How to: Repaint trim

How to: Repaint trim

Repainted trim makes a bold statement Author: Virginia Macdonald


How to: Repaint trim

Learn how easy it is to paint and revive your wall trim.

From baseboards to chair rails, mouldings see a lot of wear. Our resourceful research editor, Mary Levitski, shows us how to revive them.


How to repaint trim

1 Inspect the trim under a bright light; mark dents and scratches. Sand away any peeling paint or bumps with a sanding sponge. Use a flexible putty knife to remove excess paint from corners and fine details. Fill dents with spackling compound and buff using no-load 320-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the entire surface with a brush attachment, then wipe it down with a damp cloth (if you’re going to be using oil-based paint, use a tack cloth instead).

2 Lay down a drop cloth and tape off the trim with painter’s tape. Spot prime the patched-up areas and any bare wood. Starting with a small one-foot section, paint a few quick back and forth strokes. Without reloading the brush, run it along the freshly painted surface in a smooth, light motion. Cover section by section this way, always starting away from the painted areas and blending into them.

3 Right after applying the coat of paint, carefully peel the painter’s tape back at a 45-degree angle. If applying multiple coats, remove and reapply the tape each time.


Stylish solution
Get the appearance of high-end tall baseboards without the hefty price tag. Attach a narrow piece of trim about an inch above your baseboard. Paint both mouldings and the space between them one colour for a seamless, eye-tricking look. Central Fairbank Lumber, from $0.30 per sq. ft.

All the trimmings
Whether you pick the quintessential painter’s tape or a handy alternative, be sure to prep your paint area well.

An industry favourite, FrogTape is treated with a special blocking agent that’s known to prevent paint from bleeding. FrogTape Multi-Surface PAINTER’S TAPE, RONA, $10.

Guiding Spirit
A trim guide like this one by Quebecbased manufacturer A. Richard cuts prep time and ensures a clean line – just be sure to hold it firmly in place as you paint. A. Richard TRIM GUIDE, 23", Home Depot, $7.


This durable plastic sheeting, which unrolls to a 24" width, is lined with painter’s tape on one edge, so you can ready baseboards with one swift application. ScotchBlue Pre-taped PAINTER’S PLASTIC, Canadian Tire, $9.

TIP: If the paint has dried over the tape, use a razor blade to break the bond.


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How to: Repaint trim