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Steps for Painting Interior Trim

Painting interior trim can be a lengthy process but it is a great way to refresh your space. Freshly painted trim can complement interior wall colors and give the room a clean, fresh feel. It is a project well worth the time and effort.


The first step to any paint job is to prepare your workspace. Proper preparation is key to getting a smooth finish on interior trim. Begin preparations by ensuring you have the right tools for the job. Investing in good quality paint brushes designed for trim and painting tape that will give good clean lines in your finished paint project.

Sand Surfaces

Sand the surfaces of interior trim and remove imperfections in baseboards and door casings. Rougher areas should be sanded with a coarser 80-grit sandpaper. Then, move to a finer course sandpaper such as 100 or 120-grit sandpaper to further smooth the surface.

Repair Interior Trim

Inspect interior trim for marks or dents. Fill the dings with putty or caulk. Afterwards, smooth the surface by going over with a fine sandpaper to remove any excess spackling.

Clean trim 

After sanding and repairs, dust and vacuum the interior trim thoroughly to ensure a clean surface. Use soap and water to clean high traffic areas and rooms where grease may be present. Clean interior trim helps the tape adhere properly and create a smooth, clear surface for the paint.


Investing in a high quality painters tape will keep it sealed against the trim edge and prevent it from bleeding onto the wall or flooring. Create a good tape seal by pressing tape down firmly with a putty knife after applying it to the trim. 

Place wide two inch masking tape along flooring and tuck it under the baseboards. The tape will cover and protect both carpeted or hard surface floorings. 


It is important to cover the interior trim with a primer for a smooth, even finish. Priming the surface helps the paint adhere to the interior trim and increase the paints durability. Adding this step to painting your interior trim can keep your trim looking fresh longer increasing the time in-between paint applications.


Using the small edging paint brush, apply paint to the trim and then spread paint along the boards. Do not overload the brush with paint to avoid drips. But, you also want to make sure the coat of paint is not spread too thin along the trim. 

Tape Removal

It is important to let paint dry but not completely cure before removing the tape. Paint that is left to cure too long may come off with the tape as it is being pulled. Pulling tape in a 45 degree angle will release the seal and create a clean line along the interior trim and wall.

Painting interior trim can be a time consuming project. With a little patience and attention to detail it can make a huge impact in refreshing a space.

Want some help with your next interior paint project?  Contact Greenwood Painting today for a free quote.

What Our Clients Are Saying...

"Greenwood just finished painting the outside of our house. We are so happy with their work! They were professional, meticulous and so detailed. The job was finished earlier than we expected and we couldn’t believe all the work that was put into our house. They went above and beyond to make sure it was painted perfectly and our house is now protected from the weather. We highly recommend them and will happily use them again! What a transformation! Thank you!"

- Janie Drake

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