If you are like many homes in our area, you have white trim in your home. After several years, one thing you will start seeing is gaps, in holes and wear and tear that make that white paint look pretty bad. The question is What do I need to do before Repainting White Trim?

Good day everyone, I am David with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper here in Huntley, IL, with todays question from a home owner in Elgin, IL where we are repainting the entire home. Someone painted the trim white in my house and it looks like crap- how do you fix it? How do you get the trim ready to repaint it white?

Clean surfaces before you paint them!

The biggest problem with repainting anything is when the surfaces are not cleaned.

We are just going to use a wet rag, to wipe the surfaces down, dusting alone is not enough as there are typically other types of dirt or residue that the vacuum alone will not clean away.

You can use a cleaner, but just use something that is safe to paint. Do not leave oil residue and not leaving it wet! (Vinegar and water are the best)

Recaulking painted trim

For most homes, painted white trim will start to have gaps or crack in them as they wear. The wood trim will also expand and contract depending on the seasons which can affect the seams and appearances of gaps.

If there is caulk there already and it is bulging out or peeling, you need to clean that away, cut it out, pull it out etc. If the caulk is in good condition, not peeling etc, then you may just have an area where it was not caulked very well or it shrank.

Once the old caulk is removed, then you can start re caulking those gaps. We use elastomeric caulk, which has some adhesive properties in it but more importantly, it will expand and contract to help not bring gaps back.

painted white trim-caulked and ready for paint

Filling Nail holes in painted trim

When trim is painted white (or any other color) the nail holes either were filled. Hope fully you do not have a case where someone tried to fill the holes. I say try cause the really bad attempts result in the cracks, gaps or bumps. It is caused from filler coming out, the holes were filled but never sanded, or there will be crescent moon shape gaps in the trim .

What do you do 1st? Clean it. If you have holes to fill fill them using a spackle or wood filler. Just make sure you sand smooth, then spot-prime those areas where you filled holes. Finally, you can paint!

Type of paint to use for painting trim

This can be a loaded question, so I will just answer it as to what we use. We primarily use Sherwin Williams Proclassic semi-gloss paint. We have also used Emerald Urethane paint as well. Both are good, sheen and time is why we pick one product over the other. Each has a different sheen level when dry, and pro classic dries fast!

Should I paint my trim using a brush or spray my trim?

This will be a matter of preference. (for the most part) Sprayed trim just looks awesome. Spraying trim also means you are committed to covering everything in your home, having dust, debris and smell longer. Trim that has been sprayed looks and feels exactly as you think it should- smooth and shiny!

Painting your trim with a brush is fine. More times than not, you will see brush or roller marks, it take a long period of time to do and you typically need 2 coats.

There really is no wrong or right in this. It really comes down to how much time you have, the tools you have, what you want it to look like, and budget. (spraying will cost more)

How can we help you with your painting?

This question was from a job site in Elgin. We are working in Huntley, Algonquin, Crystal Lake, and Pingree Grove over the next few weeks. You may have a question about your Painting project. Let us know how we can help or get your question answered.