Tips on Painting Exterior Trim

Painting Exterior Trim

How to Tell Your Home Needs to Be Painted

If you’re looking for a DIY painting blog, you may be interested in learning how to paint exterior trim. This is a project that can take anywhere from 5 hours to 20 hours to complete, depending on the size of your house, window materials, experience level, etc.

Painting trim is a process that is typically done by roller and brush. Since the paint is not sprayed, more manual labor is required. In many cases, it costs more than half of the total exterior paint job.

Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

Want to go with a subtle look? Select a shade of paint that is slightly darker or lighter than the siding. Always go with a higher sheen for trim. Work from the top down. Ideally, you should mask around the window panes, although a paint shield will work as well.

If the trim has been painted before, scrape off old coats. For a large home with a great deal of trim, a painter shaver power tool might be more ideal than a hand scraper. After scraping away the old paint, the next step is to sand the trim until the surface is smooth.

Make sure you purchase enough paint. It’s recommended that you use high-quality exterior latex paint. One gallon is typically enough for paining the trim of an average size home, although you may need more if you have wood windows or plan on painting the eaves the same colour as the trim. If the windows are not made out of wood, painting the trim primarily involves brushing and rolling corner boards, fascia, and downspouts/gutters, as well as painting exterior doors and door jams.

Don’t forget primer! The surface must be primed if the trim has any areas of bare wood. You can begin by coating the trim with a water repellent that helps prevent the wood from shrinking or contracting whenever it is exposed to moisture. After doing this, apply a traditional primer designed for exterior use.

dsc00277Since the outside of the house is exposed to elements, you must ensure that the trim is nice and clean before you begin the painting process. You can create a cleanser by mixing a cup of bleach and a cup of trisodium phosphate with a gallon of water. Simply spray it over the trim, and scrub the area clean with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe away all mold and residue. Rinse the trim with a water hose and allow it to dry thoroughly.

If you can’t complete the painting process in one session, you don’t have to go through the trouble of cleaning the tools; simply wrap the brushes and rollers in sealed plastic to keep them preserved. Use warm water to soften any paint that has hardened on the handle or along the bristles. Allow the brush to dry before dipping it back into paint and resuming the project.

As for the size of the brush, you will want to use the largest size that fits the trim. Using the largest brush possible will help reduce lap marks since you will be able to cover the area in a continuous stroke.

Hopefully, this painting blog post will give you some idea of what needs to be done during an exterior trim painting job.