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How to Paint Brown Trim White

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The best paint to use to paint stained brown trim white with no bleed though.

I finally got my studioffice back up and running so I can now function and create in organized bliss. :-) I had to paint the stained wood trim white which took some effort. Now that it is complete it is such a nice feeling after months of not having a designated place to create.

Painting stained wood trim white for a Feminine Home Office

The room I claimed as my own in the lake house is bigger than I had in my previous house. It also has one huge difference…a lake view from my desk. :-)

As much as I wanted to get the room back to the way I had in my previous house, the piles of unpacked boxes around me drained my energy and I had a hard time getting my mojo back to get the space organized.

After the new flooring was put in I left the furniture and boxes in the middle of the room so I could paint the brown trim, white. I needed to do this before anything else or the room would never feel quite right to me. I know what I need to be happy in a room… white and bright always makes me feel my best.

How to paint stained wood trim white or another color

Here is how the room looked the day we moved into the house.  We removed the carpet and added new flooring. I also removed the drapes. The ceiling fan is still brown, but I have plans for it.

How to paint over dark stained woodwork and trim

The new flooring made a huge difference, but after painting the brown trim shiny white, the room began to sing to me.

How to Paint Stained Wood Trim White

supplies needed:

  • Stain blocking primer. I used Kilz Max
  • White Latex semi-gloss paint. I used Valspar in the color Bistro White 7006-4
  • Angled Trim Glide paint brush – makes painting trim easy
  • 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block
  • Painter’s tape
How to paint over dark stained trim in a home

To successfully paint stained trim you need to first use a “stain blocking primer”. This is a must. There are many brands of stain blocking primers, but I like Kilz products. I usually use the original oil-base formula, but wanted to try the water-based Kilz Max.

I liked it a lot, especially with the simple soap and water-clean up and low odor. It will be my go-to “stain” blocking primer from now on. My other go-to primer is Glidden Gripper. I use it mostly on furniture makeovers and cabinets. It is the best primer to use when a surface is super shiny and smooth.

  1. Sand any rough spots on trim if needed.
  2. Clean the surface with detergent and water, rinse and let dry.
  3. Tape off any areas you don’t want paint to splatter.
  4. Paint 2 light coats of primer on trim, letting the first coat dry before applying the second. Let dry. If you see any discoloration (usually a brownish tint) in the dried primer you will need another coat of primer. Once that coat is dry and the white primer stays white, you are ready to paint. If areas of discoloration are still coming through the primer after 3 coats, you may need to use the oil-based formula to block the stained areas.
  5. When primer is dry, paint 2 light coats of semi-gloss white paint, letting the first coat dry before applying the second. Let dry.
  6. After the final coat has dried about 30 minutes, remove painter’s tape.


Here is a little tour of my newly organized space where I spend a good majority of my time.

Crafts room decorating ideas

All the furnishings are from my previous house, even the 3 paneled tool wall I dubbed my “creative wall” made the move.

Home office decorating ideas

I set everything up pretty much the same way I had in my previous house with a few tweaks.

Blogger's home office. The studioffice of In My Own Style

The only new addition is actually old. It is a grey laminate desk that was left by the previous owner. It was built into a closet in an upstairs bedroom.  We removed it. With the help of our neighbor John’s table saw, the desk is now a table for my sewing machine. 

Crafts room organizing ideas

I will be painting it along with the armoire. I am thinking a pretty shade of pink for the armoire, not sure yet for the grey desk/table.

Home office desk organizing ideas

You may not be able to see the texture in this photo, but I love the walls.

In the foyer, upstairs hallway and this room, there is real grasscloth paper on the walls that was painted white by the previous owner.  It keeps the room light and bright while the texture adds style and interest.

Feng Shui principles

Eventually the flooring in the kitchen will be stained a darker shade to flow with the studioffice and foyer floors. I also have a lot more stained trim to paint, but for now I have to address this row of cabinets that blocks the flow of energy and light from all directions.  It will have to wait since…

Removing a wall between two rooms

… Ed was taking on another project this past weekend where the energy flow of the house could use a boost. The wall between the kitchen and family room.

We both knew the wall and pocket door inside it needed to go. We got even more excited when the sheetrock was removed on either side of the studs. We couldn’t believe how much better the space felt, even in its raw state.  More on this wall coming soon.

More Wood Trim Painting Tips:

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  1. Love watching your transformations. I could really use a little Feng Shui in my studio/office which is out in the open and really needs to flow with the rest of the home…right now it does not! :(
    PS…like you Diane, I too was in visual Presentation for many year…so have a lot of tricks up my sleeve…though stumped on this one!

  2. I have a dual office/craft room… seeing as my organized self competes for space with my creative self, the room ends up being overall chaos with no flow!

  3. I have been struggling with my craft room and I would love to sit down and read this book to find ways to help. I feel frustrated by the space and want to organize my tools and furniture so I can feel more productive. Thanks for the opportunity – Kate

  4. My den could use some Feng Shui! I would love to win a Kohl’s gift card, its my favorite store!

  5. I used to have a book on organizing, but I can’t find it anymore! lol Just about every area of my home could benefit from this. Thanks, Diane.