Stained wood trim and interior doors-should I paint white?

debpic1June 28, 2009

Hello All-Our home is a one story w/stain wood trim and doors. The kitchen remodel will be a medium stain either cherry or maple wood however I want to have white trim on the baseboard etc. Is it too difficult to paint all the trim including windows and doors? Does leaving the stain trim date the house? House is not large but trim is I do the living room, den etc.? Thank you for your help and thoughts.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I prefer to have the whole house match in terms of trim and interior doors, but in older homes, it was a normal thing to have the woodwork in private and utilitarian rooms, like the kitchen, painted, while the woodwork in the public, more formal rooms was stained. You haven't said what color stain it is, but stained wood trim shouldn't date a house on its own. People certainly still put wood finished trim in newer homes. I also don't know what style or how detailed your trim is, but think it would be a big job to paint it all. (Sand, prime, and done after removing it)

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I concur with rhome410 that a stained trim will not necessarily impart an old look to your room. The sense of age comes more from the profile and proportion of the pieces than the colour.

This is one of those things that it might make sense to look at on Photoshop before you do anything permanent. It is difficult to completely strip paint from trim. It will take many hours and if you are paying someone to do it, it is almost always cheaper to replace the trim than to refinish it.

If you end up replacing it, you're not likely to be able to match the patina of whatever is currently there.

Good Luck :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it depends. I have been in very old homes where I'd expect to find stained trim - craftsman style homes for example. I've also been in newly built homes with lovely stained trim which looks modern because of the trim shape, color (very dark or very light), and finish.
However, I have also been in homes (like mine!) where the trim looks dated because the height isn't good, they're beat up and dull, and orange-looking! It screams 1988. We are considering painting our trim or replacing where needed when we do our kitchen remodel. I wouldn't have any qualms about covering up this type of stained wood trim. It's not in good shape and doesn't look good!
I'd say if you're in a position like I am, where your trim is outdated looking, I'd paint!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you want to paint the trim, I would tell you to go for it. I have painted the trim in two houses now, with NO regrets. It does take work, but the results of white trim are worth it. My personal opinion is that it makes any paint color look better, and therefore the house look better.
Plan on 4 coats of paint - two of a good primer, and two of the trim color in a semi-gloss. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've also painted old stained trim with no regrets. I did not strip it all (tried at first, but it was very aged and too difficult even with chemical strippers and heat guns!)- I simply sanded and used high quality Ben Moore primer and paint with excellent results.

I personally much prefer white-painted trim to stained, UNLESS the house is of unusually high build quality. I come from a family of architects so am probably a bit overly-sensitive to proportion and design, so YMMV... but I feel like stained trim really calls attention to each element: doors, windows, baseboards, crown moldings are all brought into high contrast with stain and their placement and proportions become important design elements in a room. If they were well and thoughfully designed originally, that can be a beautiful thing. If not -I'd paint them. Our last house was a 1926 Foursquare. it was definitely much better built than most homes today, however, it was probably a Sears kit house originally, basically a builder-home from that era. i.e. not architect-designed like the previous Victorian I'd lived in. It had stained fir trim (with nice details) throughout, and DH and our friends thought I was crazy to paint it. Guess what? The house looked SOOO much better after I did. It actually became a much classier-looking house. The dark wood around doors and windows -which had been placed pragmatically rather than for aesthetics- made the house seem a bit akward. The white paint allowed the really GREAT elements in the house, like it's gorgeous birch floors, ample sunlight and great "flow", to really shine.

Just my 2 cents!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Before, stained fir trim:

After painting Ben Moore White Dove. We did leave the inside of the orignal front door natural, as well as the hall side of the upstairs interior doors. All else got painted:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are slowly painting our trim white and adding crown molding in our 1920s colonial and are loving it. We will skip putting crown in the bedrooms because the ceilings are lower in those rooms. I still need to get more recent pictures of the kitchen renovation but here goes. Most people (who knew the house before painting) walk in and love it but I have one friend who likes the historicness of things who is horrified. We love it and that is what matters.

Old kitchen / dining room without trim painted:

Newly painted kitchen / dining with trim painted:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Staceyneil, you made my day. Our 1927 tudor revival has all gumwood trim. Unpainted throughout. The kitchen has some lovely gumwood but the lower cabinets are just beat up and awful. The window matches in color but it is stained - pine. I really want white perimeters with some cherry tall pieces and island and painted window trim. The male members of my household are card carrying members of the wood police and just do not get it. I'm convinced I can do the kitchen I want without "ruining" the house. My new white bathroom is a joy and I want the kitchen to be a joy too but the house -- what does it want?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My DH was also pretty adament about the wood remaining natural... in fact it was one of the things he loved about the house at first. But I had 'architect's daughter' in my hand which trumped any of his arguments. He let me do it (though did not help if I recall) and afterwards admitted that it looked ever so much better. I certainly wouldn't paint trim in, say, a Frank Lloyd Wright house, but if it's simply unpainted wood in an average home from a period when trim was stained, not painted.... I'd go for it. (In 50 years will it be bad when people remove or paint over 70's stained knotty pine or even faux wood paneling, or will everyone tell them to leave it because its historically accurate?) If the wood is enhancing the house, as in an exquisite craftsman home, leave it. If not.... and you prefer it painted... I say paint it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My home was built in the 80's and had very dated thin beat up baseboards and flat paneled doors. So no worries about preserving character there. We replaced them with our kitchen remodel. My wood loving husband wanted all stained so we compromised. It really lighted things up. I agree that stained wood does not date a house but thin beat up trim does. My windows are still stained. I think it is just a matter of preference. Hope these help.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cat_mom should chime in. I think her trim is white and doors stained.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Doors and door jambs are stained, base molding is white.....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 9:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
General Contractor bid excessive?
I'm doing a forced remodel due to a flood and handling...
A different way to deal with the blind corner issue
I think this would require a very specific place to...
New Layout Help Please
Here's a first go of a new layout. We eat many meals...
Kitchen Plan... getting closer!
I wasn't pleased with the idea of having to separate...
Cabinet vision software - Barker Cabinets
Has anyone been able to do their layout through Cabinet...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™