Which one should we do first: paint walls or paint trims? In the field of painting, this is a popular question that never has a satisfying answer. It’s not a correct or incorrect thing when you are going to paint the walls or the trims first. This work depends on a specific situation, conditions, and personal preference.

So which ones do you go for? This article will be providing thorough reviews, tips, and essential information about walls painting and trims painting for amateur and experienced painters. After reading this, you can make your decision more easily and quickly. Let’s check it out!

How to Paint Trims

Before bringing the two options to compare, you should be fully aware of painting walls and trims in your house. First, let’s find out how to paint the trim.

How Do You Prepare Trim for Painting?

How Do You Prepare Trim for PaintingUnlike other work, painting needs careful preparation. Before you can paint the trim inside your house, you should get all the things ready in the following steps.

STEP 1: Get all the stuff needed for the work:

  • A washing piece of garment/sponge
  • A sandpaper
  • A can of spackling paste
  • Painting combo: tray, stick, brush, paint.

STEP 2: Wash the surface and the area nearby

Make sure to clean the area of the trim to get rid of dust and dirt so that the paint will get excellent adhesion. First, use a piece of wet garment or sponge to clean the surface and wash out the dust. Then, wait for the trim to dry and use the sandpaper to rub it till there is no shine.

You will also clear all the dust around the trim to apply pieces of tape for high efficiency. The tape should be wide and thick enough so that the paint cannot leak out. The ideal size is about 4-to-5-inch width.

STEP 3: Smoothen the surface by filling in the gaps, cracks, and crevices

In this step, you will use a chemical called spackling paste to fill all the holes on the surface. Then, use the sandpaper to rub the trim one more time to make it flat.

STEP 4: Apply the tape surrounding the trim

Paint Trims

Paint TrimsSTEP 1: Apply layers of primer first

In common, people use the primer as the first cover before applying paint. In this way, the paint will be adhesive firmly with actual color and high quality. Thoroughly and steadily wipe layers of primer on the trim and wait about a day for it to dry. When it is dry, if you still see bare areas, apply another layer of primer until the trim is fully covered.

When you finish priming the trim, let’s check if there are any dust, stain, or impurities on the surface. If yes, then use the sandpaper to rub the trim to make it flat and smooth.

STEP 2: Apply paint

Slowly apply the paint onto the trim. We recommend using a short brush with a suitable width. Stir the liquid well by a paint stick, then pour out a small amount into a paint tray. Do not dip the brush too much into the tray. Instead, we need ½ inch of brush with paint covered.

Paint parallel to the trim with a long stroke and repeat till the brush runs out of paint. You should not add too much paint on the brush. Keep your hand stable and consistent with having delicate lines. Repeat the motion until the trim is fully covered as you wish. Finally, let the trim be dry before carefully removing the tapes surrounding.

How to Paint Walls

The following part will show you an overview of how to paint a wall in your house, which makes you easily imagine the process.

Preparation for Wall Painting

Preparation for Wall PaintingLike trim painting, wall painting requires careful preparation before applying on the wall. The more neatly you prepare, the better result you get.

STEP 1: Get your stuff and furniture safe from paint

Paint can be hard to clean once it gets into the furniture or stuff nearby. For this reason, you must cover your things carefully before painting on the wall.

For stuff on walls such as a socket, switch, button, etc., you must cover them by pieces of tape. Choose a type of tape that is thick and wide so that the paint cannot go through it to come in contact with the accessories.

For heavy stuff like sofa, long table, wardrobe, etc., get them covered by a big piece of garment or plastic. Carefully check if that garment can allow the paint to leak through. Also, remember to cover all the corners of the stuff; otherwise, your stuff will be stained.

For light stuff such as a chair, crouch, lamp, etc., move them to a spacious room. Keeping them away from the painting area will also give you more space to do the work. You won’t like to paint when surrounded by chairs, tables, or crouches, etc.

With floor, you must spread out a large piece of garment or plastic to avoid the paint from splattering over. Also, remember to use thick clothes so that the paint cannot get through it. You do not need to cover all the floor with the garment, but only the areas near the walls painted.

STEP 2: Get the surface clean for high efficiency of painting

Like painting trims, you must prepare a smooth surface before applying the paint on the wall. Wash all the dust, impurities, and dirt on the wall with a wet sponge or small garment. You should also use a little detergent to easily remove the “stubborn” dirt stuck for a long time. After washing the wall with soap, clean again with water and let it dry.

