|

DIY: Window Trim Painting Tricks

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

Do you dislike the task of having to paint window trim in your home? Or maybe you don’t know how to go about how to paint the trim around windows, especially if don’t want to seal the window sashes shut with paint.

Lots of up and down of the sashes, waiting for them to dry, moving the sashes again, then once they are done, you get to move on to the jambs.

Just cut pink hydrangeas from the garden in a vase on a kitchen table.

Not only this, but you also have to time painting the sashes or moveable parts on a window or sliding glass doors for the right kind of weather. Painting window sashes on a rainy day, or in the heat of the summer or on a cold winter’s day is not recommended.

brown trim around doors and windows that is going to get painted white

In this post you will learn a few DIY window trim painting tricks along with my how to painting process that will make your old, stained or discolored window sills, sashes, trim as well as the trim around sliding glass doors look new again in no time.

These painting tips can be used both on interior window trim as well as when you need to paint the exterior window and door trim in and around your home.

Priming and paint in one step

Here is the before shot of one of the interior windows and doors that I painted. The brown trim is so old that the sealing finish was worn away.  All that remained was the stain.

Dark stained or painted trim that outlines windows and doors can make a room look smaller. I made it over with white paint so the room would feel more spacious, light and airy.

How to Prep and Paint Window Trim

Painting the molding or trim around the windows in your home doesn’t have to be a chore. As with most paint jobs, getting a professional look—without making a mess—starts with the right products, tools and techniques. When you follow these window painting tips you can have beautiful window trim in no time.

For Best Results When Painting Window Trim

  • Use a big brand name primer and one paint formula. If painting over a stained finish, make sure the formula has a stain blocker in it.
  • Buy a 1 or 2-inch angled sash brush to paint the trim. Buy the best quality you can. Purdy brushes are the best and come in a wide variety of widths and types of bristles.
Window trim Painting Tips

When giving window trim a fresh new look with paint, don’t forget to consider replacing the sash locks of cranks on the windows with new ones.

Most home improvement stores sell them in metal and painted finishes.

My casement crank-out windows are made by Pella. I went directly to the local dealer in my area and bought new white cranks for all my windows.

grids

Newer windows that have mullions on grids in them pop out. If you can remove the grids, the remove them before painting.

If you can’t remove the mullions, then you will have to paint them. Use a 1″ angled brush to paint them. It will make the job easier and get less paint on the glass.

setting up to paint window trim

How Do I Choose the Right Type of Paint for Window Trim?

The specific type of paint needed will depend on what type of trim surrounds your windows. Window trim can be made from wood, vinyl, aluminum, or steel, Choosing a paint that’s compatible with your type of trim will help achieve durable and lasting results.

  • Wood  – Use a premium exterior gloss paint, either oil or acrylic. For interior wood trim, choose a high-quality latex gloss paint or a latex paint and primer in one formula.
  • MDF –  This becoming a popular material for interior window trim because it’s easy to install and resists moisture damage. The same paint used on interior wood (high-quality latex gloss paint) can be used on MDF trim.
  • Vinyl is usually reserved for the exterior of a house and paired with vinyl siding. Its impermeable surface won’t hold standard paint; those suggested above would eventually peel off. Instead, look for an exterior gloss paint specifically made for vinyl.
  • Metal trim is also typically found on a home’s exterior and paired with metal siding. Choose an exterior gloss paint labeled for use on metal. Some of the best metal paints contain rust-resistant chemicals that will help prevent rust from forming on your trim.
  • If your window trim is unfinished, you’ll get the best paint adhesion if you apply primer before painting. Like the paint you choose, the primer should be compatible with the type of trim you’re painting.

Materials Needed to Paint Window Trim

  • Paint – All in one paint, primer and stain blocker in one formula in a semi-gloss or gloss finish. Glidden has one called: Total
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk and caulk applicator
  • Putty knife
  • 100 and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Angled paintbrush
  • Drop cloths
  • Pointy Cotton Swabs
  • Painter’s tape

How to Prep Before Painting Window or Door Trim

The reason I dislike painting windows so much is that there is way too much detail and you have to be careful not to paint the sashes or sliding doors shut.

Before photo of painting wood trim

The hardest part of any paint job is the prep work. When you take the time to get the window surface prepped right, you are setting the project up for success.

Time needed: 3 hours.

How to Prep Window Trim for Painting

  1. Remove Peeling Paint


    If there is any peeling paint, remove it first with a paint scraper or 60-80 grit sandpaper.

