How to Prep Trim for Paint

How to Prep Trim for Paint

Phase two took over our home last week. Phase two and a few other projects (insert sneaky side glances here). I’ll get to the projects later.

Paint Trim Phase 2

We tackled the rest of our basement and wow! It makes a huge difference! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of work. There is a long process of prep (which I’ll cover in a few jiffy’s) and the 13 corners and 4 doorways made it a lot more work than just the small 3rd bedroom with 6 corners and 2 doorways.

How to Prep Trim for Paint


I’m going over the steps to prep trim from my own experience. I will be covering the actual painting later on. It’s tricky with carpet, but we figured out a trick that I think is amazing and it works really well.

1. Remove Doors & Hardware

You could tape off the hardware if you wanted, but since I am also painting our doors it was MUCH easier to pull the doors off and take the hardware with it.

2. Wipe down all Surfaces

This is a step you really don’t want to skip. You don’t believe me? Look at the picture below… That was after two rinses and starting again. Yuck!

Nasty Rag3. Caulking Begins

Caulking was really important for us because our trim was never sealed to the wall. I learned this the hard way in the 3rd bedroom. There is a slim crack between the trim and the wall – after you pull the tape off there is a very distinct black gap between the trim and the wall. It was not nearly as “clean” looking as I’d hoped, but no worries, I fixed it.

4. Caulking Continues

Sorry about that sidetrack. Caulking is important for really clean lines. And I love those clean lines. It’s also T I M E  C O N S U M I N G! This was by far the longest step besides painting (including dry time). It’s important when you caulk that you wipe the caulk off with your finger or a damp rag. I found the most success with a damp rag – more wet the dry, but not drippy. It worked great and my hands stayed clean.

5. Tape.Tape.Tape

Allow for the caulking to dry completely (dry time will be on the caulk tube) before you start taping. I went ahead and taped everything around the trim besides the carpet. It took a lot of time, but was worth it for me. I’m not an expert paintbrusher and the safety of the tape made painting go a lot faster.

After the tape is on then paint away!


Before & AfterFinal White Trim

We are very happy with our result. I'm still pulling tape off of the doorways and the ledge, but the transformation is life changing.

Are you working on projects in your house? Check out our other house projects @ The Jaderstons

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