Good Paint to Use on Trim

swesnaApril 25, 2010

I have been trying to paint my trim for a while now :(

At this point I have use BM Regal Semi-Gloss and BM Impervo Satin Oil-Based and I am brushing it on. I have a E&J Chinex brush. But ordered a few Corona brushes 2/2.5 sash and a 3 flat that I will be getting this week.

The BM Impervo Oil-Based comes out pretty good. You see brush strokes but they are less that the Regal.

I really like how the oil-based looks and feels afterwards but my only concern with that is the potential of it eventually yellowing. Part of me thinks if I added floetrol to the Regal and if it were satin it may have looked as good as the oil-based. But it still would feel like plastic for sure. My wife did use floetrol when she was painting with the Regal and it looked better, I just forget if it had as few brush strokes as the oil-based.

I almost feel all of the time I have wasted plus expense on brushes...that I would have been better off buying a HVLP air gun to do the job.

Can someone let me know which paint in either BM or Sherwin that they have used and their technique that resulted in fewer brush marks?

What is a good HVLP air gun to buy if you recommend one of those?

Thanks in advance,


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I am partial to BM- waterborne impervo. Been using it for long time time. I definitely don't have floetrol near my products. That stuff is just yucky gooey thick lumpy stuff that should come off market. Sorry, can you tell I don't like floetrol. XIM-extender is the best I have found. Follow instructions and one should never have problems. I have never used oil products, but I know several other painters that wouldn't use anything but the oil impervo. I have seen results also- beautiful and smooth, but at the same time I think if you have an excellent corona brush and keep the touch light long strokes and tickle the surface the waterborne can be just as beautiful.

I use BM waterborne impervo and SW-proclassic. As far as sprayers, I don't own one but have used a graco on several occasions when working with another painter. Here's the deal for me doing spraying in a home already occupied. You have to make sure everything and I mean everything is masked off to perfection and sealed up tight as tight can be. This is hard tedious work and takes a lot of time to make sure every knick and crannie is sealed. Therefore, I would much rather roll and lightly tickle the surface with an excellent corona.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:42PM
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You should probably try some of the latex version of the Satin Impervo. The Regal Semi Gloss is not a fun product to brush even for pros. Any type of sprayer will in theory deliver better results than brushwork, but the problem is that spraying involves a certain amount of skill and experience in order to get it to look good, so that may not be the right answer either.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:45PM
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Thanks for the responses.

At this point I have some trim done with latex and some done with oil-based.

If I get the BM Satin Impervo can I paint over the oil-based top coat of Impervo?

That is if I like what the BM Satin Impervo looks like when I use it over some of the trim that has been done with latex.

BTW...when I get too many brush marks in the latex paint I just get some denatured alcohol and that smooths them right out for another try. I do think the E&J chinex brush that I am using now might even make the latex look better.

My Corona Excalibur Chinex brushes should be there this week and I am not going to paint any top coat without them.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 4:18PM
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Just to add...the trim I am painting is a little over 3.5 inches wide and flat with a rounded edge.

This is one of the reasons why I end up seeing all of the brush marks.

When I am using the E&J 2.5 sash chinex brush...I have been trying to figure out how to apply the paint better. One method I have been using was to apply the paint just next to the area I just finished but not touching and then back brush over the paint just added into the previous wet edge. When I do the back brushing I am sometimes spreading the brush over the entire surface ie the 2.5 inch brush is covering the 3.5 inch trim. Is this OK or a bad idea?

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 5:32PM
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That's fine. I really use a 2.5" brush for everything, regardless of what size the trim is. As long as you keep a wet edge, the paint should dry down fine. Yes, you can paint over the oil based paint with latex, but you should sand it first and prime it with a bonding primer if you are not a big fan of sanding. With flat trim, I might even get a small roller going instead of using the brush.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 6:37PM
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I wish the small roller would wife and I did a pretty good job painting the trim with Regal semi-gloss but it was time consuming and I thought we had too many brush marks. Then we hired a pro and I am sure he is good but he used rolled zinnser oil based primer over our latex work which dried like an orange peel. Then he rolled two coats of Regal semi-gloss over that which made it look like a shiny orange peel.

He would not admit it was the rolled on zinnser but then when he finally realized it he was pissed...he did a half assed job trying to fix it and never came back.

I heard that zinnser oil base is not self you think this is true? This may be why it was a problem.

