How to spray paint trim

Trim painting is among the most common painting tasks that homeowners undertake, right along with walls and cabinets. Painting your trim can completely change the look and feel of a room, it can brighten the space or make it more elegant.

Trim work is probably one of the most frustrating parts of painting. Stain can bleed through and ruin your finish, but it doesn’t have to. I’ve painted a lot of trim over plenty of years. I’ve brushed out trim in homes, I’ve sprayed trim and I’ve painted the trim in countless new construction homes.

spray paint trims

I have a lot of advice that will not only make your trim look amazing when completed, but will speed up your painting process and give you a finished product that will last for decades.

Prepare the room

Preparing your room before painting the trim will save you time and effort, as well as improve the overall quality of your paint job. If you are planning to repaint your house and are looking for a good paint job, it is advisable that you read the instructions that come with the paint cans before you start to paint.

Clean the trim

Cleaning trim before painting is crucial because only fresh paint sticks to fresh paint. So unless you want your paint job to look spotty, you will want to clean trim before painting. This process is really quite simple, but not a lot of people are aware of it. It is such a basic step in the painting process that you can probably do it without even needing to read this article.

If the room is a kitchen and grease has built up over the years, then warm soapy water should be used to hand wash all the trim. All one need do is spend 10 minutes or so washing the greasy copious amounts of mail addressed with Stencils and stickers off of your household surfaces that will be painted.

Fill holes and fix trim

Filling the smallest of holes and cracks before you paint your trim will take away any fakeness in the finished project and make it look much more professional. Professional painters use spackle for this purpose, but if you’re doing a small repair job like painting your walls on your own, you can use pretty much anything that is similar to spackle.

For example, if you are painting anything that is not made out of wood (ex: walls, plastic) then I suggest going with a foam-based filler instead as they do not shrink while baking and create less mess than regular caulk when sanding down.

This step should take no longer than 10 minutes or so to complete but it’s important to really get into all the holes and around outlets and whatnot to avoid having to paint over these areas. Don’t forget about fixing those gaps between the wall and trim boards — these will show everything else more easily if they aren’t filled properly.

paint trims

Sand the trim

Sanding before painting is probably one of the most beneficial and necessary steps. It removes imperfections and prepares the surface for painting. You need to choose the correct sandpaper to get the job done.

It should be of the medium grade – it will be rough enough to take off the imperfections, but smooth enough to not scratch the surface. To sand the trim, start by wiping off any loose particles or dust with a damp cloth.

You can also lightly brush the surface with a soft bristled paint brush. If the trim is varnished, you need to be careful not to remove too much of the varnish. Use a fine grain sandpaper, it will be easier to control than a coarse one that might clog and tear the surface.

Feather the edges of the area you’re sanding and go slowly to avoid missing any spots. Before you start painting, use a tack cloth to pick off any loose particles. Always remember to test on an inconspicuous spot before you start working.

Prime the surface

Prime the trim before painting it and you will get a much better finish. Here’s how: Use an atomizer to spray the trim with a primer, which will add a protective layer and a base paint color. Let the primer dry and continue painting. Be sure to prime each area of the trim you will be painting so it doesn’t show through the final coat of paint. Priming the trim will ensure that no bleed through occurs.

Start spraying

Select the spray tip for your project. Remember, the size of the hole does not exceed what the sprayer can handle. If multiple paint cans have been used, mix it together in an empty 5-gallon bucket to make sure consistency is kept even if slight differences happen between cans you are using. Select less powerful air-pressure if you do not want over-spray and are working on stains. A finer finish will be achieved with less powerful pressure.

Spray the trim in long, even strokes. Keep the tip a light distance away from what you’re spraying, not too far and not too close. It’s best to paint the inside walls of your home last because you want to keep as much paint off of them as possible.

If anything spills onto them it will be seen more easily than on white wall trim and so cleaning up any mistakes made when painting trim will be easier! The next time you are painting trim, try doing it before the interior walls- this way if there is any spillage, it can be cleaned up immediately and won’t soak into the colored wall paint.


Sure, you can use either method to paint. Each has their advantages, depending on the situation. Brushing is quicker and cheaper, while spraying is slightly harder to do and there may be a few mistakes along the way. But in the end, no one will be able to tell the difference between the two.

You should first use the larger tip size to spray the primer on the wall. It is the best to apply the primer using the 5-inch tip. After the primer is dried, you can proceed with the final trim paint using a smaller tip. If you want to save some money, you can use a 3-inch tip to spray the second coat. This is a great way to save some money and time.

You may paint trim before cutting it or after cutting it. The answer to this question is really dependent upon the situation. You should never paint trim without sanding beforehand. This is true for painted or stained trim. The sanding process will get rid of any loose paint and help you smooth the trim surface. That way, the trim will be easier to cut and to paint.

It depends on the surface that you are painting. For example, if you are painting the baseboards in your living room, first you should paint the walls, let it dry for a day and then paint the trim. Cover window and door frames with tarps so the paint doesn’t stick to that. Same if you are painting woodwork, you must paint the woodwork first and the walls after.


We hope you enjoyed our blog post about how to paint trims at home. If you have any questions about the painting process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. We’re happy to help you with any project that you may be working on. If you’re interested in painting and staining one of your own rooms, we’d be happy to help you. Till next time see yaa painter fellas!

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