  2. Sand trim smooth


    No matter the type of window trim, if it’s been painted once before, start with a 150-grit sandpaper to smooth away any edges where that old layer of paint flaked to reveal the bare surface.

    Next use 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. If you’re painting unfinished new trim, use only the 220-grit sandpaper to rough up the trim enough for the paint to adhere. The surface does not have to be sanded to the bare wood.

  3. Clean Off Sanding Grit


    Use a tack cloth or vacuum to remove the sanding grit.

    How to prep wood trim before painting

  4. Wipe Surface


    Wipe the surface down with a damp soapy rag or cloth and then repeat with clean water to make sure all dirt and grease are gone. Let dry.

  5. Apply Caulk Where Needed


    Apply new caulk to the exposed seams. For caulking to efficiently seal the seams and gaps in window trim, it needs to be applied and smoothed into the crack.

    To achieve a professional-looking finish, run a bead of caulk in the seam and then use a wet finger or an ice cube to smooth the caulk.

  6. Fix Gaps and Seams


    Apply new caulk to the exposed seams. For caulking to efficiently seal the seams and gaps in window trim, it needs to be applied and smoothed into the crack.

    Using this technique, To make the trim look like a pro painted it, after your first coat of paint is dry, check for nail holes and gaps along the length of the trim. These gaps are easier to spot after the first coat of paint is on.

    For instance, the trim around the door in the room had a big gap between the face piece and the side pieces of molding. I filled these in with caulk and then used my finger dipped in water to smooth the caulk.

    My favorite caulk to use is called DAP Alex Plus Easy Caulk. I like it because it comes in a CheezeWiz style container that makes it so easy to use. No caulking tool needed.

    After the caulk is dry, then apply the second coat of paint…. no more unsightly gaps and nail holes.

    Caulking Tips

  7. Caulking TIP


    To achieve a professional-looking finish, run a bead of caulk in the seam and then use a wet finger or an ice cube to smooth the caulk.

    To ensure your line of caulk will dry smooth, you can run an ice cube down a line of just applied caulk to smooth it so it blends in with the wood.

    tips for painting window and door trim

How to Paint Window Trim

Once the window trim is prepped for paint and dry, the surface is ready to apply the paint.

how to paint over stained wood
Painting stained wood trim
  1. Remove or use painter’s tape to cover any window cranks or locks.
  2. Apply paint using an angled sash brush. Let dry.
  3. Sand – Go over first dry coat of paint with 220 grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. Clean off grit with a tack cloth or damp rag, let dry.
  4. Apply a second coat of paint. Let dry.
    • I used two coats, and added a third coat on the inside bottom trim section of the window that had some dark water staining along it. I added this last coat to block and ensure that the wood tannins will not come through the paint.

Pro Window Trim Painting Tips That Will Make the Job Easier

I have painted dozens of windows and rely on these window trim and sash painting tips to ensure I get the job done well.

Removing Overpaint from the Window Glass

After painting or as you’re working, you may end up getting paint on the window glass. After the final coat of paint dries completely, here are a few ways to remove overpaint or splatters that get on the glass.

  • Scrap it off with a glass razor blade scraper – Position the blade parallel to the edge of the trim and, using a straight motion, scrape the dried paint right off the glass.
    • For any hard to remove paint, spray the glass with glass cleaner or water and the run the scraper over the glass.

When to Remove Painter’s Tape Around Painted Window Trim?

When using painter’s tape around window trim using latex paint, remove the tape before the paint dries. If you don’t, you may end up pulling off some of the paint when you remove the tape.

If your latex paint has dried – Before removing the tape, run the blade of a utility knife between the tape and the wall, trim, or glass. This will break the bond between the tape and painted area and will lessen the chance of pulling the paint off the newly painted surface.

No Painter’s Tape?

When you prefer not to use painter’s tape to mask the glass on a window, try this tip that will keep paint off the glass as you paint.

How to paint window trim

Before painting, apply chapstick or a thin very thin coating petroleum jelly around the edges of the glass right where the it meets the trim using a pointy cotton swab. Chapstick is easier and less messy.

When all the paint is dry and you clean the window, any paint that may have gotten on the glass wipes away easily with a paper towel – no razor blade scraper needed.

The Best Window Trim Paint Brush

To get a smooth finish when you paint window sills and trim is a 1-1/2-inch stiff angled paintbrush that is made to cut-in. I bought a Purdy one at Lowes.  It made a HUGE difference. The stiff bristles are very precision-like and don’t splay out.

