Painting trim and the way we paint interior doors | Bower Power
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Painting trim and the way we paint interior doors

2013 September 3
by Katie

Did you see that clever title?  Yeah.  It’s not ironic or anything.

Lately we’ve been working on Weston’s room.  He’s officially in there.  Officially in an unofficially unfinished room.  I can’t wait to officially finish it.  It’s gonna be my favorite room.  ever.   I think.  I hope.  I’m pretty officially unsure.

So the room started off a wonderful shade of the brightest blue ever.  It was like a Smurf vomited up Katy Perry’s hair circa 2012 onto the walls.  The trim was a mess.

So we repainted.  It’s Benjamin Moore’s Metropolitan.  It’s the same shade we used in the kitchen but it reads COMPLETELY different in this space.  It’s funny how paint does that….reads different in different light.

So it came time to paint all the trim.  The wall color looked terrible against the old trim color but I was hoping that with a fresh white coat (or four), the trim would make the gray walls pop a little more and create an overall cleaner effect.

But first it required some major sanding.

My mom came over to help.  She did all the ladder stuff (I swear my fear of heights is getting worse and the thought of being up there around the entire room was chilling to the bone).

I did all the trim on the floor and the doors and windows.  In order not to get it on the carpet, I had a few big pieces of cardboard that I slid underneath the trim while I painted the rest.  .

We also had to paint the ceiling.  Once the trim was done, the ceiling was looking so very creamy tan.  It was in obvious need of a fresh coat of white.  This picture is a horrible color representation but you can see that the ceiling was almost as dark as the walls.

Okay…now onto the “painting doors tutorial”.  It’s really quite easy.

First you want to paint all the trimwork and leave the door.  Second…use a primer because doors are one of those areas that get touched A LOT and primer helps with any greasiness or whatever is left over.  Third….paint in the right order.

I paint the most recessed areas first.  Use uber thin coats.  It will cut down on drippage.

Then paint inside the recessed panels.  Again…watch for drips and after the full area is coated, take a slightly paint-dipped brush and drag lightly the full length of the panels so that you don’t have brush marks.

Then paint the horizontal panels.  Make sure you use the paint brush with horizontal motions and again…lightly drag at the end so that you have minimal brush strokes.

Last you wanna do the full vertical panels.

Then after you are finished, check for any drips in the corners or any overtly thick spots (you wanna thin those out so that you can get the best coverage and the smoothest finish).

And that’s it!  You are officially done with this post :)


43 Responses leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    September 3, 2013

    It’s looking great!! Have you ever tried a foam roller for doors? It really speeds up the whole process, I wish someone had told me about them sooner!

    • September 3, 2013

      I have used them. They make things REALLY fast! I usually don’t grab it though because it means that I used up a roller and then still have to clean a brush…it’s the laziness in me.
      xo – kb

  2. September 3, 2013

    Ugh, painting trim sucks. But I am a white trim fanatic, so I think it’s totally worth it. And I also think it should just be illegal to have any other kind of trim. It would make things so much easier.

  3. Diane permalink
    September 3, 2013

    Did you consider spraying the doors? I am slowly working my way around my upstairs refreshing trim, door molding and doors. I recently bought a sprayer and I’m considering trying it on the rest of the doors since there are still 10+ to go.

    • September 3, 2013

      We are planning on doing that for most every other door (and actually the other side of this one too).
      xo – kb

      • Diane permalink
        September 4, 2013

        Would love a post on the technique when you get there!

  4. Lindsay B. permalink
    September 3, 2013

    How tall are the ceiling’s in Weston’s room? They look high – I would have trouble on a ladder painting that crown molding too! Love the blog.

  5. September 3, 2013

    The difference a new coat of paint and some bright white trim and doors can do is amazing. Looks great! Can’t wait to see Weston’s room come along.

  6. September 3, 2013

    I’m thinking of painting all the wood toned doors/trim in my house but the task just seems too overwhelming. This is one of those times when I wish I were rich enough to just hire it out. haha

  7. September 3, 2013

    There is so much “off-white” trim in our house that needs repainting! It’s also chipped. Maybe I’ll take a page from your book and do it one room at a time.

  8. September 3, 2013

    I’m the trim painter in our household and it’s definitely not the easiest task but it sure does make a big difference. Can’t wait to see the finished look of Weston’s room!

  9. September 3, 2013

    What a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to see how his room looks!!!

  10. September 3, 2013

    I don’t have any brilliant insight into painting trim (I stink at it), but your mom is adorable! Hope she stayed that happy through all the painting. : )

  11. September 3, 2013

    Can’t wait to see this room when it’s done. Love the new color and the trim looks awesome. Painting trim is the worst! We had to do our entire house – I feel ya sister!

  12. September 3, 2013

    This is helpful. I find my house full of Band-Aid colored trim daunting to attack, but it must be done. Just out of curiousity, why didn’t you use your super awesome sprayer instead?

