paint roller

Painting doors and trim

Written by David | November 11, 2022

If you are like me, painting doors and trim really just makes your house take on a whole new look, especially if going from stained finishes to white paint. So let’s take a look at when is the best time and method we have found to use.

Should I be painting doors and trim before getting new floors?

This question is assuming you are having floors removed. For our home we removed old slate tile, old carpeting, and old vinyl flooring. 50 year old flooring had to go, so it made things easier for us to just paint all the base trim, paint the door trim, and paint the doors. We had to clean all of the trim, fill nail holes, caulk the trim, then scuff sand the trim, prime all of the wood, then finally paint the trim. It was also easier for us as we could use a sprayer cause the house was empty. All of this to say if you can- then yes- paint your trim before getting new floors.

If you have flooring that is not coming out, it does make things harder to coordinate and arrange painting of trim and doors.

How to paint trim – brush vs sprayer

Loaded question and topic! We love to spray as much as possible as it just gives a great finish. Spraying has its sets of issues however. Using a brush and or roller to paint trim is a great way to get it all painted. As with spraying, brushing trim also has its issues.

Spraying trim is fast. There is a lot of prep work in masking, but the application is fast.

Brush and/or roller trim painting is slow. This will take 3-4 times as long to apply.

Painting trim with a sprayer:

  • produced overspray, so you need to vent air
  • uses larger equipment which most people don’t have
  • can produce runs or drips when someone is inexperienced
  • dries fast
  • allows for multiple coats quikly
  • means all hardware is removed or masked – usually removing doors

Painting trim with a brush:

  • requires more hand tools
  • requires more kneeling
  • usually requires more coats of paint to cover
  • can produce more round or drips easier in corners
  • shows brush or roller marks
  • not as a smooth of a finish
  • does not require doors to be removed

Can trim be painted after new flooring?

The answer of course is yes- it just takes more time and careful prep work. In some ways it is easier because we don’t have to worry about marks on the trim after flooring is installed. Here is the damaged caused by our flooring people..

damaged trim - painting trim
damged trim from flooring installers

If you have the trim painted after flooring is installed then odds are you wont have to worry about your newly painted trim getting nicks, dents, scratches etc.

Masking for painting trim after new flooring just means more time to protect the new floor with tape, flooring protections, show covers, making sure there is not overspray or drips anywhere and being extra diligent to be clean.

Most popular colors for doors and trim

By default the two most popular colors for us when painting trim are Simply White from Benjamin Moore and White Dove from Benjamin Moore. Reflective white from Sherwin Williams and Extra White from Sherwin Williams are the next 2 most popular that we apply.

Best paint for trim

I am biased on this one, so this is from the perspective of what dries the fastest, what applies the best, what paint feels nice and the price.

For the feel aspect, I love the paint we use for cabinets- Chem Aqua. It is just awesome. Next to that I am still a huge fan of Pro Classic from Sherwin Williams.

There are two hybrid paints, Emerald and Advance Urethanes from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. I am not a fan on how these feel when they are dry. I also don’t like the dry times- 2 hours and 16 hours respectively. Plus, they smell more. They do work well with a brush or roller, but the dry times for me as a paint contractor are great ways to waste time and money (oh and they are the most expensive options too).

Coverage on all of these are about the same. Whites are not what they used to be pre covid. We are told otherwise but proof is in the paint (I was going to say pudding) and they just don’t seem to cover as well anymore. Wall paints that are white are almost always taking 3 coats to cover. Whites made post covid are just not the same. For trim and wall paint the one exception we have found is dead flat ceiling paint- CHB from Sherwin Williams- for over 15 years this stuff has performed and never let us down with its consistency, price, coverage and touch up capability- it always works!

We hope this helps

If you have other questions about painting your trim, please let us know how we can help. Whether from a blogging perspective, social media or YouTube videos, let us know how we can help you love the space you’re in!

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