How to paint like a pro

Wipe Excess Paint Off Before Applying to Window Trim

When painting anything, not just window trim it is always best to pour enough paint from the can into another container. This will help keep the paint in the can pristine and free of dirt and dust.

Paint-Can-Painting Trick

On the container you will be using to dip the brush, place a rubber band around the container. The rubber band acts as a place to wipe the excess paint off the brush instead of using the rim.

If using the main paint can, doing this helps keep the rim clean so the lid can go back on the can perfectly when you are done painting.

How to Clean Up Paint Drips the Easy Way

To make quick clean up of drips, paint bleed along edges where the painted trim meets the wall, use pointy style cotton swabs called Precision Tips.

Precision Tips Q-Tips Ideas
Precision Q-Tips with Pointy Tips

The pointy tips are perfect, much better than using the regular cotton swab shaped tip.

Wet the tip and then twirl where there is a smudge of wall paint on the ceiling or wall next to the window trim.

Having the pointy tip makes it easy to swipe right into the crevice along the ceiling line and clean up the smudge without affecting the wet paint on the wall. Without the pointy tip you would not be able to get right up to the trim without wiping some of the wet wall paint off trying to take care of the smudge.

I keep the swabs in my pocket when I paint – as I seem to always get paint where it doesn’t belong.

Painting Tricks and Tips

In the image above I show where I got a few brush marks on the wall when painting the trim. 

Precision- Tips Q-tips painting tricks

A quick swipe with the point in the crevice cleans up the paint perfectly and doesn’t touch the wet paint on the trim.

Newly Painted Window Trim

How to paint window trim

The newly painted window trim make the windows look fresh and new.

Newly made DIY pine wood board round table on white metal table base.

How do you feel about painting trim in your house? Do you have any painting tips or painting tricks to share with me and my blog readers?

How to paint window trim

Now the only downside of painting trim is that where the newly painted trim meets the old trim around the doorways – the old color looks dingy.

Time to paint more trim.

Did you know you can stain block, prime and paint window trim or anything using only one product? Yes you can and it even comes in a semi-gloss finish. | In My Own Style

Paint Tools That Will Make Painting Window Trim Easier

Refillable Razor Blade Glass Scraper

Pointy Tip Q-Tips

Extra Paint Cans

EZ to Use Paintable Caulk

More Home Painting Tricks and Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

140 Comments

  1. People need many appliances in their home to fulfill their needs in home, that’s why we suggest best and affordable Home Appliances including reviews from different customers about that particular product. You can also find our suggestion for home appliances in USA.
    Visit: https://suggestmeshop.com/

  2. Buy Cenforce 100mg contains sildenafil citrate. Buy Cenforce 100mg is used in the conduct of erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is rather you cannot erect or maintain. ED is a common symptom in men, but if it’s a chronic problem, it’s important to get a medical check. Continuing ED is likely a symptom of a serious medical condition. Genericpharmamall places where you can buy the Cenforce 100 working. WHAT IS CENFORCE 100MG USED FOR? Cenforce 100mg is a drug used in the treatment of binary ailments. Erectile Dysfunction: Cenforce 100 mg is prescribed primarily for the handling of erectile dysfunction. A dose of this medicine illustrations action for longer. Consequently, most men prefer to follow this tablet. Pulmonary arterial hypertension: is a disorder in which there is an increase in plasma pressure in the arteries, veins, or capillaries. Cenforce 100mg Cenforce 200 D Cenforce Soft Cenforce 25mg Cenforce 120mg Cenforce 150 Cenforce Professional Cenforce 50mg Cenforce 100 (Sildenafil Citrate) relaxes specific muscles and blood vessels which helps in increasing the blood flow to the penis and maintains a longer erection in a man. Cenforce 100 mg is also known as the blue pill.

    https://tabletvilla.com/product/cenforce-tablet/

  3. I have Andersen double-hung windows and my husband took them totally out so they could lie flat on saw horses. It worked great. We covered our windows (screens) outside with some kind of sticky plastic – it worked well, but it did nothing for protecting against whatever the temperature was outdoors. It was mildly warm when I painted and I got along fine. I allowed the windows to completely dry before putting them back in, so I never had to worry about the paint causing the windows to stick. Love the vaseline or chapstick idea!

