painting some trim, leaving some stained

keri414October 27, 2012

I know painting natural wood trim is always a controversial topic, but I'm hoping to get some helpful advice here. I have a three-story Victorian home. The previous owner had all of the wood trim stripped and restained so that it is a beautiful mahogany color. The trim runs throughout the first and second stories. The third story is actually a converted attic space so all of the trim is newer and painted white.

My question is this - I'd like to leave all of the trim on the first floor alone because it's beautiful. The trim on the second floor is also beautiful, but I'm considering painting just the trim inside the bedrooms and leaving the trim in the hallway stained. There's the master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and a small bedroom we'll probably use as a nursery. There's also a TV room and a bathroom. The bathroom trim has already been painted white by the previous owner. Will this look weird to have some trim on the second floor painted and some stained? My thought was that painting the trim in the hallway was a bad idea because it can be seen from the stairway, which will be left stained - and actually the baseboard trim butts right up against the stairway trim so that would be very weird. I'm also wondering if we should leave the trim in the TV room natural since the door to that room always stays open.

Also, my husband is worried about resale value if I start painting some of the trim, but I think it's okay since it's inside the bedrooms and painted trim is easier to decorate around in those less formal areas anyway. Thoughts? I really just want some advice about how this might flow. I don't want any advice about not painting good wood trim, etc.

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I see this a lot. I also see painted trim with stained stairways, painted trim in the foyer with stained trim in the bedrooms, stained trim in the foyer with painted trim in the bedrooms and painted trim with stained doors. As long as you break off the transitions at logical places it looks fine. As for resale, it really depends what type of wood you are painting over. If it's just pine, then I wouldn't think it should matter much if you paint it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Thanks, paintguy!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

If you can leave the wood unpainted, I would do so. It sounds like it is beautiful and a crime to paint. I had stained woodwork in our old house and it was great...easy to clean, made the rooms easy to paint, and the windows never were painted shut. If the color was too much for me, I made drapes where the side panels and valances covered much of the woodwork.

Normally, I'm a "paint it out" gal, but in a victorian home, it should be woodwork...

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:15AM
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I'd also think about the practicality of white trim before you do it. I like both white and stained trim, but white needs regular cleaning because it will show every mark and bit of dust. I regularly get down on my hands and knees to clean mine otherwise it ends up just looking dirty. If I had stained trim I would definitely leave it as it is, even if you have to clean it, it just's a quick wipe down instead of having to rub off every little spot or mark.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:15AM
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