I enjoy painting because the results are immediate and it freshens up the appearance, whether it’s walls, doors, exterior siding, or furniture. I have to admit, though, that bigger areas are so much easier to paint compared to interior trim work.

With trim, the preparation is pivotal to a favorable outcome. Once you are finally ready to paint, you still have to take your time and concentrate. It is a time-consuming process!

The Prep PhasePainting Interior Trim

Before you ever open that can of paint, you have to check the trim for flaws and loose paint so that you can fill any nicks with spackling and scrape away previous paint that isn’t adhering. One way to make this easier is to use a light to shine across the trim so you can detect blemishes and loose paint.

Once you have all the bad spots circled with a pencil, scrape the loose paint with a putty knife, fill any rough edges or divots with spackling, and then lightly sand the area to really smooth it all out.

The next steps are covered in this post:

How to Paint Trim – Supplies and Tips From Sherwin-Williams

Dust off walls and ceiling around the trim to ensure painter’s tape adheres well. Apply painter’s tape to walls and ceilings surrounding the trim, being careful not to stick the tape to the trim itself. To prevent paint from bleeding through the tape, try to use one long piece of tape instead of multiple shorter pieces.

After you have applied the tape, press the tape’s edges with a clean spackling or putty knife to ensure adhesion, as this helps prevent the paint from bleeding through the edges.

How to Paint Trim – Supplies and Tips From Sherwin-WilliamsBlue Painters Tape

Taping off all of the areas that you need to protect can be tedious work. Always cover the flooring with drop cloths and secure them with tape. This helps you in the long run, though, because accidental drips are impossible to avoid.

Some Denver house painters use a sprayer to do trim work, but I prefer using a 2 to 2.5 inch angled brush. It makes it easier to cut a straight line when the brush is a little bigger because it has more stability.

Break the area you need to paint up into manageable sections so the paint doesn’t begin to dry before you do your final strokes. The following video provides excellent tips for painting interior trim:


Using the right paint and brush to do the job is another significant piece of the puzzle. Oil paints used to be preferred because of their high-quality finish, adhesion, and how well they stood up to abuse.

However, nowadays latex paint is favored because manufacturers have gotten better at making it more durable, plus it is so much easier to apply and clean up. In addition, the fumes are less noxious, so acrylic paint poses a decreased health hazard.

As far as the brush, you want to find one where the bristles are densely packed and solid. As the old saying goes, you usually get what you pay for and with paint brushes this is definitely the case.

The following post offers more advice for choosing a quality paint brush:

How to Pick a Paintbrush | This Old HousePaint Brush for Trim Work

TIP 1: The most universal brush to purchase is a 2½-inch sash brush. Its angled bristles make a sharp point for straight lines when cutting in, and it’s the right width for most trim jobs.

TIP 2: Use a brush made of soft nylon or a combination of nylon and polyester with latex paint; natural-bristle paintbrushes used with latex paint will soak up the water in the paint and go limp.

Find more here:  How to Pick a Paintbrush | This Old House

Having the best tools for the job will make the outcome more favorable, especially when it comes to pleasing a customer. Investing in the right supplies and taking care of them will make your finish more professional and your life much easier.