But I would prefer my brush strokes to the roller stipple this guy was not smooth and was not nearly as bright white as the job my wife and I did.

I really wish I could roll the paint on...I have rolled baseboard before but it did end up with roller stipple but not too bad. I am sure that was cheaper paint too. BM might roll out fine.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I guess what I do is take it on a job by job basis. If I think I'm leaving roller stipple behind, then I will back brush it. It is true though that primers may not self level like a finish paint that is manufactured to do so. In my opinion, Regal Semi Gloss is not a self levelling paint either. I just don't like that product at all and would not be surprised if there was a stipple left from using it. Another huge thing to keep in mind here is also technique. I take it for granted of course because I have been doing it for a rediculously long amount of time, but you can't just give someone a roller and a self levelling paint and expect them to not get roller stipple. You have to apply the paint heavy enough so that the stipple fades away and you cannot over roll and you can't really go back into sections that have already begun to set because you will pull out what has already settled down into the paint film. It takes a lot of practice for some....others pick it up fast. I just know that the slightest variance in technique from one person to another can really screw it all up for you if you are picky and if you are looking for professional results.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:06PM
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I agree and do think it is possible...I will just give the BM Impervo Waterbourne one shot once I finish priming everything. I have stopped experimenting for now :)

I will prime all, then caulk, then fill in anything I would like with wood filler/sand and reprime those areas.

Then go for the the BM Impervo Waterbourne with the Corona brushes. I can actually practice on some base board that I have taken off.

I will keep you posted on my results.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:26PM
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I just painted the window trim in our bedroom and used BM Aura (satin) and it turned out just beautiful!! Easy to use and loved the quick drying time.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Do you think the Aura would be better than the Impervo Waterbourne ???

I dont care about cost I care about the end results. The Coronas are in transit as I type.

jjean...thanks for the response.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:37PM
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When Aura satin first came out this was one of the chosen paints (we) painters in my area used for trim. This was before the semi was ever in the making. I have used the Aura satin several times on trim, but as I mentioned earlier my favorite choice of an excellent trim paint is the impervo. It can not be beat.

Either way swesna you are still going to need to watch the flow, your brush or roller strokes and most of all the temps. in the room you are working in. Both of these paints do not take to rolling or brushing over and over. Long strokes following the grain, and don't try to accomplish your depth in the first coat. It is always best to do thinner layers (of anything) to build up to the depth desired. Sounds like you have some brushes on their way. Remember if you don't feel comfortable and you feel like the paint is dragging on you some, there is always XIM extender. Makes a world of difference especially when the temps are just not right.
anyway, good luck.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:40PM
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Yep, I think Aura is better than Satin Impervo. But, some homeowners struggle to apply the Aura which I am hesitant to recommend using it on absolutely everything.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:37PM
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Regarding temps...the other day my house was a little cold to I turned up the temp and it actually seemed like the paint flowed better on the trim. This was the Fresh Start Oil-Based paint. That leveled out well but so does the Latex I used prior to painting with the nasty Regal Semi-Gloss.

What is the ideal temp? I am assuming that I should try and get my house to that temp if possible while painting.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:53PM
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Yeah, I notice that oil based paint flows better when it is 70 degrees. Latex, I like it a bit colder...anything you can do to slow down that drying process will help.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:15AM
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Yep swesna I have heard that also about oil paint from painters who use it.

About the temps. it is not so much to think, "well I am going to need to have the temp at 60, 65." The most important issue to watch for is the *Air Flow*. You don't want to have *direct* air (heating or cooling) to be blowing directly toward your work surfaces.
Having temps a little lower is much better preferred for different reasons (just not blowing on the work surfaces or in direct work contact with the paint and the painter;)
You will do fine;

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:23AM
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swesna the Corona brushes in the house. I got a 2" and a 2.5" excalibur...the 2.5" almost looks identical to my E&J 2.5 inch. But my E&J is used so not sure if they looked exactly the same when new side by side. I also have a 3" Corona SILK....that was the most expensive one not sure how good that will be to use but I can understand why it cost so much...there are a lot of bristles on that brush. One dip of that and I might be able to paint the trim from the top to the bottom of a door.

I will get the temp up to around 62 degrees when I attempt to paint with the Impervo Waterbourne.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 6:11PM
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OK...I go to my local BM paint store here in NJ. I had a can of Satin Impervo Waterbourne in my hand and asked the owner should I get Aura instead. He then points me to a paint called Insl-x CabinetCoat. Has anyone heard of this and is it good?

