How to Paint Your House’s Interior Part 5 – How to Paint Trim

painterHow to Paint Trim

How to Paint Trim

Supplies Needed:

  • Painter’s tape
  • Interior primer such as a Premium Wall and Wood Primer
  • Interior latex paint (semi-gloss or high-gloss finish)
  • One damp sponge
  • Tack cloth
  • Sandpaper (120-grit, 100-grit and 80-grit)
  • Spackle
  • Spackling or putty knife
  • Paint trays
  • Paint sticks
  • Purdy paint brushes (2-inch angled brushes)

Part 1 – Prepare the Trim Step 1: Use the damp sponge to clean dirt and grime from trim. If needed, use the rough side of a sponge to ensure a clean starting surface. Step 2: Sand the surface. After the trim has been sanded, use a damp sponge to wipe away any dust. • Sanding Tip: If the trim is new or already smooth, lightly sand using 120-grit sandpaper until all shine disappears from the trim. If the trim is rough and worn, start by sanding with coarse, 80-grit sandpaper. Then, move to less-coarse sandpaper such as 100- or 120-grit to smooth the surface. Step 3: Fill in holes, dents and cracks with a lightweight spackling compound. (Follow directions on the spackling container for best results.) When the spackle dries completely, lightly sand the spackled areas using 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface. Use tack cloth to remove any sanding dust from the trim. Step 4: Dust off walls and ceiling around the trim to ensure painter’s tape adheres well. Apply painter’s tape to walls and ceilings surrounding the trim, being careful not to stick the tape to the trim itself. To prevent paint from bleeding through the tape, try to use one long piece of tape instead of multiple shorter pieces. • Taping Tip: Select 3-to-4 inches of painter’s tape and firmly press it to the wall. While holding this “starting spot” in place, pull out 6 inches of tape, then firmly secure it to the wall. Repeat until the tape is secured for the length of the trim. Step 5: After you have applied the tape, press the tape’s edges with a clean spackling or putty knife to ensure adhesion, as this helps prevent the paint from bleeding through the edges. Part 2 – Paint the Trim Step 1: Apply primer to trim, covering any bare wood and spackled areas. Allow primer to dry for 24 hours. After the drying period, if bare wood or spackle is showing, apply another coat of primer to the trim. • Priming Tip: Thoroughly mix the primer with a paint stick and pour a small amount into a paint tray. Dip an angled brush into the primer, covering no more than Âœ inch to 1 inch of the brush. Use the side of the tray to wipe excess primer off the brush, helping to avoid drips while priming. Step 2: After the primer dries, lightly sand the trim using 120-grit sandpaper to eliminate brush strokes or paint drips. Use a damp sponge or tack cloth to remove all sanding dust. Step 3: Apply paint to the trim using short, horizontal brush strokes. Repeat the motion until a few feet of trim (not the full length) are covered in paint. • Painting Tip: Thoroughly mix the paint with a paint stick and then pour a small amount into a clean paint tray. Dip an angled brush into the paint, covering no more than Âœ inch to 1 inch of the brush. Use the side of the tray to wipe excess paint off the brush, helping to avoid drips while painting. Step 4: Smooth over the series of short brush strokes with one long brush stroke. Do not add more paint to the brush — instead, drag the brush in one long motion over the freshly painted trim. Repeat if necessary, depending on the width of the trim, to create the appearance of long, smooth strokes. • Technique Tip: Wider trim may require three or four long, parallel brush strokes. Thinner trim may only require one or two long, parallel strokes. Step 5: Start painting the next section of trim following steps three and four. Repeat until trim is fully painted. Step 6: Before paint dries, carefully pull tape off of the wall.



Great tips for using leftover paint

As paint users we should properly manage and if necessary dispose of leftover paint. To minimize clutter and avoid spills or unsafe disposal, it is important to consider ways to limit paint waste.

Always consult your local city or environmental regulatory agency first for guidance on disposal options. Do not pour paint down a drain or into a storm sewer. The dangers of such disposal methods might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal of paint can pollute the environment and may pose a threat to human health and natural resources.


Estimate the amount of paint needed by measuring the area to be painted and calculate the gallons to be used. Review the coverage area set forth on the label of the can of the product you have purchased (Available at your local paint stores).


After you finish your project, leftover paint should be sealed and stored in an area that will protect it from damage, freezing and temperatures above 95°F. Make sure that any leftover paint is out of reach of children and pets.


Leftover paint can be used for touch up or other creative projects. You can also experiment and mix colors for small projects.


You can donate leftover paint to a friend, neighbor, school or charitable organization in need of paint. You can use social media to offer it to your friends or to find a local person or organization in need of paint. Pass it on!


PaintCare is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, established by the American Coatings Association to implement state-mandated paint stewardship programs on behalf of paint manufacturers in states that adopt a paint stewardship law. PaintCare is currently running programs in California, Connecticut and Oregon, and planning programs in Rhode Island, Minnesota, Vermont, and Maine. It is anticipated that more states will adopt paint stewardship programs in the future.


a. Latex Paint

If there is not another management option, latex paint can be dried with absorbent material such as cat box filler, shredded newspaper or sawdust. Never throw away leftover liquid paints in your trash. Once it’s dry, dispose of the dried out latex paint as solid waste. Please note that the state of California does not permit the treatment of latex paint waste including air drying. Instead, locate a PaintCare location for recycling your leftover paint or a disposal company.

b. Solvent-based Paint


Now more than ever you will see Solvent-based paints being phased entirely out of usage.

Old stored solvent-based paints are ignitable and present additional hazards to the environment from the solvents. Save solvent-based paints for a household hazardous waste collection program or contact your local/state government environmental protection agency for guidance on reuse or disposal of unwanted solvent-based paint products. States with PaintCare will collect and properly dispose of leftover Solvent-based paint.

This document is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice or guidance by anyone. Contact your local regulatory agencies or municipalities for proper methods of disposal of paint and paint related materials.


How to Paint Your House’s Exterior


A fresh coat of paint is the most inexpensive way to freshen up and protect your home’s exterior. Thanks to our expert high quality and convenient advice, even first-time painters can achieve professional-quality results.          We’re here to help you through this process with easy-to-follow tips and online project planning tools.            And, with local neighborhood paint stores across the county, it’s easy to get the paints and products you want and the friendly expert advice you appreciate.


The type of paint you’ll use depends on the kind of surface to be painted – wood, aluminum, vinyl, stucco or masonry – and the type of finish you want. Exterior paint is specifically formulated to provide:

  • Color and gloss retention
  • Flexibility to withstand expansion and contraction due to weather
  • Mildew resistance

Latex or Oil Emulsified Water based

Exterior house paints fall into one of two categories: latex or oil/emulsified water based paint. Each has different characteristics. Latex – Get the longest-lasting finish with the best gloss retention. Latex paints are easy to work with, dry quickly and are extremely durable and also, clean up easily with soap and water.

Oil Emulsified/ Water based – Good adhesion, excellent durability and stain resistance make oil Emulsified / water based paints excellent choices for exterior trim. Easy cleanup with with water.

The Right Tools:

Color Fan Decks – Explore, create and have fun with color. Our easy-to-use color fan decks let you express yourself.

Goto Part 6

If you want any help or just want a quote, call us at 714-402-3132 or fill in the form below.


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burks team