Painting trim in your Toronto home and keeping it touched up should be a priority. It is an abused part of a home; vacuum hoses get dragged along the corners of baseboard, door frames and doors get constantly touched with hands, when vacuuming the head of the vacuum gets bumped against the baseboard. The paint job should usually be refreshed every few years to touch up any damaged areas.

A question that is commonly asked is, “Would painting the trim in my house be a do-it-yourself project or should I hire a professional?”  The answer depends, if you have the time, proper tools and patience you can make it a DIY project, so let’s go through the process:

Painting Trim in Your Toronto Home: Supplies List

  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • rags
  • green painter’s tape
  • primer (if painting over oil paint or varnish)
  • drop sheets (4×12 or 4×15 runners are the best)
  • paint can opener
  •  stir stick
  • good quality angle-sash paint brush (1.5″ or 2″)
  • Mini-roller & roller tray (if you’re painting doors)
  • gloves (optional – but the paint we use is hard to clean off skin)
  • paint brush spinner (optional – but makes cleaning brushes and rollers easier)

Painting Trim in Your Toronto Home Step 1: Determine Whether You Have Oil or Latex Paint on Your Trim

A professional can usually look at the paint and determine whether it is oil or latex, based on how the brush marks look – latex paint dries with more brush marks than oil paint.

Damaged Trim: Toronto Home Painting - House Painters, CAM Painters

If you’re unsure, use the nail polish remover test:

  • take some nail polish on a rag and rub the trim
  • if the paint transfers on to the rag it’s latex paint
  • if the paint does not transfer on to the rag it’s oil paint

READ: How Do I Know if The Paint in My Toronto Home is Oil or Latex

Painting Trim In Your Toronto Home Step 2:  Degloss The Trim

Regardless if the trim is oil or latex, it is generally painted with a glossy paint. To allow the paint or primer to adhere better I’d recommend giving the trim a light scuff sand.  All you want to accomplish is breaking open the top layer of the paint to allow the paint or primer to penetrate deeper.

Think of it this way, is it easier to remove a drop of paint from a piece of glass or from a driveway?  The glass is glossy and doesn’t allow the paint to penetrate, the paint can easily be taken off with your fingernail.  If that drop of paint lands on your driveway, you might never get it off because the roughness of the surface means that the paint penetrates deeper.

This is why the rougher the surface the better for paint adhesion and penetration.

READ: Toronto Home Painting Tip: Steps for Painting Stained or Varnished Wood

Painting Trim In Your Toronto Home Step 3:  Wipe Down The Trim

After sanding give the trim a wipe with a rag to remove the dust particles.  The rag can be wet with water or denatured alcohol (if you don’t want to wait for the water to dry).

Painting Trim In Your Toronto Home Step 4: Prime The Trim If It’s Oil Paint or Varnish

Going back to step 1, if your trim is latex you can opt not to prime (although priming doesn’t hurt, either).  However, if it is oil or if it is varnished wood, I’d definitely recommend a primer.

Painting Trim: Toronto Home Painting - House Painters, CAM Painters

Here are a few primers that are appropriate for trim:

Tip:  if you’re concerned with being able to keep a straight edge feel free to use painters tape – just remember: firmly press it down so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath and take it off as soon as the paint sets up to avoid damaging the surface underneath.

Painting Trim In Your Toronto Home Step 5: Paint The Trim

We’re now to the step where we paint the trim.  I like to use the new hybrid paint products that are out in the market.  These products have water clean up, but when they dry, they have the properties of oil paint.

Trim on Fireplace: Toronto Home Painting - House Painters, CAM Painters

A couple of these properties that I like are:

  • As they dry, the brush marks level out into a smooth appearance
  • When fully dry they are harder and more durable than latex paint

Here are a couple of paints that I recommend for trim:

When painting always finish the area you’re working on with a long brush stroke – the paint will dry to a smoother finish.

Also, always keep a wet edge.  When you start on a particular piece, finish it before stopping for a break.

When you have finally finished all of the above, clean up and admire your work!

If you’d rather admire CAM Painters work than your own book a quote!  We’d be happy to Transform your home with lasting beauty!