How Do You Paint Door and Window Trim?


Quick Answer

To paint door and window trim, clean one section of the trim at a time to prevent pushing old dirt into the wood. Remove stains made with ink or markers, then sand the trim and vacuum the residue. Scrape crevices and areas with hardened paint and grime. Repair any imperfections and spot-apply a primer. Paint the trim and sand each coat before repainting.

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Full Answer

To clean the trim, prepare a bucket of water with non-soapy detergent and a bucket of clear water for rinsing. Use a scrubbing sponge to clean the trim with the detergent water. Wring the sponge out to avoid drips. Clean the trim from the bottom up to avoid hard-to-clean streaks. Dip a clean sponge in the rinse water and wring it well to rinse the trim in one pass.

Use 180-grit sandpaper to remove the old paint gloss. Use a folded sheet of sandpaper for most trim areas, and achieve a more uniform surface with a sanding block. Use a sanding sponge for curves and crevices.

Scrape stubborn paint and grime with a 2-inch carbide-blade scraper, and clean the crevices with a putty knife. Lightly mark any imperfections with a pencil and fill them with a spackling compound that doesn't shrink. Even out the repaired areas and apply a primer on each spot to prevent blotches on the new paint layer. Remove all residue with a vacuum and wipe the trim with a dry cloth.

Reconstruct damaged corners with a two-part wood filler. Apply acrylic latex caulk between the trim and the wall. Also fill large cracks with caulk to create an even look.

Tape off the walls and apply the first layer of paint. Let it dry for 24 hours. Sand the trim with a fine-grit sanding sponge, vacuum the area, and apply a second coat.

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