Proper Ways to Paint House Trim

Proper Ways to Paint House Trim

Since it’s the first thing that everyone who passes by your house sees, the exterior of your home needs to always look at its best. Most of the time though people focus a lot more on the color and materials and this means that many of them are going to overlook the trim. The trim though is essential since it helps you tie the look of your exterior together and generally provides a great contrast with the siding color. So if you’re currently thinking about painting your trim, then it’s very important that you choose the right color.

Surface Preparation

Preparing siding surface for paintingBefore you can start paining your home’s trim, you should take some time in order to properly prepare the surface. If this is not the first time the trim is to be painted, then you should make sure to consider scraping off the old coats. Bear in mind that if you have a property with a lot of tram, you’d be better off by using a painter shaver instead of a hand scraper. Next, to create a smooth surface for the paint, make sure to sand the trim. In case you noticed any kind of damage in the wood, such as chips, holes or anything else, it’s best to use a wood epoxy and putty to fill them.

There is one extremely important thing when scraping old paint from your house trim. You have to make sure that it doesn’t contain lead. Read more about lead paint on website here –

Watch this short video for a few very important tips on house trim painting.

Lastly, before painting, double check to make sure the trim is clean prior to painting your home’s exterior. If you want, you could mix 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of trisodium phosphate and 1 cup of bleach to make a cleanser that you can then use to clean your external wall. Use a stiff bristled brush to apply the solution on the wall and then carefully scrub the area clean of any residue, such as mold, dirt, etc. When done, the trim should be rinsed using a hose and don’t start painting the wall until it’s completely dry.

Find out about Trisodium Phosphate at this link –

Don’t Skip The Primer

Priming trim on your houseIf there are areas of bare wood on your trim, it’s recommended that the surface is primed prior to applying the paint. The trim should be coated with a paintable water repellent, since this is going to help prevent the wood from shrinking or cracking when exposed to moisture. After that, you should follow up with a regular exterior primer. Oil based formulas are generally better, since they can better penetrate the wood compared to latex primers.

More about painting house siding: –

Choose the Right Finish

It’s true that the trim represents only a small part of the exterior surface of your home, but the color you paint it in greatly influences the overall look of your house. For a great look, consider using a paint with a high sheen finish, since this is going to help it stand out from the siding. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes in this regard are excellent choices.

Choose the Right Tools

To apply the paint on the trim, you need to use either a paint sprayer or a paint roller. If you go for a brush though, it’s important to get the biggest size so it properly fits your trim.

Start at Top

house trim painting

To avoid imprinting areas that you have already covered and to also avoid smudging, make sure to start at the top of your home. Before you move on to the second story windows, it’s important paint the gutters, eaves and also the gables. The foundation, the railings and also the porch should be saved for last. Speaking about painting the porch, consider painting the vertical pieces first, such as the spindles and leave the handrails for last.

Priming and Painting House Wood Siding

Protecting areas underneath your siding walls

Painters drop cloth

Use drop clothes in order to properly cover the ground along the painting area or the perimeter of your home. If you’ve been in the same situation before, then you know how hard it is to clean spills or drips on porous concrete surfaces. While you don’t necessarily need to consider taping the drop clothes, you could get a few bricks and rocks in order to weigh them down.

With a large gust of wind, you shouldn’t be surprised if the drop cloths gets stuck to your wet paint and forces you to do all that hard work all over again.

As for the drop cloths, you should always go with cloth. Using plastic is not a good idea, since the paint will not be absorbed and all you’re going to end up with is a slippery mess. Just make sure to use high quality painter’s tape for taping along the top edge of window and door frames. In terms of width, it needs to have a minimum width of two inches.

Tip: Painter’s tape is a much better choice compared to masking tape because the latter dries out too fast and removing it is going to be very hard.

Once the painter’s tape has been applied to the baseboard, get a credit card or maybe a putty knife in order to pass over it and ensure adhesion is good. By doing so, you’ll ensure that there is no way for the paint to get underneath the tape. Also, while the paint is still wet, make sure to remove the tape. You can check some painter’s tape reviews here –

Using masking and painters tape on siding painting

On railings, mailboxes and lighting fixtures, if you’re going to paint any area above them, consider protecting them by taping a plastic bag over them.