  4. Hi there, Thank you so much for sharing this window trim painting guide! It will help me a lot!

  5. your content is worth reading. As an interior decorator I can surely say that your window trim painting tricks are so practical. Thank you for your efforts.

  6. Good to see the reliable information for paiting and cleaning the window by pointy tips very useful tool.

  7. I enjoyed your article… I to growl over painting trim. I mean it is everywhere and the worse is door trim , double trouble! Thank you for the tip on pointed Q-tips. Now a search to find , a small town endless problem. Presently on major paint project and appreciate your share.

  8. Where’d you find your fabric? What’s the manufacturer, etc? I really really like it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Mel – The green and white square pattern fabric is at least 10 years old. I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics. It was from the decorator special order section where they have swatches on small hangers. It is either Waverly, Schumacher or P. Kaufmann. I have a small amount left and went to look on the selvage for a name, but it is cut off. Sorry I don’t remember the exact pattern name. It also came in blue and white. If I remember the name, I will email you.

  9. You are really good work on trim painting next time i’m use this and suggest our neighbors to use it. Thanks for sharing very helpful trick on diy window trim painting.

  10. Diane,
    It’s really a great DIY trick to trim painting. I also do home improvement job but not like an expert. And I was researching for window painting and I’ve found your article such an exceptional way to do the job. Thanks for sharing a huge and detail information.

    1. Hi Kristi – The window mullions in the windows pop out. It is a grid that is easy to remove. The windows are made by Marvin. When you can’t remove the mullions, painting does get more detailed.

  11. I’m with you. There’s hope for both of us:

    Recently saw on a DIY How-to-Paint blog that there’s a new “liquid masking tape” you just paint on the glass & let dry. When you’re done, you loosen a corner & strip it off–just like masking tape. Have a painting job ahead & plan to use it. Haven’t confirmed at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but did see the demo.

  12. Purdy makes a Latex ONLY brush that I find cuts a much better line but only with latex…but who uses oil anymore anyway? Thanks

      1. Yes, I’ll put link below… to my site.. I seem to always end up back on your site! The post above asks for any tips and yes I have a big one as a painter of 35_ years: paint the trim before the walls. It’s easier…much… to cut the line while painting the wall. I like the Nylox brush.

        is made for just that…you can have a shakey hand, and Lord knows I have had my bad days… but the line is still straight. Purdy was bought by Sherwin Williams some years back as they try to expand and gobble up all the small paint companies… I am afraid for Ben Moore…..

        Anyway, thanks again for this post. Keep up the good work.

  13. Hello,
    Its great post for Painting tips without missing any hidden area ,because there are no accurate information about handy painting on internet,So its a really helpful for me and I think for All who are interested in handy painting.
    Thank You

  14. Hi there!!
    I am going to be painting all my windows and I’m dreadyit as well. Do you have a blog/tutorial in mind that can help me with painting the inside of the window? You had also mentioned not getting the sash stuck. I’m totally foreign to painting windows and need all the help I can get. I plan on using latex paint. Do you suggest oil based instead?

    Thank you for your time and dedication to helping us all out on the diy journey of life!! ?

    1. Hi Naomi – I wouldn’t use oil based paint. Most brands of latex or water-based paints nowadays are super durable and won’t yellow with age as oil paint does. When you mentioned the inside of the window – as in between the glass? You have to move the sashes up/down to access. Some windows you can get to the inside.

      After painting, move the sash up/down every 30 minutes until it is fully dry.

      Here is another post about painting trim around glass: https://inmyownstyle.com/how-to-block-stains-prime-and-paint-in-one-step-giveaway.html

  15. Any suggestions for preventing scratches in fresh paint from pets? My kitties like to sit in my bay window. I painted it previously and gave it a few days to dry but it still got scratched up when I allowed my cats to use it again, so I want to repaint. I just don’t know of a way to keep my cats away indefinitely, and I wouldn’t want to do that, really.. I know it takes paint quite a while to fully cure (30 days or more in some cases). But keeping my cats away that long will be a struggle, lol.

    1. Why dont you tape a sheet over the window while its drying and maybe make another house window seem more appealing until ???? Might be an eye sore for a week, depending on what kinda paint you use but the cats might ingest paint if it gets on their feet. good luck…my cat loves the windows too.

