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DIY Door and Window Trim Painting

Jul 8, 2020 10:20:00 AM

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Don't let your home look old and uncared for. When the paint around your doors and windows becomes dull and dirty, it leads to your home looking less-than-pristine. While a door or window replacement can certainly do wonders for your home. But a simple paint job can help restore trim to its former glory and bring your home's beauty back in no time at all. If you've got some extra time, and a little initiative, you can attempt to DIY your door and window trim painting.

Here are some tips.

Assess Your Needs

There are different types of trim. Most trim around windows and doors will be wood or fiberboard. On the interior, a high-quality latex gloss paint is excellent. Gloss paint is easy to clean and attractive, while latex paint is easy to work with. On the exterior, however, you'll need paint made for the exterior: either oil or acrylic. Vinyl or metal exterior trim will also need paint specially formulated for it.

So think about the materials that you're going to be painting, and get paint for both the interior or exterior. This will ensure that your paint job stands the test of time.

Choose Your Colors

Are you going with the same color you already have, or spicing things up with a new color entirely? There are a few things to consider. First, if you're putting a dark color over a light one, or a light one over a dark one, you're going to need more coats of paint. Schedule more time and make sure you buy enough. Second, paint colors look different in a house than they do at the store. Get paint chips (or even a paint sample) and take a look at it in the right environment. Lighting matters!

As a rule of thumb, colors often look brighter or more saturated than you think once they are in place. There are tools that you can use online that will give you an idea of how paint and trim colors look in your own room, by overlaying the possibilities with photos of your room that you have.

Invest in Quality Materials

A carpenter is only as good as their tools. A painter is only as good as their brush. Invest in quality materials; don't go cheap when you're getting brushes, rollers, paint scrapers, caulk, and more. 

The truth is that those cheap materials are going to cost you in both time and money. Cheap brushes and rollers wear out faster. They take a lot more time to use, and often you'll find yourself redoing the job anyway. Do it the right way first, because you'll get a better end result.

Prep Your Surfaces

Painting, like many types of home renovation, is mostly in preparation. Start by cleaning the surfaces that you're going to paint, and then sand it with a medium grit sandpaper. You should sand it enough to where the surface is dull and feels coarse to the touch. This will help the paint adhere, especially if you're using a paint that already has the primer built in.

Once you've sanded, clean once more to get any of the dust off. Then, tape around the trim with blue painter's tape. Put a sheet of painting plastic down under anything that you're painting, too, or you're likely to get paint under you.

Get to Work!

It's time to start painting your trim. When painting, always work from the top down. This lets you resolve any drips as they occur. Don't overload your paint brush or your paint roller, because that will cause drips to happen more frequently. You may find yourself having to paint multiple coats. If you do, follow the instructions regarding the timing. Once you are done painting, remove the painter's tape. If you let it stay too long, the paint will adhere to the painter's tape, and will come up when you remove it.

Now, you know everything you need to know to DIY your own door and window trim painting. But sometimes that's not quite enough to achieve the look you're going for. Consider replacing your doors, or investing in a full window replacement. You'll have your home looking like new again in no time at all.