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How To Block Stains, Prime, and Paint Wood Trim and More

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As you know, I am trying to banish all the 1970’s brown in my house. It is on the trim, staircase, doors, cabinets and more. There is nothing wrong with brown trim, it can look beautiful, but I prefer white so I am working my way through all the rooms in my house with a paint brush loaded with white paint.

Wood trim painting and How to paint in one step

Dark trim that outlines windows and doors can make a room look smaller. I want to make the rooms feel more spacious, light and airy.

I recently got to try out a new paint product that will not only hide all the brown, but block the old brown stain from seeping through the all the white paint I plan to cover the brown with.  It promises to do this in only a few steps.


UPDATE:  This product is no longer sold. I don’t know why and can’t find information anywhere on the web about it. 

A perfect name for a paint that does stain blocking + priming + painting and dries to a semi-gloss finish if that is the sheen you want. It also comes in flat and eggshell finishes.

It did all of this in only a coat or two, plus it was a water based latex with low VOC’s. It had no odor at all.

Before and after room makeover in progress

I have looked for a similar product and can recommend using any KILZ primer first – two coats. Then two coats of a good brand name latex.

Once you have your paint, follow the tutorial below as it is still a worthwhile read to help you get the best painted finish on your trim.

Here is the before shot of the window. The brown trim is so old that the shiny finish is gone.  All that remains is the stain.

Before photo of painting wood trim

Here is the door.

I know I needed a product that would block the stain and wood tannins from seeping through the paint that could change the tint of the white paint.  Normally I would use 2 coats of stain blocking primer and then 2 coats of paint.

How To Block Stains, Prime, and Paint Wood Trim

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

How to prep wood trim before painting

How to Prep Before Painting Wood Trim

  1. Sand the surface with medium sandpaper (100 grit) to rough up the surface. This provides some “tooth” for the paint to grab onto.
  2. Vacuum or dust off the sanding grit.
  3. Wipe the surface down with a soapy damp rag or cloth and then repeat with clean water to make sure all dirt and grease are gone. Let dry.

how to paint over stained wood

Once the trim was dry, I applied the paint with a 2-inch angled sash brush. I needed two coats, and added a third coat on the inside bottom section of the window that had some dark water staining along it.


Here you can see how the paint covered the brown after only one light coat.


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 caulk gun needed.  The only place I can find it anymore is at Walmart or Amazon.

Caulking TIP:  You can also run an ice cube down a line of just applied caulk to smooth it so it blends in with the wood.


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

Painting TIP:  When using latex paint, if you use painter’s tape to mask walls, glass, etc, remove it 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 craft or box knife between the tape and the wall, trim, or glass. This will break the bond between the tape and painted wall, trim, or glass and will lessen the chance of pulling the paint off the newly painted surface.


I not only banished the brown, but I also updated the cranks on the window.

I called the window manufacturer and was happy to find out that even though the windows are from the 70’s, I could still buy new cranks that would fit…white ones that also can be pushed down flat.  No more ugly cranks and covers. The guy at the Pella store had to search the warehouse, but he found what I needed. WIN/WIN all around.  Hows that for progress in invention? There have been even better cranks made since this style, but I am very happy that I could buy something that would fit perfectly and look nice.


Step-by-step with each update I make to the house it is becoming more our own.

Priming and paint in one step

Next up for this room is to paint the fan and remove the very old wallpaper on the walls.  It comes off easily, but there is a ton of wheat-paste behind it. 


Lots of water, wallpaper paste remover and scrubbing in my near future and of course...Complete will take care of any water stains that may be hiding under all that 1970’s wallpaper that was painted over many years ago.

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know one of my go-to paint products is Glidden Gripper. It is the best when you are paining over shiny surface or don’t want to sand to the bare wood. I used it 16 years ago when I painted my kitchen cabinets in my previous house and have been using it on many pieces of furniture, doors, and more since then.

I will still use Gripper when dealing with shiny surface, but when I need a stain-blocking paint and primer, I will be reaching for Complete. A gallon is under $30.

You can find Complete at Walmart. It comes in both gallon and quart sizes.

One project at a time my TO-DO list is getting shorter. It feels good to have one more Complete. :-)


I have 5 cans of Glidden Complete Stain Blocking Paint + Primer to giveaway to one of you so you can see how great the coverage and finish is for yourself.


I used Complete on wood trim, but it can be used on walls, furniture and whatever needs a stain blocking primer and paint.

Giveaway Is OVER:

Congrats to the winner:  Gail D.

Glidden provided me with Complete for this review.   Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make In My Own Style possible. As always, all content and opinions are my own.

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

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  1. My first thought was that I would use it on our shed, but I guess it is for interiors only. I would probably use it on a piece of inherited furniture to make it my own.