  16. I would like to paint the trim on the window over my sink, but how do you reach it? Sit in the sink? Being 90 years old isn’t the easiest way to reach over the sink either? Kate

    1. Hi Kathryn –

      Wow… still painting at 90. You Go Girl!!!!! :-) Painting the window trim above a sink can be tricky. I stand on a stool and then the counter, but always stay aware that I am standing on the counter and have someone standing behind me while I paint. I have sat on the edge of the sink with my feet inside the sink when doing the lower sections. Not sure there is any other way besides standing on a ladder to reach the trim. Hope you can find a safe way to get your trim painted. Having a spotter behind you is the safest way.

  17. Hello and welcome to the world of pleasure, Shweta Gupta an Independent Chennai Escorts waiting for the guys who want to make their life with full of great things.

    1. I am full of energy, positive thoughts, exciting plans and dreams for the future, mine and ours.

  18. Hi Diane,
    I agree with you I’m not satisfied with simple paint in my kitchen specially window.
    You are really good work on trim painting next time i’m use this and suggest our neighbors to use it.
    Thanks for sharing great post on trim painting.

  19. Simply paint on the glass and cut and rub the glass. You spare a huge amount of time. I am right now investigating on the off chance that it is alright to utilize can splash paint to paint my wood window mullions and edge.

  20. Funny I ended up on this page for painting trim, I was thinking that if anyone asked me about painting trim, my advice would be, RUN!!! And don’t look back! lol, what a job!

  21. Just paint on the glass and cut and scrape the glass. You save a ton of time. I am currently looking into if it is ok to use can spray paint to paint my wood window mullions and frame.

  22. I have discovered utilizing vinegar and water a powerful degreaser/deglosser. Regardless I sand the surfaces daintily before painting and between layers of paint.

  23. This is something good”” “WINDOW TRIM PAINTING TRICKS” I must utilize the elastic band on the paint can for whenever I paint. It is a splendid thought. No more paint running down the side of the can. I additionally like the thought of utilizing the q-tips to tidy up smears. Be that as it may, it doesn’t seem as though you put tape around any of the edges. Wouldn’t this keep you from expecting to utilize the q-tip by any means?

    1. Hi –

      No tape is needed. Once the Vaseline is on the glass right up to the edge of the wood. You paint the window trim. When the paint is dry, you simply wipe away the Vaseline. Any paint that got on the Vaseline does not dry so you can easily wipe it away.

  24. hi,

    I use this tricks for painting my window after the reading your post it’s really amazing.

  25. I’ll throw in a couple of pennies.

    1. Ensure that your trim is caulked with a high quality caulk smoothly applied. This will allow you paint to glide on the caulk producing a smooth line.
    2. ensure that the brush is appropriately loaded with paint.
    3. Do not ‘go over’ previous painted (freshly) surfaces. That’s the number one problem for losing a smooth finish, brushing over paint that is starting to dry. Paint with a plan and don’t reinvent your process on each window.
    4. For painting with carpet–consider a piece of luan that will hold the pile down and protect. Heres’s a great tip here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB9ck82RvB8
    5. Use high quality paints and brushes.
    6. To paint latex over oil, you can get by with deglossing the surface with a deglosser then painting with your latex. Deglossers can be noxious. but you have to poison!

    1. I have found using vinegar and water an effective degreaser / deglosser. I still sand the surfaces lightly before painting and between coats of paint.

  26. I must utilize the elastic band on the paint can for whenever I paint. It is a splendid thought. No more paint running down the side of the can. I likewise like the thought of utilizing the q-tips to tidy up smears. Be that as it may, it doesn’t seem as though you put tape around any of the edges. Wouldn’t this keep you from expecting to utilize the q-tip by any means?

    1. Hi Annabel – The tape is not needed if you smear Vaseline right up to the edge of the wood around the window with the pointy Q-Tip. Paint may get on the Vaseline, but it does not stick to the glass or dry. When when you are finished painting and the paint is dry all you need to do is wipe away the Vaseline. No tape to apply or remove. The Vaseline does the masking.

  27. I’m going to have to use the rubber band on the paint can for the next time I paint. It is a brilliant idea. No more paint running down the side of the can. I also like the idea of using the q-tips to clean up smudges. However, it doesn’t look like you put tape around any of the edges. Wouldn’t this keep you from needing to use the q-tip at all?

    1. Hi James – I used a Q-tip to swipe Vaseline around the glass instead of using Painter’s tape. When the paint is dry, I simply wipe the Vaseline away with a paper towel and all the excess paint comes with it, but leaves the paint intact on the wood where there was no Vaseline. It is faster than having to tape all around a large or detailed window.