Using pressure washer for paint removal

If you plan on using pressure washers in order to get rid of the dirt on the exterior surfaces of your home, you should exercise great care. If you’re not careful with how you use them, you may end up not only gouging wood, but also injuring yourself. That is why it’s recommended that you consider stating with the lower pressure settings and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, consider hand washing around doors and windows and only use the washer on siding.

Be careful when painting from a ladder

Be careful when using ladder for paintingWhen you’re tackling projects like this one, you should keep in mind that safety is the number one most important thing to consider. If you fall off a ladder, then this could result in some serious injury. To avoid such situations, you should never reach too far from the current position of your ladder or lean over. If you do have to reach a certain spot to paint it properly, you should get off the ladder first and then move it.

There are various types of ladders available on the market from very basic wooden ones that you can get for a few bucks to some fancy Little Giant ones. If you have extra money to burn you can get a telescopic ladder (that seams to be an honest review) for around $100.00 up to a few hundred which depends on its brand, size, and ratings. These are little tricky to operate and you should definitely read the instruction before climbing one of them.

One more thing: ascending to the top rung is in no way recommended and that’s because when you’re at the top, the ladder will not have the same stability as when you’re in the middle for instance. Even if something does fall, don’t try to catch it, since you may lose your balance and fall.

Old paint removal and wall preparation

Any flaking paint should be removed by making use of a scraper and while you’re at it, be sure to wear goggles so you don’t get paint chips into your eyes. All the surfaces should be washed with water and a TSP solution and then rinse them with water and leave them to dry.

TSP is an All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner, more about it here –

Now if you have bare woodwork, it’s recommended that you use an oil or latex based specialty primer that’s formulated to block protect against stains.

When it comes to glossy painted surfaces, you should prime them in such a way that you promote adhesion of the top coat. To prime such surfaces, you can use one of 3 methods, including:

TSP to wash the surface by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use water to rinse everything properly and let it to dry thoroughly. 

180 grit sand paper to scuff the surface. 

An oil or latex based primer that’s specially made for glossy surface adhesion.


Debris Cleanup

Make sure that you get rid of any dust and dirt by using a power washer. When it comes to cleaning eaves and corners though, nothing can bear hand washing. Oh, don’t forget that where the siding touches the ground, that’s where a lot of dirt hides. Clean it properly.

Protecting plants

If there are any flowers or grass around the house, you should know that they can end up getting painted. To proven that, bend them away and use a drop cloth to cover them properly. If there’s dirt on the siding, brush it away.

Taking care of your pets

During the painting process you should make sure to keep the pets locked up. While you work, someone should take care of the kids so they don’t run into trouble.

Cleaning And Drying Surfaces

Use a regular sponge mop and move from top to bottom in order to clean the walls well using water and a TSP solution, all while following the instructions recommended by the manufacturer. After that, rinse well and allow them to dry.

Note: If you don’t know where to get TSP, you should know that you can easily find it in the paint department near the solvents. The reason this is very much recommended compared to other types of cleaners out there is because it’s an all purpose cleaner that’s also not abrasive and can be used on all types of surfaces. Since it’s a concentrate, it’s a lot stronger than other kinds of cleansers. Because of that, you should protect your skin and eyes from splashes and make sure that it doesn’t end up on your grass, bushes and flowers in large quantities.

Prime the Walls

If you want the results to look like the job has been completed by a real professional, then you definitely need to prime the walls. Plaster, patching compound, drywall and bare wood all need primer in order to properly seal the surface. If you prime your surfaces properly, you won’t have to use too much topcoat and the color is going to lay rich on the final layer.

Note: If you’re not making significant color changes and are repairing woodwork or walls which are in great condition, priming is not necessary required.

How to Paint House Wooden Siding

Since the exterior of your home can be viewed by anyone who passes by your home, you need to make sure it looks great, since it’s basically a statement of who you are. Therefore, when it’s time to make a big change or just spruce it up, it’s recommended that you prepare for this project properly. There are many things you should keep in mind when you want to consider painting your house’s wooden siding and that is why below we’re going to take a better look at how it can be done properly.

