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Which comes first, walls or trim

Posted by carla17 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 17, 06 at 10:37

I am going to paint my BR. Which should I do first?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

First paint the walls, then cut in your trim.

RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

I guess everyone is different. I learned the hard way that painting the trim first is easier. Cutting in the wall to the trim is way easier for me, and if I get any paint on the trim by mistake, it's super easy to wipe off immediately.

My experience, as a total non pro.


RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

I'm with Ivette on this, I do trim first, then ceiling, then walls. On the few occasions when I'm starting from unpainted wood and walls, I kind of alternate the jobs: first prime trim, then prime walls, then first top coat of trim, then first top on walls, etc. It speeds things up to do it that way instead of doing one component through to finish.


RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

" I do trim first, then ceiling, then walls. "

Roller spray will get on the trim.
The old method was ceiling, walls, trim to avoid this.
I typically do ceiling first, cut i to walls, roll the walls, cut in the walls to the ceiling, then trim, then cut in the walls to the trim.
If you apply enough paint and keep the cut in to the unrolled portions there should not be any 'picture framing'.
I had an old guy tell me when I first started painting that my coats were not thick enough. "We only get paid for the paint we leave on the surface" was his line.
There is a balance between not enough and too much.

RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

Paint the ceiling first.
Paint the doors, door trim, window trim and chair rail if any.
Paint the walls.
Paint the baseboard last.

Use a high quality lambs wool roller cover, roll slowly and you have little if any spatters on nearby trim.

I even paint the baseboard before walls. If you paint it immediately after the ceiling, that will be enough drytime to run a strip of wide, 2" delicate surface tape perpindicular to the baseboard top edge before rolling. It doesn't need fully adhered with pressure. Just touch it to the edge every inch or so to form a shelf.

After rolling, remove it.


RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

Thank you all for your help.


RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

It occurs to me that part of the different order of painting may be due to the difference between a job that is painted by a professional who works all day and a room that is being painted by a homeowner who because of time constraints needs to break the work into evening or wekend chunks.

Michael's excellent routine to start with the ceiling, then go on to trim, etc. makes a lot of sense because the ceiling can be drying while you do the trim. I often do the trim in shorter episodes because it lends itself to those days when I only have small blocks of time. Then the ceiling gets done in a larger bloc, followed by a big push for the walls.

I also like the lightly tacked on blue tape idea ...for many years I've been using long strips of old sheeting with stiffener pockets to protect baseboards.


RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

Does it make sense in DIY situations where you will do it for DAYS! to do the ceiling, then the walls and finally the trim and molding if any? I do not have a steady hand and always smudge quite a bit (cannot afford a painter because we have tons of molding and divided light windows). Therefore I tend to need to tape even for regular cutting in, seems to work for me. So if its takes me Two weeks to paint a room, cant I tape the ceiling and walls near the molding and Trim? By then it should be dry enough and I have already cut in with the wall paint

RE: Which comes first, walls or trim

I've had better luck with the border between the wall and the trim if paint the trim first and then come back a day or two later, tape the trim and then paint the wall. Maybe I'm to picky or nuts or something, but if I tape the wall instead of the trim, my trim paint ends up curving out towards the wall. This looks sloppy to me. I find that having the wall paint curve up to the trim far more appealing. This is especially true when you are painting some door or window trim that has been either cut short or covered by dry wall (because there wasn't enough space for the full piece of trim in a corner). In case it isn't obvious, I'm not a pro. If I was, I would probably be preaching something like "... You don't need no stinking tape ...".

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