Our home, like most that were built in the early 1990’s, has oak doors and trim throughout the house. The kind of doors and trim that are very orangy in real life. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
The doors are great quality, so those will all stay. The baseboard and door trim, however, is a bit more skimpy and ornate than we would prefer, so those will eventually be replaced.
Our long term plan is to update all of the floors – upstairs will be carpet, downstairs will be wood – at at that point, we’ll pull off all of the trim and replace it with thick, flat white baseboards and trim (like in our old house).
But in the meantime …
I’ll be honest, we never talked about painting all of the trim. But then we started our mini kitchen makeover (read about it here), and the window trim just wanted to be painted charcoal.
That led to painting the french doors and down to the base boards.
and over to the bathroom door.
And, actually, we kind of love it.
We will still pull off the base and replace it when we do the floors, but for now having it painted this beautiful, rich Iron Ore instead of the orangy tone is making a huge impact in the space.
So how exactly do you paint doors and trim?
If you’re me, you just do it :) Slowly, in the evenings, while watching Holiday baking shows. It’s so monotonous and mindless and delightful. But I’m a bit crazy, so whatever.
There are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to paint cabinets, doors and woodwork and I’m pretty sure I do it all ‘wrong’.
But here’s the thing: it works.
We painted the cabinets in our old house and they have held up really well for 8 years and counting.
So while you should consider all of the options for painting – like which paint type, whether to spray, roll or brush or if it is best to hire a professional, I will also say that if you hate the orangy trim in your house and you plan on taking it all out in a few years anyway (or even if you don’t!), go ahead and paint it. You will be amazed at what a difference a can of paint can make.
Here are the supplies needed:
The first step is gently sanding the surface of the trim and doors. This is just to take the top sheen off slightly and give the paint a bit of texture to adhere to. Just a quick hand sanding with 120 grit paper does the trick. I like to cut a sheet in half and wrap it around a foam sanding block to give me something to grip.
Next, wipe off sanding dust and tape edges. I hate this part, but it makes it easier in the longrun.
For our trim and doors, I’m using Behr Marquee Semi Gloss Enamel paint in Iron Ore (a Sherwin Williams color). If you are planning on keeping your trim longterm, you might want to upgrade the paint. Or don’t. Your choice. We went with the top quality at Home Depot on our kitchen cabinets and the trim and doors and have been very happy with the results.
I just brush it on going with the grain of the wood using a 1 1/2″ angled brush. The one I use was about $10, so definitely nothing fancy, but also not the cheapest brush you can buy.
I did two coats of paint (no primer) and it covered perfectly. As you can see below, the brush marks are slightly visible, but as long as you brush with the grain of the wood and use smooth strokes, it blends in well.
It has been fun to start transforming our house to look a bit more modern and updated, while sticking to the classic, slightly cottagy feel. My goal is to keep the trim and door painting going into the entry and living room and maybe (maybe?!) I’ll have it done before our family arrives on Christmas day.
So, my friends, that is how I am painting the trim and doors in our house.
I will reiterate, if you have the same orangy wood trim and it drives you crazy, go ahead, choose a paint color and paint it. Seriously. It will give your home an instant update. Will you look back in 20 years and wonder why you painted over perfectly good wood trim? Maybe. But I don’t know. There is just something compelling about enjoying your home today and transforming it into your style. I’m all for it.
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