The right color for your house siding painting

Pick your color to paint house wooden siding

When it comes to choosing the right color for your siding, it’s recommended that you’ll take a good look at the environment surrounding your property. For instance, a very good way to choose the right color for your siding is to move the color chips or just check a simple board that was painted in several colors. The good news is that in some cases, the color board can be quite large and this means that you may be able to walk with it to the curb and get a better perspective.

See the options by keeping these things in mind:

  1. The degree of sunlight your home receives and the climate conditions in your area are certainly going to affect the colors you’re planning on using. Also, darker colors generally absorb more heat.
  1. The intensity of the color you should choose is definitely influenced by the size of your home. For instance, using a bold color on the siding of a big house on a small property begs for attention.
  1. The building materials used for your home and overall property are going to directly influence the kind of color you should choose. For example if you have brick walls, then it’s a good idea that you consider choosing a color that’s going to look amazing in the same view. Your property’s architectural style is yet again another factor that can influence the color you should choose for it.In general, it’s recommended that you go for a color that is based on your house’s style. On the other hand, if your property is a landmark, then don’t be surprised to find out that local and national historical societies are going to limit the choice of colors you can consider. But it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a historical house that you won’t like colors from a few hundred years ago for instance. Make sure to get in touch with an expert though to get professional advice on the right one you should go for.
  1. Surrounding greenery, but also stone borders are definitely going to influence the color you should choose for your home.
  1. Lastly, if you’re out of ideas, check the colors other homes in your neighborhood are painted in. Try to use similar shades, since this is going to unify the community.

The right paint finish

Choosing your siding paint finishIf you like satin and flat finishes, then you need to know that most of the times they are going to be used for big areas where imperfections have to be masked and also for main body colors. On the other hand, you could also go for semi-gloss and satin finishes for doors and windows, especially for sashes or ledges since they are the ones that generally have a tendency of collecting dirt.

You can read some more about protecting wood siding here:


  1. At this point it’s very important that you’ll have a clear idea about what your primer and paint needs are and the amount of money they’re going to cost. Using a paint calculator, you can easily find out exactly how much money you should save for this part of the project. Remember that if you want to buy more than one can of paint color, you should combine them together prior to starting painting. This way, the color is going to have the same color consistency throughout the project.
  1. Unless you’re an experienced painter, it’s recommended that you try and estimate the amount of time it’s going to take you to complete this project. If you’re painting your home for the first time, double your estimated completion time.
  1. Get proper equipment for this project to make sure you are protected from any types of risks.

Ask yourself these questions:

Is a lift or a scaffold required?
Do you have a ladder that can be extended to your required height and is the ladder safe to use?
What’s the tallest point of your siding?

  1. In terms of the clothes you should use, make sure they are clothes you don’t really care about. Old shoes, ripped jeans and T-shirts are a good choice.

Mind the weather

Rapair damaged wood siding areasYou’d be surprised just how fast your painting schedule can be messed up by the weather. What this means is that both the air temperature and surface temperature (including humidity) are going to directly affect evaporation and how fast you’ll finish the job.

To ensure the painting process won’t be affected by the weather, check the weather forecast prior to starting work on it and go for a type of paint that can dry fast.

When it comes to the primer, it usually dries a lot faster compared to paint, yet the same humidity and temperature concerns need to be followed for all external paint coatings, regardless if they’re latex or oil based.

For the best results, seventy two hours with no rain after the paint has been applied should guarantee great results. To avoid extra problems, at least twenty four hours are required, since the coating is still going to be sensitive to water within the first day after application.


An extended, complete version of what’s below is here –,,1208709,00.html

Prior to beginning work on the project, fix and prep the areas that you want to paint:

  1. Holes and cracks need to be properly filled. On external painting projects, you can use paintable caulk, but don’t use it too much. Caulk is mostly recommended for sealing the spaces between the siding and window frames and it’s not a good idea to use it for repairing big holes.
  1. Prior to applying more paint on the exterior, there are quite a few common problems that need to be dealt with. Check around your house for any rotting or soft wood, epically around doors and windows. If you find some, then replace it with new wood before you start painting it.

You’ll find more about wood siding painting by following this link –

Interior Walls and Ceiling Painting Techniques

House wall and ceiling painting is generally a project that’s recommended to be done in 2 steps: painting with a roller and cutting in. The truth is that most of the times it’s recommended that two people will tackle this project since hey, you’re going to get the job done faster and be able to enjoy it much sooner.

