Painting Interior Trim - Please help me!

jbrown2020April 1, 2012

Hi, We just moved into a new house, well a house built in 1990, but it is new to us. We wanted to do a little bit of minor reno - scrape popcorn ceilings and paint the stained pine trim white and it has been far more than "a little bit" of work. We seem to have the ceilings mastered, or at least as good as we are capable of. I am quite pleased with the look after they have been primed. BUT.. our trim is another story. It is not nice wood trim, so I do not feel guilty painting over it, it was just whatever was cheap in the 90's. I am afraid I am going to completely ruin our house with my attempt at trim painting. I started with a spare bathroom that has basebaords and a chair rail. Here are my steps:

1. Wipe down with TSP

2. Rinse off TSP with warm water and rag

3. Fill in nail holes with plastic wood filler

4. Sand with fine grit sanding pad - it is like a sponge, but much thinner. I feel like I can get into the grooves of the chair rail better with that then a sponge.

5. wipe down with tack cloth/cheese cloth - basically remove all dust

6. Prime - I am using BM Fresh Start Alkyd Enamel Underbody

7. Sand lightly after priming

8. Caulk with DAP 230 or something like that (can't remember the name)

9. Likely 2nd coat of primer

  1. Very lightly sand before paint

  2. Paint - likely 2 coats. We are planning on BM satin impervo oil based in a white that is yet to be decided. The availability of over 100 whites has me pretty confused.

I have currently made it to the first coat of primer and it looks AWFUL. I have faith in my ability to clean with tsp, fill nail holes, and sand, but my priming is terrible. I want the final product to not have brush strokes. I am using a $30 brush recommended at the BM store. It isn't a Purdy but it is supposed to be a Purdy's "older and wiser brother." Am I freaking out too early? Should I just finish the steps and see what happens. Is primer going to show brush stroke no matter what? It definitely needs a 2nd coat of primer because the wood is showing through. Is it even possible to get a smooth finish on painted trim like this. I grew up in a house that must have had everything sprayed by a professional, because it looks WAY better than my bathroom currently looks. Thank, you all in advance for hour help and suggestions. The best suggestion may be to hire a pro, but I can't afford it (I got multple quotes)so I need to figure this out on my own. Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If ya want some STUNNING trim, check out my thread on this forum....

Pics are further down...


Here is a link that might be useful: Higher-end trim look...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 1:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Forget the second coat of primer and apply the finish coat, it will look better. Continue you're steps for the second coat and it is done.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 6:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nothing else will provide as nice a finish as Satin Impervo, but if you are going to use a clean white, be mindful that it will yellow and that the yellowing is exacerbated in low light and in the presence of ammonia (both not uncommon in a bath). If you want the white to stay white, Waterborne SI or Advance (it will slightly yellow) are better choices but will provide almost as nice a finish.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice everyone. I have decided to try a few different products in various spare rooms and then decide which one I get along best with.

Faron - That is one smooth finish! I actually am having a hard time believing there is wood under that paint. Where do you get that brand?

Christophern - I think you are right about the primer, I just needed to put it on a bit more evenly the first time.

Paintguy - I had never heard that oil based paint yellows. Are we talking in months, years or decades? I had the BM designer come help me pick out a white and she choose vapor, which is actually a pretty yellow off-white. I definitely don't want it to go any "yellower". I might have to use the waterborn SI in the bathrooms. Can I use that over the alkyd primer?

I am off to finish the chair rail today, I welcome any additional advice anyone has before I start the trim on the main floor. Thank you all.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You would definitely notice the yellowing with Vapor.

With enough ammonia in the air, it can go in days but typically it's over several months or years depending on how bright the space is. You can use both latex and alkyd over the the alkyd primer.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a good process, but I agree, use water based paint.

Don't worry about the primer looking bad - all brushed primer on wood looks ugly.

I painted a stained oak vanity, using basically the same steps you did. I panicked when I saw the primer. I used SWS Pro-Classic, water based, which is equivalent to the Impervo.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow - you are really doing a lot of steps there. I just cleaned well, used Zinsser shellac-based primer and then latex paint. Trim came out great!
First coat of primer always looks cruddy. Keep going.

And YES, oil-based white paint definitely yellows. Found that out the hard way when I painted my kitchen cabs white in 1995 and then tried to touchup paint years later. No matchy!

If you're really picky about brush strokes you could add floetrol to latex or penetrol to oil paint. Thins it out so it's not so thick, and brush strokes will flatten, but doesn't effect opacity.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All previous advice looks good to me. Satin Impervo will give you good hide, fewer brushstrokes and a good hard finish but proper prep [which looks like you're golden in that dept.] and other factors can give you the SAME THING with acrylic finish coats, sans the risk of yellowing.
Muralo Ultra Semi-Gloss is a my rec., but get some schooling from whoever you're buying it from on how to put it on and make it look like oil.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 7:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
how to get smooooth walls
The room Im painting has some areas original 1906 calcimine...
Help me find this wall paper please
Hi all. I'm new to the forum and excited to be here....
First Time Homeowner - Interior Paint Decision ProMar/SuperPaint/Aura?
Here we go... I just purchased a 1950s midcentury modern...
Can regular paint go over Cabinet Coat?
I have an orange oak vanity cabinet I just pulled out...
What color yellow for cottage exterior
I'm painting my cottage this spring. I want to use...
Ann Guss
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™