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Does stained trim have to look dated?

Posted by dizzy8 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 23, 07 at 16:55

Our house was built in the 80's. We will be putting it on the marked in a few months and looking to do what modernizing we need to right now. I plan to paint all the walls. The trim is a dark stain throughout the whole house. It does look dated. Must I paint then trim, or can I get a more updated look with the stain?

I went to two open houses this weekend. One house with dark trim had dark beige walls in a small room and it looked old and gloomy. Another house was new construction with the dark trim and looked wonderful. Maybe it had a shine to it since it was new? Better lighting?

I love stained trim and would hate to do something irreversible in case potential buyers love stain like me. But it does need an update. Any ideas? Pictures you can lead me to for showing a new look with stained trim????


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Do you have any pictures to post?

It could be the wall color. It may also be the quality of the trim. I love stained wood particularly mahogany & cherry, so dark is A-Ok with me. I don't care for rustic, knotty pine, blonde, etc. It is going to be a matter of individual taste. In my last house I stripped about 30 coats of paint off the trim to return it to natural wood.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Depends on the location of the home. What state?


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

I love stained trim, have it all through my home. What I do find is that if I "orange glo" the trim periodically it enhances it and brings out the glow of the wood. If you decide not to paint it, at least orange glo it or polish it.

We once looked at a home with all wood trim. Decided not to put in an offer. Continued to look, couldn't find anything else we liked, so we went back to make an offer on the home with all wood trim. They had painted all the trim in the interim because they felt the wood trim made the house look dated. So we decided not to put in an offer on the house because the trim had been painted.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Thin very contoured stained trim I think is dated.

Not dated is wide, simple lines, IMO.

Here is mine:


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

We live in the midwest (Indiana), small town. Most everything I see is painted white trim if it is renovated or new. Some non-renovated have the trim we have.

I agree that the thinner trim (which ours is, though it is not heavily contoured) probably looks more dated. I do like it much better after using Orange Glow on it!!

Sure wish it was easier to post pictures on this forum! Yes I have pictures. Xamsx: what paint colors do you think make homes look dated vs modern since I do plan on painting???


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Depends on the trim. Is it that cheap clam molding that was put into so many houses in the 80's? If thats the case, paint it white to give it an updated fresh look. The "in" colors right now are earth tones. Taupes, sage greens, warm goldish browns all with white trim.(of course painted trim is not in with a vintage home) I agree pictures are tough to post on this forum. I have pictures showing an 80's house with brown trim, then remodeled with the white trim.(trim was changed to a wider, fluted trim, but you can get the feel for the change) I'd be happy to email you the pictures if you would like.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

The kitchen forum people have create a faq outside the gardenweb site and they have info on how to post pictures. I've included a link to it below.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to add pictures for Gardenweb posts


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

dizzy8: Xamsx: what paint colors do you think make homes look dated vs modern since I do plan on painting???

Dizzy8 I would never suggest painting wood trim. If, after you post your pictures (see lyfia's post above for how) people cannot give good suggestions for bringing the room up to date without painting the trim, you will probably find the suggestion to paint trim is white of some variation.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Thank you for the instructions. I will try to post a picture. . . .


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

It probably is kinda dated but I like it. Does it bug you that the doorknobs don't match? My cat can both pull and push open doors that have the non-round doorknob in your photo. We had those in our FL house. Then we moved and our new house has the regular round ones. He still tries but the secret of the round knob has thus far eluded him.

Anyway, I would try to work with it but also draw attention to something else. A good sized piece of art or maybe a different color on the walls? The house we sold about two years ago had all stained trim and I think it worked because the feel of the house was a little lodge-like. No paneled walls or anything but we had a big brick fireplace and brick built-ins and then a cedar back porch, so the overall effect sort of worked. I think white trim is still in but maybe not for so much longer. Some people really like wood trim. I kinda like it (even though they painted all the trim in the house we bought).


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

I like it too. A warmer color on the walls would go a lot further than painting the trim. I agree with word doc that matching doorknobs would be a better investment. Remember to deep clean your carpet before you put up your house for sale. In the past, people have found the plastic traffic runners a good way to save the carpet from dirt after cleaning/replacement. It might not look wonderful, but prospective buyers understand the purpose and may appreciate the steps you took to protect "their" new home from dirt.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

How much light is there in the house? If your thinking of painting that is.
Also - what style of house is it? Painted trim seems more appropriate in some styles than others. Personally I like stained but also like the painted look as well. For me the decision I think would be based on house style and light. Light because some colors, like Sherwin Williams Macademia look great with that color stain. But it might be too dark.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Thank you SO much for your opinions!!!

I purposely changed out the knobs to but levers where the kids are allowed to go and knobs where I want to slow them down. I never would have thought to change them back, so thanks for noticing!

I LOVE SW Macademia and it is what I chose for the new house we are building!! Ok, actually I am probably going to go one shade up and one shade down to get the right accents. But that is also what I pictured for painting this house. I definately want to warm it up like you suggest!!

Love the idea of traffic runners!!!! We will deep clean the carpet (we do it once a year and spot clean other times so I think all the dirt/stains will come out). But I do agree that it would give buyers a feeling that I am protecting "their" investment.

The house is a contempory. It is cedar sided with a big trapazoid showing from the road which is a vaulted living room. One spare bedroom plus the master bedroom have vaulted ceilings. There are NO light fixtures in any bedrooms so we will have to leave lamps (and some furniture for staging) when we leave. There are good windows in most rooms, so I think it gets decent lighting in most rooms.

Wow! Why aren't you guys doing those TV home selling shows? All that from a crummy picture of my hallway. I think I should post a pictures of every other nook and cranny to see what you say, LOL!


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Ok, I take back my "paint it white comment". The trim is in good condition and its not the plain clam molding. Your doors are also stained so I would leave the trim alone! It doesnt look bad. I would like to see pictures of the rest of the house. I will try to post pictures of my 80's "clam" molding that was changed. (Of course, mine didnt look as good as yours)


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Ok, here is my first attempt at posting pics. I hope it doesnt swallow up your screen.

The first is the before pictures of 80's clam molding

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the remodel of a wider, fluted molding done in white. (We change the windows to white too)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Linda117 that looks marvelous. Changing the windows made a huge difference.

Dizzy8, post as many pics as you like. You will receive all sorts of ideas and opinions on your house. Some ideas are cheap, some quick, some really will pay off. After assimilating all the information, you'll have to break down the advice and decide on what is the best bang for your time, energy and wallet.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

I will be posting a question in the home decorating forum concerning which shade in the Macademia color swatch to paint my great room. Please come give your opinion!!


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don't decorate

Dizzy8, be careful with "decorating". The very last thing you want to do, is decorate right now. You are looking to un-decorate. Staging and prepping a home for sale is NOT decorating. It is the exact opposite. You decorate for your taste, family, lifestyle and budget. When you sell, you want to take your taste, your lifestyle and your family out of the house. That is why it is called neutralizing, staging.... it isn't the way YOU live, it is a way that appeals to (or at least doesn't detract from) a majority of prospective buyers.

If we had signature lines in this forum mine would be Staging is not decorating.


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RE: Does stained trim have to look dated?

Great point! Let me clarify: Please help me decide what to update in my one house prior to selling AND please help me select my colors for DECORATING my new house! I will try to remember to post things about selling the house in this forum and decorating the other house in the decorating forum. : )


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