Here is some background on a paint roller invention –

So the way it work is that while one person will use the brush for outlining or cutting in the areas that cannot be painted properly by a pint roller without staining the adjoining side, the second person will use the roller for painting the walls and the ceiling as well.

Keep in mind that in the event the walls and the room’s ceiling are of the exact same color, you’ll be able to consider cutting in both at once. If that’s not the case though, then you should start working on the horizontal surfaces first.

Working In A Team of 2

Interior Walls and Ceiling Painting TechniquesWhen you have someone else that can help you paint the plafond and the interior walls, you should consider having him start spreading a 2” band of paint (using the brush) on the plafond. Make sure that he also paints close to the perimeter as well. Bear in mind that if the outliner is faster than the roller, then you’re going to have a big problem on your hands. So what will happen is that lamp marks are going to be left behind which needless to say, aren’t going to help get the job done right.

The roller needs to also try and keep up. The more he can cover, the easier it’s going to be for you to get the job done properly, fast and on time. And of course, if you used a roller and a brush before, then you’re probably aware of the fact that they both leave different textures behind.

As a result, both the roller and the outliner have to consider painting using the following rules:

  1. If there is a plafond molding, then the outliner needs to make sure that he’s going to paint it carefully. After painting it, along the short wall, he needs to cut in a band of paint on the ceiling.
  2. Of course, the roller will need to carefully consider following the outliner and when the plafond is cut in along 1 wall, he needs to roll it.
  3. The outliner will now have to consider cutting in 1 band of paint on 1 wall, all the way down the wall in the nooks and at the plafond. After that, he’ll have to paint across the baseboard’s bottom side. After that’s completed, he can finally begin painting that wall.
  4. The role of the outliner is to make sure that he properly cut sin any doors and windows on that wall and of course, any other area that the roller cannot cover. Some examples of such areas include behind radiators.
  5. At this point, the wall will have to be completed by the outliner. This is done by cutting in the one at the baseboards.
  6. Following along at a swift pace, the roller is going to get the job done pretty fast.
  7. As expected, this process can be quite repetitive, so be patient.

If paint needs to be applied to flat and broad surfaces, including plafonds and walls, then it’s recommended that both painters use a shallow roller pan and a nine inch roller as well.

Painting flat surfaces

Prior to getting a new roller and preparing to use it, it’s recommended that the roller is wrapped in masking tape. Only then will the tape need to be peeled off. The reason for doing so is because it’s going to help get remove the fuzzies which are present in new rollers and can cause a lot of problems if they ever make it onto a wall you just painted.

Before you read the next paragraph, watch this short video from Ace Hardware showing how to paint walls and ceiling. It is only around 2 min long.

How to Paint

Painting vertical and horizontal surfaces in your homeIn order to make sure that the wall is going to be painted properly, it’s best that you consider starting by attentively rolling 1 band of tinge to blend and also smooth in the areas that were already cut-in, while there’s still a wet edge. Since at this point you’re going to have a pretty good and wide band, you won’t have to worry about spattering the adjoining surface when you’re going to roll the remainder of the plafond.

Plafond explanation –

When this step is completed, you’ll need to consider working your way from one side of the room’s narrow dimension to the other in square patches of around three or four feet in size. When you start each row at the same exact wall, you’ll be able to easily keep a wet edge and therefore paint new areas without having to worry about having to deal with noticeable lap marks.

There are quite a few things you’ll need to bear in mind when you consider rolling walls and about them we’re going to focus on below:

  1. It’s always a good idea that you start painting in a corner. If you’re painting a horizontal surface, then you should consider laying down a big W pattern with a width of approximately 3′. On the other hand, when paining vertical surfaces, you’ll have to consider laying down a roller width coat of tinge starting all the way up at the top and working your way towards the bottom. After that, it’s time to make things smoother. To do this you should use a dry roller in order to roll from the plafond to the walls. Using this method, you should continue working your way along the wall or across the plafond.
  2. Skimping on paint is definitely not a good idea at all. By taking the step we previously discussed, you’ll be able to make sure the walls and plafond have been covered adequately with paint.
  3. Last but not least, try to observe your progress as frequently as possible from various angles in order to make sure that there are no missed spots or lap marks. In this regard, it’s recommended that the room is properly lit. If you do notice lap marks, as long as the tinge is wet you’ll be able to easily cover them.

