Proper Method For Painting Trim

Straight brush strokes is the key

A steady hand and a straight brush are the keys to successfully painting trim.


Because, when good painting technique is used when painting trim, in combination with good color selection and high-quality paint, the result accentuates to the color of your walls throughout your home.

The main procedure here is to keep your brush strokes straight, and flowing either horizontally, or perpendicular, depending on which way the trimwork is set.

Just remember to:

  • Make sure the surface is completely clean.

  • Start painting the detailed areas first, such as corners, overlays, reveals (the part where the trim is offset slightly), and work you're way out to the main (larger surface) areas. Always paint with "flow", or lay of the trimwork itself. If the trim is horizontal, brush on horizontally. Same for vertical trim.

  • Next, brush the paint on the the broader parts with strokes being straight, and not more than 10 to 12 inches in length.

  • Overlap your strokes, so as to "tie-in" your previous strokes. Never repaint over paint that is already starting to set-up and dry. This will result in a "dry brush" look - which, is exactly what has happened.

  • Keep a wet rag handy at all times. You will need it, especially if you are a beginner.

    And don't will get better and better at painting trim (or anything else for that matter). What I have said here may seem very obvious, but it still takes time to learn how to do it well.

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