How to Paint Trim

1-2 hours

Give your home's appearance a quick and easy refresh by painting your window and door trim

How to Paint Trim

Painting the trim around your doors or windows is one of the many ways you can liven up your home's exterior. Use an exterior paint accent color that complements the main colors of your home or paint your trim white to embolden and emphasize the other colors. This guide will take you through the process of painting trim.

Tip: Use a drop cloth and tape the borders of all trim to avoid splattering paint. Angled paint brushes are best for painting sharp edges or tight corners.

Safety: If painting in an unventilated area, wear a face mask or respirator.


Remove Old Paint
Step1 - Remove old paint

Safety: Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection when working with chemicals.

• Use a plastic scrub pad and TSP cleaner-soaked sponges to remove residue from the trim.
• Remove blistered or chipped paint with a paint scraper, trying not to gouge the wood. Rinse regularly to remove residue as you work.
• Sand with 80-grit then 220-grit sandpaper. Remove dust with a lint-free cloth.

Fill Gaps with Caulk
Step 2 - Fill gaps with caulk

• Apply caulk to any gaps or cracks around the trim.
• Remove any excess product and smooth using a caulk tool or your finger.
• Fill holes and gouges with lightweight spackling compound.
• Remove the excess material with the edge of a putty knife and let it dry.

Spot Prime Imperfections
Step 3 - Spot prime imperfections

• Apply primer to any knots or resin pockets on the trim.
• Let the primer dry, and then begin masking all adjacent surfaces with painter's tape. Be sure to seal the edges firmly.
• Wipe down the surface with denatured alcohol or a paint deglosser then prime the entire surface with a stain-blocking primer

Apply the Finish Coat
Step 3 - Apply the Finish Coat

• After 24 hours, apply the finish coat of paint with a 2-inch trim brush.
• Remove the painter’s tape while the paint is still wet.