How to Paint Wood Windows Properly

When it comes to windows, they can have a pretty dramatic impact on the appearance of your property, both from the inside and outside. The choice is quite large and it ranges from windows in stained wooden frames to single panes of glass (large) that allow for a lot of natural light to flood indoors and many other variations in-between.

How to Paint Wood Windows Properly

Prerequisites for painting a window

Before you begin painting a window, you should carefully prepare the frame by stripping back any filling in any holes in the wood and the old paint as well.

The way windows are built means that a lot of grain patterns are inevitably going to run in different directions, so if you want to get a professional looking and even finish that has contains no unaesthetic brush marks, you should consider painting them in a way that takes account of the grain.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on painting windows with oil based paints, you should think ahead, since these will generally take longer to dry. A solution in this case would be using water based paint since it gives off much less fumes and odor, but also dries quicker.

You can check Bob Vila’s article about paint selection here –

Helpful Advice: Use temporary wire stay

After you removed the stay, painting a window can be quite tricky, but the good news is that you can actually make a temporary stay by using stiff wire. It just needs to be cut to the right length and the ends need to be bent into a small loop that’s large enough to allow you to drive a nail through. Next, one end should be fixed to the frame by using small nails and the other to the sill.

  1. Before you start, remove the stays and catches from the window. Fill the old fixing holes with wood filler and then make sure to sand them smooth if you plan on fitting new window furniture afterwards.
  2. Consider making a temporary stay to ensure the window stays open while you paint it.
  3. Use medium grade abrasive paper to lightly sand the surface and remove the old paintwork.
  4. Debris and dust should be carefully brushed away.
  5. Fitting masking tape around each pane of glass or using a paint shield is recommended for those who don’t have a steady hand. To find out about masking tape visit –

So, how would you paint your casement window

Correct ways to paint wood windows framesA top coat and an undercoat are absolutely necessary for hard wearing finishes. Also, for moisture sealing purposes, the paint should be overcalled onto the glass by approximately two millimeters.

You can start with the transoms first and use a cutting-in brush against the glass. Next, paint the bottom and top cross rails, the vertical mullions and finally, the jambs. The next ones to be painted are the edges, the frame and finally, the sill.

Masking tape for straight paint lines

If you can’t paint in a straight line, then you should consider using masking tape or a paint shield to protect the glass. The tape should also be set back about two millimeters from the glass’ edge and before the paint has completely dried, it needs to be taken off.

  1. Make use of a combined undercoat or primer for painting the frame.
  2. When the first coat of paint has dried, apply the second one in the same exact way. Make sure there are no runs, especially at corners and edges.
  3. When the paint is touch dry, remove the masking tape. When the paint has dried completely, remove the temporary wire stays as well.

Sash window painting tips…

When painting a sash window, it’s recommended to paint the upper sash and the bottom meeting rail. Exposing it is simple and all you have to do is raise the bottom sash and then lower the upper sash.

  1. You should consider painting the upper sash’s vertical bars as far as you can. Wait for a while until the paint is touch dry and proceed with opening the upper sash, lower the bottom one and leave a small opening at the bottom and at the top.
  2. Paint the upper sash completely, move on to the bottom sash and then paint the window sill and the frame. However, don’t paint the runners until the paint is dry.
  3. A thin coat of paint should be applied to the upper section of the exterior runners and to the inner runners as well. Make sure you don’t paint on the cords though and finally, check to see if the sashes are running before the paint has dried.

I found this video clip on Youtube showing wood window painting process, it’s very short and I recommend you watch it.

Ten Questions to Ask When Hiring Professional Painter

You should always be prepared for hiring any contractor as well as a professional painter. Check this list of some questions you should always ask before signing a contract with professional contractor.

1. Do you have a state business license that allows you to perform such work?

2. Are you or is your business properly insured / can you provide a proof of your insurance?

3. Is your business rated by Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

4. Do you provide free estimates and itemize materials as well as scoop of work?

5. Do you provide written warranty of your work and for how long?

6. Can you provide a list of references?

7. How long will it take to complete this painting project?

8. Are your employees professional painters?

9. What paint brands would you suggest for this job?

10. How do you protect all my belongings during the work?