Paint Wall

Paint wallSTEP 1: Apply coats of primer first

Primer does not only help smoothen the surface of the wall but also create a layer for the paint to stick on. There are many benefits of the primer that most people use it for walls painting inside the house.

Cover a coat of primer first. Notice the gaps, cracks, or crevices to fill in. When finishing the first layer, if you still see the bare areas, apply another coat till the primer is spread thoroughly.

STEP 2: Apply paint on the wall

After choosing a paint type, stir the liquid inside the gallon to make sure the oil and pigments are well-combined for the best result. Do not stir too hard, or the paint will splatter and spill out.

To apply paint on a large wall, you should use a wide roller. Pour the paint from the gallon into a bigger bucket for your convenience, then dip the roller thoroughly into the bucket. The most efficient way to paint is to roll the wall in M or W shape. Repeat until the color displays well and evenly on the wall. You will need a roller with a long stick to paint on the higher areas of the wall.

Let the paint dry for 2 to 4 hours if you want to apply another coat of paint. If not, keep away from the wall for about 48 hours for the best result.

What If You Paint Walls First?

What If You Paint Walls FirstAfter knowing how to paint trims and walls, you will understand why people paint walls or trims first. It’s not wrong or right whether you paint trims or walls first, it’s likely about which ones you prefer.

For many users, painting walls first is easier. Why? This way is especially suitable for amateur painters and those who like to do it themselves. Painting walls do not require much precision and accuracy. You need to fill a vast area with color, and it’s not difficult to work with large space.

Inexperienced painters are not skillful that they may accidentally splatter the paint over the areas. It’s not a problem if the paint slops into the trim because you can apply the paint over it eventually. But if you paint the trim and spill over the wall, it’s a different issue, and we will explain more in the following part.

Painting walls first will bring the instant effect and gratification to your room. This thing may be the reason why people want a new coat for their place immediately. They cannot stand the boring, old, dirty wall any longer so they must act promptly. And as I said, the options for painters are likely about preference and personal choice.

What Do You Need When Painting Trims First?

What Do You Need When Painting Trims FirstAccording to some professionals, painting trims first requires high accuracy and skillfulness. Indeed, it’s easier to “cut in” on a large wall than to do it on a trim, which is cramped and small. This process takes much more time than you expect if you want to have the best results. You need to paint slowly and stably so that the paint doesn’t spill out of the range.

Preparing the painting tape is a must-do thing when you want to apply the paint on the trim first. Tape on the trim makes it more comfortable to do the cut-in as it gives you the line to paint alongside. The tape can also stick easily onto the trim due to the smooth surface and edges.

As mentioned above, stain spilled onto the wall from trims painting is hard to treat. Why? We often use oil-based paint on the trim as this thing needs a gloss coat. Meanwhile, we usually use water-based or latex paint on the wall. So when oil-based stain gets onto the wall, it’s always difficult to paint over it with the water-based paint.

For those reasons, you must be careful and steady if you want to work on the trim first. You also need to perform the cut-in around the trim and over the spills or splatters. As I said, it takes much time to paint on the trim with a stable hand and patient mind. You cannot expect a quick and excellent result at the same time.

However, it’s not impossible for amateur painters to apply the paint on the trim before doing on the wall. To ensure a better result, you should prepare the adequate paint tapes to cover the areas needed. Remember to use a thick one so that the paint cannot go through it.

More: Best Indoor Paint Sprayer for Interior Walls

In Conclusion

Which ones do you choose: paint trims or walls first? After reading this article, we are now sure that you can make your own choice.

As explained above, it’s more about preference. Are you a person who can’t wait to see a new coat for the room? Or are you more likely the one who is patient, steady, and cares about the details? If you say “yes” to the first question, go paint the whole wall to satisfy your desire. Otherwise, calm down, be patient, and start from the trim.

Paint trim or wall first is not the right or wrong thing to do. Each way gives you different pros and cons that you should consider carefully before making up your mind. Painting walls first may be easier, but working on the trim first can help you improve the techniques, especially the “cut-in” skill.

So which do you choose? Share your ideas below and see who has the same things with you.