Greg Mrakich Painting Indianapolis: Painting Trim

Greg Mrakich Painting Indianapolis provides tips about everything you want to know about painting trim:

When do I need to paint my trim?

This is an easy one.  If it is beat up and looks like it needs it,  it’s time to paint.  Or, if you want to change the color of the trim.  It’s pretty straight forward.  About half of the interior painting projects that I am hired to do include trim.

What type of paint is best for painting trim?

The current trend is flat walls and satin trim.  Satin is a lower sheen than semi gloss.  The thinking here is that semi gloss and high gloss are rather “industrial” looking,  and I would agree.  Trim in the past has always been semi gloss or high gloss, but as tastes and styles have changed, satin has become popular.  The new generation of satin finish paints are extremely durable and can hold up as well to scuffs and bumps as the glosses of the past.

What is the best method to paint trim?

I cannot over emphasize that prep is very important.

  1. Clean the trim that you are going to be painting with Fantastic, 409 or something that will cut through oil, grease and dirt.
  2. Very lightly sand the trim.  Two or three light passes with a 120 grit sand paper is plenty.  You just want to give the surface a little “tooth.”
  3. Prime with a 100% acrylic primer. Thanks to the new EPA regulations, oil-based paint is no longer sold in Indiana. What this means to you if you are a homeowner in Indiana is that priming is now necessary. Otherwise, when the water-based top coat is applied, it will have nothing to hold on to.  Now for a little chemistry lesson – Because the water molecule in water-based paint (the top coat) is larger than the oil molecule in the oil-based paint used previously on the trim, the new water-based paint will not penetrate the surface.  So, if you don’t prime the trim, once it has dried, the newly applied water-based paint can be scratched off with your fingernail.
  4. After the primer coat has dried, apply two finish coats of the water-based paint.

What about painting stained trim?

Not so long ago, stained wood trim was the fad  de jour.  Today  it just looks dated.  It can be painted, but it is involved.  If you want to do it yourself, these are the steps you’ll need to take for a good job:

  1. Clean with a strong cleaner.
  2. Sand well with 120 grit sand paper.  The paper will clog up as you go since you are removing the varnish.  This is normal and what you want to have happen.
  3. Apply one coat of 100% acrylic primer and let it dry for 24 hours so it has time to penetrate and bond to the wood.
  4. Fill in the now visible nail holes with wood putty and let that dry.
  5. Lightly sand if needed where wood putty was applied.
  6. Apply a second coat of primer and let it dry overnight.
  7. Caulk as needed at joints and along top of baseboards as needed.  Let dry a few hours.
  8. Apply first finish coat.
  9. Apply second coat in a few hours.

Painting previously stained trim will help to give your home a fresh and up-to-date look.

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm serving the greater Indianapolis market (Marion, Hamilton and Boone counties). Prior to relocating to Indianapolis from Pasadena, California in 2000, Greg Mrakich was licensed in painting and decorating by the State of California Contractors License Board. If you live in the Metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact Greg about your next painting project click here.

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