think about just painting trim in one room at a time.  This will make the project more manageable and you won’t feel so much pressure to hurry.

5. Use a good brush:

Purdy Brush Wood WorkUnless you are very experienced with an airless or HVLP sprayer, I recommend you brush your trim work.  This takes a little finesse, but with a little practice you can achieve great results. Buy your paint brush from a paint store.  A 2 or 2 ½ inch brush will probably be the easiest to handle. Go for the name brands, and do not pinch pennies when it comes to your purchase.  Remember to take good care of your brush by washing it after each use.  Keep the jacket the brush came in for storage. There is nothing more frustrating than painting with a brush that has bent bristles.

6. Thin your paint:

You can use a paint extender, such as Flotrol to extend the paint.  This extends the drying time and gives you a little extra time to work with the paint before it starts to skim over (the top surface dries quickly).  Quick drying paint can turn gummy on you, leaving behind unsightly brush strokes on your trim.

I hope these tips lead you to a successful trim painting project.  And, remember – we are only a phone call away.

Happy Painting!

Nancy

The Pros and Cons of Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

The Pros and Cons of Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Home Contractors Interior Painting

Medium-Density Fiberboard (more commonly known as MDF) is a man-made building material used as a substitute for real wood millwork in homes. We most often see it used in trim, cabinetry and interior doors.

This man made material has become very popular in new construction and remodels for a couple of reasons; it’s cheaper than real wood and it looks very nice after it’s been painted.

Remodelers and homeowner alike love this product because of the extra money it puts in their pockets and it looks amazing once the work is complete.  Real wood is expensive.

However, our painters have a different take on this product.  Painting this product the first time around doesn’t really pose any issues worth mentioning, but when it comes to repaints, it’s a whole different story.

When MDF gets wet, it swells.  Attempts to fix the problem in the traditional way (Bondo or other fillers and sanding) are futile and can even make the problem worse.  The only way to fix moisture damaged MDF is to replace it.

There are a few areas where MDF should never be used – kitchen or bathroom cabinets and trim in the bathrooms. These are the two areas we see the most failure because of moisture.  Window sills are also problematic if the windows have any sort of condensation or leaking problems.

Additionally, if you have a hectic lifestyle with kids and pets, MDF may simply be the wrong choice. If your wood work is going to take a lot of abuse, spending the extra money now on real wood could save you money and headaches down the road.

Most people seem to be satisfied with the MDF product and have experienced great results, but I don’t see this honeymoon phase lasting too much longer. As the product ages, the true test of time is going to bear results and I’m afraid some of the results are not going to be as satisfying as they are at the present time.

Natural materials tend to outperform man made substitutes.  This is true for all kinds of materials; not just building materials. For example, natural materials used in clothing and the food we eat are better than man made.  Budget restraints may require the use of MDF, but it’s better to make the choice with your eyes wide open so you aren’t disappointed down the road.

Whatever choice you end up making, I hope your project turns out better than you dreamed.

Best regards,

Nancy