  28. Enjoying your post and tips.

    I have a color question. Unlike you, I like a creamier color, actually, Valspar polished ivory, for the trim color. But I can’t use that for window trim because of the color of the vinyl replacement windows we installed So, to my quandary, I need to paint the window trim with Valspar white, but do you think it ok to use the polished ivory for interior doors & door trim, and baseboard . Thanks for your counsel.

    1. Hi Bob – Mixing two or more whites is fine to do. I did it in my previous house. I had white tiles on my kitchen backsplash with creamy off white cabinets and trim. The key to making it work is doing it intentionally. Make it your color scheme. White, off white and then choose another color or two to use as your accent color. If you like a neutral room, then pick another shade of white so you have 3 whites. Use them in equal parts and spread each around the room. If the window trim is white on one side of the room then make sure there is white on the color side of the room as well.This could be a picture frame, an appliance, stack of books, etc. This will create color balance in the room.

  29. Since I have the trim paint behind me, I can proceed onward to the all the more fascinating and fun parts of brightening.

  30. I have a 30 year old home with wood trim. I would love to paint it white, yet I put in every single new window only 5 years back and requested then in wood completion to coordinate the trim, not considering painting the trim at the time. Will my delightful new pella windows be destroyed in the event that I paint them white. What’s more, if that is an alternative, what sort of prep do I require tondo before painting them?

    A debt of gratitude is in order for your assistance!!!

    1. Hi Daphne – The key to painting window trim successfully is to use thin coats of both primer and paint. The build-up of excess paint is what you want to avoid. You need to follow the steps on how to paint wood furniture. Sand, clean, prime and paint. Use an angled brush and only thin coats, letting each one dry before applying the next. You have to move the sashes up and down so as they dry the paint on the sash doesn’t bond with the trim.

      Sand with 100 grit sandpaper, prime with a stain blocking primer (Kilz brand) and then semi-gloss white paint. To see more details on how to paint wood, the steps are the same as when you paint a piece of furniture. You can find how to do this in this post: https://inmyownstyle.com/how-to-paint-anything

      It is not hard to do just take your time and remember… thin coats. :-)

  31. I call it the house beast. I simply painted my kitchen cupboards and now the trim look soiled so yes I will be painting it as well! Also, yes I need to utilize oil paint as well. I think I am holding up until spring when the puppies can stay outside. Awesome treks, particularly about the paint brush, individuals don’t understand the brush is the key.

  32. I don’t so much abhor painting trim as I do windows, Diane! Likewise for the reasons you said {the up down of the scarves, not getting paint on the glass}. You’ve given a great deal of helpful tips here that I will without a doubt be remembering. I can hardly wait to see the divider shading and how you utilize that fabric!

  33. I have a 30 year old home with wood trim. I would love to paint it white, but I put in all new windows just 5 years ago and ordered then in wood finish to match the trim, not thinking about painting the trim at the time. Will my beautiful new pella windows be ruined if I paint them white. And if that’s an option, what kind of prep do I need tondo before painting them?
    Thanks for your help!!!

    1. Hi Annette – I have Andersen windows that were painted antique white years ago and I am in the process of painting them white white. You have a slightly different scenario with since yours are wood and stained. You will not ruin them if you take the time to paint them the right way.

      I would go over the surface with a sanding block to rough up the wood a bit, then use a stain blocking primer like Kilz Original. It is oil based, but you can use latex paint over it. It also dries in 30 minutes unlike most oil-based primers. It will block the wood tannins and stain from seeping through the paint. Once that is dry – 2 very light coats of a good brand name paint. Let each coat dry before applying the next. Use a high quality 1 – 1/2″ angled brush – I use the Purdy brand. After painting the sashes move them up and down every 15 minutes while they are drying so the windows do not get painted shut. It takes a while to do one window, but once you get the hang of it, it will go faster.

  34. Just bought a 100 year old house and need to paint lots of windows and walls. I will definitely use your tips. I love your wall color. Do you remember what it is called and what brand it was?

    1. I think it was Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige SW 6106. The walls are no longer that color and I don’t have the paint can anymore, but that is the name that comes to mind. Enjoy decorating your new to you old house.

  35. We also have oil based paint trim that I would love to paint white. What do you know about oil paint yellowing over time? I love the finish of oil and it would be a lot less work, since it is painting oil over oil. What do you think? Are you worried about yellowing?

