Refresh your trim, molding and woodwork with these painting tips


Painting your trim and molding can be tricky, delicate work. If you want a quality Do It Yourself job- take a look at these handy tips so you can get that smooth, crisp finish you have been dreaming of:

Choose the right tools

-          Use a lightbulb. Shine a light to detect loose paint, rough edges and other blemishes in the surface to determine what needs to be filled. Circle problem areas with a pencil

-          Choose the right sanding tool. Folded sanding paper is fine for most areas but a sanding block with give you a comfortable grip and apply even pressure to stubborn areas like windowsills. A sanding sponge, on the other hand, gets in between curves and crevices.

-          A 1-1/2-inch flexible putty knife is essential for cleaning out tight areas. Push to get under the loose paint and work across until you are under the tighter paint.

-          Use 320-grit sandpaper to feather out filled areas

-          Use tape. Stick tape on the edges of the trim so you can worry about the smooth finish rather than painting over the lines. Rather cut the tape off than tear it at the end of the job just in case the paint is not fully dry yet. Use tape to protect your carpet as well.

-          Use paintable acrylic caulk to fill cracks between moulding pieces.

-          Use extender to stop water-based paint from drying too quickly.

Test for lead

Lead dust and paint can be incredibly dangerous. Use a lead test kit to conduct a dust wipe test. Send the samples to an EPA certified lab and you will receive results in two weeks.

Sand the trim between each coat.

Regular sanding will avoid a grainy texture. Make sure you clean up after each layer has been completed. Remove the dust with a paintbrush first and then a vacuum cleaner.

Repair dents and holes.

Rather use hardening-type two-part wood filler on large holes and spackling compound on smaller ones. Be sure to apply at least two coats of spackling compound as it shrinks when it dries.

You are now ready to paint. Painting is the last stop to a smooth finish. Keep these few tricks in mind:

-          Paint the trim before the walls. You do not have to worry about being neat when painting the trim. It is easier to apply tape to trim as opposed to the larger wall surface area so rather make sure the finish is smooth.

-          Spot-prime to stop blotches. Use a stain-sealing primer over patchy areas and marks left by crayons that could bleed through the paint.

-          Use a brush first- then a roller. When painting the edges- use a paintbrush and then smooth the job by applying paint with a roller afterwards.

-          Slap- don’t wipe. Slap the paintbrush gently at the edge of the bucket to get rid of excess paint. This will make sure more paint clings to each brush strand.

-          Fill edges first- then paint in the middle. This will make it easier to be more accurate with the brush.

-          Lay-on, lay-off. Wipe the paint-filled paintbrush to one side- then to another before it dries. This will smooth the paint.


If you are not keen to do all this hard work by yourself- our team of professional painters can help you out. Based in Oklahoma, we take pride in giving you quality interior painting and light carpentry services. We are even willing to offer you a two-year warranty to ensure you get the service you are looking for.

Contact Ray the Painter or fill out a bid request if you think need our expert help.