    • September 3, 2013

      This room is carpeted and I didn’t want to chance it.
      xo – kb

  13. Janet S. permalink
    September 3, 2013

    I just wanted to say that your mom is so pretty and mighty sweet to come do the overhead trim painting for you.

    You have won the mom lottery Katie Bower. You are so blessed.

  14. Jessica Moroney permalink
    September 3, 2013

    Arhh, leave me hanging!!! I can’t wait to see Weston’s room reveal! I’m excited for your focal wall! :)

  15. Monique permalink
    September 3, 2013

    So you don’t recommend taking the door of its hinges completely to paint?

    • September 3, 2013

      I definitely recommend removing it if you have the time. You will still go through the same motions though. Since I wasn’t painting the side of the door with the hinges exposed, I skipped it.
      xo – kb

  16. Donnie permalink
    September 3, 2013

    Great work and nice color. I like the white trim in contrast with the wall color.

    When do we find out who won the stove exhaust hood? It never hurts to wish and hope when your kitchen needs one and there is a gaping hole where one should be. :)

    Thanks for the great work and inspiration!

    • September 3, 2013

      Jeremy does the giveaway details and he picked it this afternoon and the email goes out tonight! Keep an eye out if you are the winner!
      xo – kb

      • Michelle permalink
        September 4, 2013

        Do you usually update the posts with the winners? Im always scared that the email will go to my spam or something and I will miss it if I were ever chosen

        • September 4, 2013

          Jeremy does the picking of the winners and the post gets a quick shout out at the end to the first name of the winner and the email goes to the winner at the email address they provided.
          xo – kb

  17. September 3, 2013

    What’s that paint tray your mom is using? Does it hook onto the ladder? I’m intrigued by it but I swear by the HANDy Paint Pail for trim and cutting in. Have you ever used it? Once I discovered it, I was so in love and kept telling my husband how great it was. After days of fawning over a paint bucket (!!) my husband asked if he should leave me alone with it for awhile! ;)

    • September 4, 2013

      Yup! I think most paint trays hook onto ladders (I haven’t met one that didn’t)…I think actually most ladders have specific size holes and things just for specific tools. I’d have to look it all up but I’m pretty sure :)
      xo – kb

  18. September 3, 2013

    “It was like a Smurf vomited up Katy Perry’s hair circa 2012 onto the walls.” <— This is why I love your blog…. and you. Although we've never met, so I'm aware that comment is borderline creepy.

  19. Sandy Meyers permalink
    September 3, 2013

    I just love your Mum Katie!
    I want her to be mine. She looks so happy painting. You lucky girl. Fantastic work. x

  20. Trish permalink
    September 4, 2013

    Looks beautiful, Katie. What kind of paint did you use on the trim, is it oil or latex? and what sheen is it? What a difference the white paint makes. Can’t wait to see it finished!

  21. meg permalink
    September 4, 2013

    Loving that color!

  22. Asia permalink
    September 4, 2013

    Your mom looks so fresh, light and oh so beautiful. It’s a bonus that she painted the trim!

  23. September 4, 2013

    What color and brand is the trim paint??

    • September 4, 2013

      I use just regular old brilliant white base in semi-gloss for all our trim.
      xo – kb

  24. Kate permalink
    September 4, 2013

    We just recently moved in to a new home where the floor with all the bedrooms and main bath had BLACK trim and yellow walls AND ceilings. It was disgusting. Painting the ceiling, walls and trim were SO much work (especially for painting-novices) but after five days, I am so happy with the results. Black trim.. I mean.. really.

  25. amy permalink
    September 4, 2013

    I agree with the poster about a small foam roller. I have painted 20 door sides and I use the brush for the insert parts (squares on the door) but with the roller, it took literally 5 minutes to do one coat each door! My doors needs 1 primer coat and 2 paint so it was like painting 60 doors! I couldn’t have done it without the small foam roller

  26. Kristen J permalink
    September 4, 2013

    AAAAHHHHH DINGY TRIM! We just dealt with a similar situation in our house. The previous owners’ preferred shade of muddy antique white made my beautiful new Sharkey Gray walls look straight-up PURPLE. Oh, and our Ben Moore Gray Wisp bedroom was an alarming shade of toothpaste next to the old trim. Amazing what a can of off the shelf white can do :)

  27. September 18, 2013

    Did you sand down the door before painting? We’ll be painting our interior doors soon (they’re showing their 1970′s age in icky yellowing tones). Our bedroom doors are made to look like louvered doors, and I fear the idea of having to sand all those slats. I’d love to know that I can just prime right over them & know that the paint will hold up to door abuse.

    • September 18, 2013

      We used deglosser on all the doors and trim first but we didn’t sand them.
      x – kb

  28. June 9, 2014

    Interesting door color. good job.

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