How To Paint Wood Trim White

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We bought a house about 8 years ago that was built in the early 90's. It came complete with orange wood trim, popcorn ceiling, and carpet in the master bath?!?! I wish somebody would explain to me why carpet in a bathroom was ever "A THING". 

Slowly over the last 8 years, we have brought this home into the 21st century. It has been blood, sweat, and a few too many Youtube videos, but we have done most of the work ourselves. We have scraped popcorn, painted every wall, and installed new flooring. 

The biggest chore has been painting all the trim. To date, I have painted 3 floors of orange wood trim a  crisp, clean white. I have learned A LOT along the way.

Are you on the fence about painting your wood trim white? It took us 4 coats to get the job done: 2 coats primer and 2 coats paint. Once you get the hang of it, it is really an easy job. Time consuming, but not complicated. Here is how we did it:

Gather up your supplies

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This job is all about the supplies you use. Don't skimp on supplies just to save a few bucks. It will make this job 10 times easier if you use good supplies. I promise. 

We love Zinsser primer. It covers well and paint sticks to it. We used the water based version. We LOVE wooster shortcut brush. Don't paint trim without one. Finally, pick up an inexpensive tube of white caulking. This finishes your trim and gives it a professional look!

CLEAN

Get a bucket with some soapy water and a rag. Clean your trim. Use your vacuum to gather dust if necessary. Trim is dirtier than you think. This will give your primer a good clean surface to stick too. 

PRIME

Using your Wooster brush, paint 2 coats of primer on your trim. Follow the instructions on the can for dry and re-coating time. We found that 2 coats of primer really covered the wood trim best.

CAULKING

Depending on how old your home is, your trim may have started to separate from the wall. If this is the case, use white caulking to seal the trim up against the wall  to create a seamless look. Don't be tempted to skip this step! It really does make your trim look amazing. 

PAINT

Paint 2 coats of white paint. We use off- the shelf white paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish. We followed the instructions on the can for dry time and re-coating time. Again, we use our Wooster brush when painting. It gets amazing coverage. 

I don't typically use tape when I paint trim, but if you are painting a carpeted room try using a wide trowel instead of taping. Use it to draw the carpet away from the trim when you paint. We find that works MUCH better than tape. 

I LOVE our white trim. Truthfully, I was really scared to tackle this project. It seemed like a HUGE undertaking and I was unsure if the paint would hold up to kids like our wood trim did. I have not regretted this decision once. It is a cheap update to your home that will brighten and update any space. 

Have you painted your trim white? What are your best tips ?

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