    1. Oil paint will yellow or darken over time, but it takes a looooong time and it is usually when it is in dark rooms. On light and bright areas – less yellowing. If you don’t want to use oil, just apply a good primer over the oil. I use Glidden Gripper or Kilz Original, then use latex.

  36. Duct tape over the top of the can works much better than a rubber band, which has to go under the can. Duct tape is stiffer, so it’s easier to wipe a brush across, and there are no paint-covered flying rubber bands when you are ready to put the lid on :)

  37. Saw this tip about the Chap-Stick on the Hunted Interior blog. Hadn’t heard of using that or petroleum jelly before! Luckily our house was built new so I won’t have to paint windows for a while, but I was just this week scraping paint off our windows because the professional painters didn’t do it. We’ve lived here for six years and it finally started annoying me!

    Glad to have the reco on the trim brush, too. Even when painting walls, I hate cutting in. I bought a 2″ angled brush before I just painted our powder room, but it did not work well. I’ll have to try out that 1.5″ trim paint brush your brother-in-law likes.

  38. When preparing to paint the ceiling, I come down the wall from the ceiling about 4 to 6 inches with a line of painters tape all around the walls. This gives the illusion of the ceiling being larger. Better yet, I always paint the ceiling the the walls the same color – no more white ceilings!

  39. I just sweated out trying to tape the windows in my spare bedroom. Started cussing and decided to Google. So glad your blog came up on the hit list. My sister will appreciate the fact that I decided not to give up on redoing the room before she moves in.

  40. I hate painting windows (don’t really mind the other trim), but I LOVE the way it looks when finished! I am thrilled about the Vaseline/Chapstik trick – I cannot wait to try it. I’ve been putting off a painting project because of this and now I’m all excited to do it! Going to invest in a good stiff brush, too. I always wind up using cheap brushes and now you’ve given me a reason to get a good one. Taping off takes SO long! The Q-tips, too – this whole post just made my day.

    I got my copy of your book the other day and I’ve really enjoyed it! The photos made me laugh – the 80s and 90s don’t seem so long ago, but wow do the fabrics look dated. Ideas are great, though! So glad I found your blog, and the book as well.

    1. Hi Melissa –

      Thanks for the nice note. The best painting tip ever is to get the best brushes. You may spend more on them initially, but if you take care of them -they will lasts years. In the long run you are not only saving yourself money, but getting a better paint finish on all of your projects.

      It is funny how fast fabric and color schemes date – every 5-7 years. Pretty soon Oil Rubbed Bronze and Quatrefoil print fabric are going to go the way of flowery chintz and bows. :)

    1. Hi Debbie- It is nice to know I am not alone in my dislike of painting trim. It does look so much better now that it is painted. Maybe that will give me the boost I need to do the rest of the house. :)

  41. I admire the patience you have to do all of these updates. Trim, I have done it, don’t want to do it again, but I know I have to sometime in the near future. Great job and always you are so neat and it looks so perfect.

  42. Just found your blog through pinterest. I love the faux transom and your tips. Thanks so much for posting. I’m definitely following you from now on! :)

  43. Hi Momma-la!

    Your blog is…as always, awesome! I really did use the rubber band on the paint can thing the other day while painting a mural…and it was amazing! The paint here is awful awful awful oil based stuff and I don’t have a paint can opener, so the old cans were pretty much impossible to open…but now all my new cans are nice and clean :)

  44. Hi, Diane! I guess I’m one of those crazy people who actually enjoys (loves even?) painting trim. LOL… I don’t mind cutting in walls either; it’s the rolling that I don’t like. I admit though, windows are not my favorite, so thanks for the hints! BTW, yours is one of my favorite blogs!

    1. Hi Nicki – Thanks so much XO Maybe someday I will begin to like painting trim. It does look so nice now – and was worth all the prep and time it took.

  45. Hi Diane,

    It is hard to believe you hate it so much when you have such great ideas. I completely understand. My 87 year old house came with yellowed oil based paint on the trim. I decided to go the oil based primer and latex paint approach. I was worried about it yellowing again and glad to be done with oil based paint. Your tips are definitely helpful. Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily-
      I think it is the windows that truly drive me crazy since they have all the detail to paint around. I helped a friend many years ago paint her yellowed trim in an old house she had bought. The trim was yellow from age and the fact that the previous owner was a chain smoker. We had to sand everything to try to get rid of the smoke smell before we painted.

