SISU Painting | Trim: Sisu's Six Essential Painting Tips

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash

Whether you have recently installed new trim, or you are attempting to update your old woodwork, these tips should help you achieve the results you are hoping for. Updating or painting trim can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of a room, giving it a fresh and polished look. Regardless of the condition of your trim or your level of experience with painting, following these tips can ensure a successful outcome. By investing time and attention to detail in your trim painting project, you can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home and create a more cohesive and attractive living space.

Choose the Correct Primer

If you are painting trim that is bare wood or has been stained and clear coated, you will want to use an oil-based primer. Oil-based primers are particularly effective for sealing bare wood and providing a strong foundation for paint adhesion. They help prevent stains and tannins from bleeding through the paint and ensure a smooth and durable finish. Before applying the primer, make sure to clean the surface thoroughly and sand it lightly to promote better adhesion. Additionally, consider using a high-quality brush or roller to apply the primer evenly for optimal results.

Choose the Correct Trim Paint

When selecting trim paint, it’s essential to opt for a high-quality enamel that provides a durable and smooth finish. Benjamin Moore’s Advance is a recommended choice, known for its low VOC content and modified alkyd formulation. This waterborne paint incorporates alkyd resins, which slow down the drying process, allowing for better leveling or “float.” Improved leveling ensures a more even application, minimizing the appearance of brush strokes or stippling commonly associated with traditional water-based paints. Additionally, the low VOC formula of Benjamin Moore’s Advance makes it a preferable option for indoor projects, contributing to better air quality and a more pleasant painting experience.

Prep, Prep and More Prep

Proper preparation is crucial for achieving a professional-looking paint job. Start by filling any holes and caulking gaps in your woodwork to create a smooth surface. If the woodwork has been previously painted or clear coated, it’s essential to de-gloss the surface to promote paint adhesion. Sanding the trim or using a chemical de-glosser can effectively remove any gloss or sheen, ensuring the new paint adheres properly. For particularly glossy surfaces, combining sanding and chemical de-glossing is recommended to achieve the best results. Taking the time to prep your woodwork thoroughly will pay off in the final finish, ensuring a flawless and long-lasting paint job.

Take Your Time

Painting requires patience and attention to detail; rushing through the job can lead to sloppy results. Especially if you’re new to painting, it’s better to tackle smaller portions of the project at a time rather than attempting to paint the entire house in one go. Consider focusing on painting the trim in one room before moving on to the next, making the project more manageable and reducing the pressure to hurry. By taking your time and working methodically, you’ll achieve better results and a more professional finish. Remember, quality craftsmanship takes time, so it’s worth investing the effort for a superior outcome.

Use a Good Brush

Unless you possess significant experience with an airless or HVLP sprayer, I suggest using a brush for your trim work. Brushing requires some finesse, but with practice, you can achieve excellent results. When purchasing a paintbrush, opt for one from a reputable paint store, preferably a 2 or 2 ½ inch brush, which is easier to handle. Invest in name brands rather than choosing cheaper options to ensure better performance and durability. Proper care of your brush is essential; remember to wash it thoroughly after each use and store it in the jacket it came in to prevent the bristles from bending. Painting with a brush that has damaged bristles can be frustrating and result in inferior results.

Thin Your Paint

To extend the paint and give yourself more time to work with it, consider using a paint extender like Flotrol. This additive prolongs the drying time, allowing you to achieve smoother results without rushing. Without an extender, quick-drying paint can become gummy, resulting in unsightly brush strokes on your trim. By using a paint extender, you can maintain better control over the application process and ensure a more professional finish. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any additives to achieve the best results.

I hope these tips serve as valuable guidance for your trim painting project, leading you to achieve the results you desire. And always remember, if you need further assistance or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re just a phone call away and ready to help you make your project a success.

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