Exterior House Painting Tips: Trim Painting
With every type of project, there are certain small details that seem to take longer to finish than the main bulk of the work. When you are performing exterior house painting, it is the trim that can often feel that way. Why is that?
First, the trim is generally hard to reach. Additionally, it is usually narrow, so you need a brush rather than a roller. Finally, it almost always has edges that touch other surfaces, so you have to be careful not to spread the paint beyond where you want it.
Still, painting your trim isn't rocket science, and we have a few tips that may help you do the job in a safer, smoother manner.
Painting Exterior Trim: Order of Events
Any exterior house painting project needs to begin with a clean surface. If the trim has any mildew or grime on it, it should be washed. A long-handled scrub brush is a good option for this, though a sponge also works if you can safely reach that high. A pressure washer is also effective, but it takes more experience and skill to use it safely.
Next, all of the trim surfaces must be sound. Any deteriorated wood must be patched or replaced, and gaps or spaces should be filled with caulk. All failing paint (peeling, bubbling, cracking) has to be scraped away. If there is any bare wood, it needs a coat of primer.
You are almost ready to paint! First, use painter's tape to create clean edges, and use painter's plastic or drop cloths to protect the surrounding area, especially immediately under the surfaces you will paint.
Now, use a medium-width, angled brush to apply at least one (but preferably two) coats of paint. On horizontal surfaces, start from one end and work systematically towards the other. If you are working on vertical or diagonal trim, start at the top and work downwards. This helps you avoid drips and runs.
What Type of Exterior House Paint to Use for Trim
At Williams Professional Painting, we always recommend that Virginia homeowners use high-quality exterior paints. This is because the modest price increase for premium paints is small in proportion to the improved performance it offers. For most homes in the Washington, D.C. area, we suggest using an exterior latex/acrylic paint.
The choice of sheen for painting exterior trim is generally easy: semi-gloss. This gently reflective sheen is highly durable, resisting the wear of the elements. It also is an attractive way to draw attention to the architectural details of your home.
Caution! Painting Trim Involves Fall Risk
While it may seem obvious, we do need to point out that painting trim almost always involves working up high. Don't try to cobble together a crazy assortment of chairs, stools, and sawhorses to reach up high. Use an appropriate ladder, make sure it is firmly situated, and don't climb higher on it than the instructions allow. Always move your ladder as necessary, rather than reaching out to the side.
Williams Professional Painting
When your exterior house trim needs painting, the fastest and safest way to get beautiful results is to talk to a local house painting company. For residents of Alexandria, Virginia, and the surrounding area, Williams Professional Painting is a name you can trust.
After more than 40 years of serving the Washington, D.C. area, we are now in our second generation of providing superior painting and exceptional customer service! Contact our office or use our online estimate request tool to get started with your exterior house painting.