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  • Writer's pictureRachelle Fleming

How To Paint Wood Trim White

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Reviving Pine Drive - Tutorials

Watch this tutorial here --->

Painted trim has been popular for a long time, especially white. It brings a clean and refreshing look to a space. As much as I love the large, stained wood trim of old homes, I do not have that. I have small orange trim that has always bothered me.

For years I tried to decorate around it, but I just couldn't stand it anymore. So with our home refresh I have started painting all of our orange wood white, wall by wall. And honestly, I couldn't be happier! It makes the space look so much nicer.

You too can have beautifully painted wood trim by following a few simple steps - without sanding it all! Your first step could be to sink your nail holes if this previously has not been done.

Use this tool and a hammer to tap in the nails.

Next, fill in those nail holes or any other damages areas with wood filler. Once dry, sand smooth with a 220 sanding sponge (or fine grit sand paper). Repeat if necessary.

Once are the holes are filled you can move on to the next step. This step will bring your paint job from amateur to professional. Get some paintable caulk and a caulk gun. Any place you see a gap in the trim meeting the wall or another piece of trim, caulk it. Run a small bead of caulk and then lightly take your finger and smooth it out. This step is a very important, don't skip this step for the best looking paint job! You may not have noticed those gaps when your wood was dark, but when it is white, they will stick out bad.

Make sure you let the caulk dry fully, otherwise your paint will crack as it dries. Once dry, finally painting starts. I do not like to sand wood trim before I paint it. The main reason is because it takes a long time, but also because sanding can bring up the tannins in the wood and turn your white wood yellow. If you must sand for whatever reason, then prime with oil based Kilz. It will lock those tannins in place.

If you don't want to/need to sand, then you can go to priming. You must prime before you slap some latex paint on a previous finished surface or your paint will peel like burnt skin. To prime a previously finished surface without sanding you need to use a special type of primer. One meant for slick surfaces. This is not the place to skimp. I use one of two primers. I usually use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Country Grey. The color covers the wood in one coat, it dries super fast, has easy clean up, is water based and doesn't smell at all. But if you do not want to use Annie Sloan as a primer, Bulls Eye 123 is another great choice. (Looks like I got to into my project and forgot to take picture, but you can see how well this covers in the video- link at the top)

Finally, prime that trim!! Use a small, good quality, flat brush. Once you have primed, it is on to the trim paint.

I like to use Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic because it is a trim & cabinetry paint that is self leveling that comes in a satin sheen. I do not like shiny surfaces. You can have this paint tinted in almost any color (except very dark). In our home I went with Alabaster White because it is a creamy white with a warm undertone.

You will most likely need two coats of this paint to give you a solid looking white. Once finished painting, be gentle with the areas until the paint has fully cured, about 3 weeks. That isn't saying that you cant put your furniture back up to it, but don't try to scrape it off just yet. All paints and topcoats need time to cure. Speaking of top coats, you do not need one with a trim & cabinetry paint! Yay!

Hope these tips helped you!

You can find the supplies & tools I use at my Amazon store and order Annie Sloan paint directly from me at this website. Also, check out the YouTube channel for tons of video tutorials!

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