He claims it will be better than the Impervo Waterbourne.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 4:40PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

:-D Yes, I have and have had great luck specifying it for DIYers who are painting their cabinets. No product dances out of the can and on to the walls, or trim or cabinets.

If you don't paint every day, there's a certain margin of learning curve no matter what product you're painting with - even for experienced DIYers it can take a minute to get back into the groove of painting. Cabinet Coat is no different. Once you get the hang of it, you're good to go. CC is actually a great value too - I mean, shoot, the price-point is hard to argue with.

I thought they (Inslx) also had a product now that is specifically for trim? Never used it/spec'd it, just kind of remember seeing it somewhere.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:30PM
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this one is called cabinetcoat but under that is says Trim and Cabinet Enamel.

I will give it a try tomorrow...we shall see.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:38PM
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I can't commit on the CC. I am not a user of this paint. The only paint I use on trim/cabinet/furniture is waterborne impervo, pro classic, and aquabond. JMHO, the impervo can't be beat, but you are the one to make the final decision on what will *work* for you.
good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:30AM
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I've taken a real liking to Muralo Satin Flow Enamel. Dries extremely hard and is very durable.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 10:18AM
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well i went to a different BM store to again get the BM Impervo Waterbourne. I told him the other BM store recommended the CC. He then ended up recommending Muralo Ultra Semi-Gloss.

So, I went and did some painting with it today with the Corona Excalibur.

All I can say it the stuff self-levels well and I am sure that most of the paint brush marks that I could see were from ones that were previously left on the trim.

I am not sure what is the correct way to put this stuff on it seems like it is very forgiven. I still actually like the look and feel of oil-based Impervo Satin but I have not really let the Muralo fully dry to compare it fairly.

I can tell you this for sure...BM Regal is a joke and should not be put on trim like paintguy has said in numerous post.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:09PM
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Any brand or kind of latex paint can be put on smoothly if you add some floetrol to it. You can also roll the paint onto a small section at a time and then smooth it out with the brush at the same time.

Insl-x primers are fast dry primers so it doesn't have time to level out with a roller. Adding some floetrol to it and using a brush will help with all latex primers.

To fix the orange peeled looking-textured finiish the best thing to do is first let the coats of paint dry-cure well, 2-3 days or more, then use a random orbit sander/dust bag-type, with 120-220 sandpaper on slow-slow/medium speed, to carefully-lightly-evenly sand the orange-peeled-looking-textured-surface, just enough to lightly-evenly-flatten-out-smooth-the-surface.

Vacume off dust and wipe with clean damp cloth to remove all dust.

Finish with 1-2 coats of your desired coating.

All latex paintsa can be made much better smoothing with the right amount of floetrol, others are saying that the XIM leveler is good too.

Before adding floetrol to paint shake the bottle well.

A new bottle of floetrol usually doesn't need any straining, but as the bottle sits around for awhile and after already being used, some of the liquid latex in the product turns into some thin pieces forming in the bottle, not that much, but you don't want any stray pieces of formed latex in in your can of finish paint.

You can't miss it if it's there when you start to pour the floetrol. So if you see some latex pieces just strain it out as you add the floetrol or just strain some that you need right then or the whole quart-bottle of floetrol into a small clean plastic pail.

I use floetrol in all of the latex paints I use to thin out paints that are too thick, dry too fast, for much better leveling, while still retaing good coverage.

Strain any can of paint that has any kind of particles showing up in the finish. Just use those strainers that fit right over a 1 gallon can. Use them over a very clean; small plastic pail or empty paint can. Where thin plastic gloves when straining paint.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:33AM
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You can also use a handle-flat-pad sander with 100-150 sandpaper.

Oil paint with some penetrol added gives the smoothest possible brushed finish.

If you buy a good light use airless spray gun for cabinets or trim you'll get an even smoother finish as long as you do test painting on a piece of sheetrock to get the hang of thinning the paint and using the spray-gun just right.

You've got to mask off and cover everything in the room. Have open windows with proper ventilation-outgoing fan, no dust flying around, proper room temperature, and no breezes from the open windows or fans hitting the painted surfaces

Use a very thick-type dust-mask/with-vent for latex and a full 3-m charcoal disk mask for oil.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:58AM
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