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
Your 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
Unless 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.