  46. Diane you laways come through with the best tips just when I need them. Just repainted my entry and realized all the doors and windows and trim are in desperate need of unifying paint as I have haphazardly painted them with differing white as I finished projects. As most of the commentors, I hate it too. I sent hubs out for all the supplies you recommended. I do all of the painting so I figured he can do the shopping, haha. Thanks for this post. You saved me from making another slapdash hit at the trim.

    1. Hi Pam – Thanks. While you are painting – know that you are not alone – I will be doing the same thing in my entry.

  47. Wow! Those are great tips! I will definitely be using them next week. My husband and I are going to be redoing the bedroom as a Valentine’s present to each other. We’ll have lots of pics and details up on the blog. :)

    1. Hi C.A. What a nice present you both will get to enjoy when you are done painting. I look forward to seeing your photos on your blog.

  48. Some really great tips. You will be so glad you used oil based paint. Yes it is a pain but it holds up so much better. I love that fabric. I need some to make a lumbar pillow for my bed. Did it come from HL?

    1. Hi Melly- I special ordered it from JoAnn’s Fabrics when it was 50% off. It is a Robert Allen fabric called Cat’s Cradle. Color: Grass

    1. Hi Molly – they are the best. Now I don’t have to wet the original ones and twirl the tip to make it pointy. I love the person who came up with the idea. A painter? My cat thinks Q-tips in general are lots of fun to play with and hoard :)

  49. Dear Diane- I hate doing trim with a passion, as well! Learned about Purdy brushes and doing trim work from ‘Bless his Heart’ perfectionist “Hub of My Life”, years ago. I’m faster, and pretty accurate- but I still loath it! Purchased an 85 year old house, years ago. All the trim was stained and not a good stain. Most of it is now a glossy white—most of it. However, what I did not know was the Vaseline/Chap stick trick…Cut to cloudy skies opening to bright sunshine, with a choir of angels singing!! I hate to do this.. but OMG you have LIGHTENED my load again!!! Doing my daughters room and dreading where window meets wood portion! Is it to soon to say I love you?!!!

    1. Hi Catherine – Oh! that dreaded space when window meets the wood portion :) I hope your daughter’s room comes out beautifully.

  50. I detest trim painting so much that as we recently updated our master br, I bought new pre primed trim, painted it flat before my hubby put it up, and donated the old trim to the Habitat for Humanity Restore!
    We did change style/height of trim, too, so the new stuff was a necessity ;-)

  51. Great tips! Painting trim is not my favorite either. I don’t even like painting walls. Give me a piece of furniture any day of the week! … We kicked off the new year with a Be Inspired link party. Hope you’ll come by and share sometime!

  52. I love your fabric! I have the exact fabric in blue and white for my family room curtains and LOVE it. You will not be disappointed.

    And thanks for the painting tips! I also hate painting trim but love painting walls.

  53. I don’t so much hate painting trim as I do windows, Diane! Also for the reasons you mentioned {the up down of the sashes, not getting paint on the glass}. You’ve given a lot of useful tips here that I will definitely be keeping in mind. I can’t wait to see the wall color and how you use that fabric!

  54. I always wanted white trim in our old house. I finally did one room’s windows and loved the look…but not the work :-( Never did get around to doing any other window and/or trim painting of those stained & varnished windows and trim. Thanks for all the painting tips.

  55. I call it the house monster. I just painted my kitchen cabinets and now the trim look dingy so yes I will be painting it too! And yes I have to use oil paint too. I think I am waiting until spring when the dogs can stay outside. Great trips, especially about the paint brush, people don’t realize the brush is the key.

  56. My only tip: Get the husband to do it
    I hate it too. Happy to paint all the walls and ceilings as well as the furniture, but I’m not interested in anything else.
    Hate it

  57. Oh how I feel you! My hubby and I always fight over who is going to paint the trim when it goes up….He wins since he is the one putting the trim up guess it is only fair. I still love your transform as much as the first time I saw it! Thanks for all the tips!
    XO
    Kristin

  58. Hi Diane, my husband and I bought a 70 year old house, and for the last 2 years have gutted and rebuilt it. I’m the designated painter and one thing that a tradesman taught me was to take a paint of caulk that you use, pull the stopper out of the bottom, and mix your wall color (or trim) in it, then place it back together. Then when you trim everything, the caulk dries the desired color and you have a perfect straight line. It has done wonders for me who can’t paint a straight line. Good luck!

    Partner in Crime

    1. Hi Dru-

      What a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. Love to find new ways to make the chore easier while still getting professional results.