Should I Paint Walls Or Trim First?

Wondering Should I Paint First Walls Or Trim



One common questions in the painting industry is figuring out which to paint first, walls or trim. This article will help you determining which order you should paint first, then second, allowing a professional paint finish.

As a homeowner, or an new painter, starting a business, this is an important question to ask yourself before commencing an interior painting job. If not done in the correct sequence, you can find yourself working twice as much.

Also having same outcome, as to your interior is actually painted. If painting sequence is done right to begin with, it will also add to the ease, with much higher professional appearance.

Basis Of All Answers Painting Walls Or Trim First



How do you intend painting your interior?

Will it be a spray or brush & roll method?

These two questions is the basis of all answers to painting walls or trim first. Makes no difference if you are a homeowner, or you are a painting business painting for your client.

First figuring out which method you intend using, painting both walls & trim, by spraying or brush and rolling.

Painting New Construction

For production, or brand new homes being built, we have always started from the top, working down, using an airless spray rig, spraying out walls, overlapping, painting baseboards, which acts as the initial primer coat, using PVA primer.

PVA primer seals new drywall textures, allowing to visualize wall textures before applying finish coats. Also allows you to sand trim before painting it, for a nice smooth finish.

Spraying out walls first, allows you to mask with ease using brown masking paper on a horizontal surface just above baseboard trim, a dime's thickness near the top, when you are ready to paint, spraying out ceilings.

Repainting, Not Sprayed

For homes currently being occupied, and not being sprayed, painting walls and trim is typically opposite of production. Normally painting trim first, then walls. Reason for this change in painting order, or sequence has a lot to do with caulking.

We first caulk all baseboards to walls, before any painting is started. Once caulk has dried, we paint baseboards, with all trim & door casings included.

After trim paint has dried properly, we use blue tape & brown masking paper, masking off all trim, running a fine bead of caulk, wiping with a wet damp cloth. Caulking tape edge will prevent any wall paint migrating under tape onto new baseboard paint.

Tape edge also acts as a fine crisp straight line once removed, but should be removed while wall paint is still fresh, not drying overnight.

If you do remove tape after this has dried, say next day, you'll need to use a razor knife, cutting tape so fresh paint does not rip, causing you even more work. Professional painters know how to carefully pull dried tape, but have a razor knife very handy.

Also, if occupied home, not being sprayed, your trim has a coat of paint on it that is nice and smooth, you will not need a primer coat, followed by hand sanding.

However, any new wood requires a primer coat first, allowing to dry, with a sanding procedure after it has time to dry, and before final coats applied.

Recapping Which To Paint First Walls or Trim


  • How is interior painted?
  • Spray method
  • Rolled & Brushed
  • Production starts at top working down, Trim last
  • Occupied homes being brushed & rolled, Trim first
  • All new trim needs primer, followed by sanding primer
  • Caulking all trim to wall surface
  • Mask all trim taping on caulk joints allows a nice crisp straight line

Great to note; Most trim, wood moldings are painted with a semi-gloss, or high gloss Acrylic enamel, making easier to clean over a longer period.

For some of best paints found for trim, is non other than Sherwin-Williams Paints™. There at Sherwin-Williams™, most knowledgeable staff can help you determine what best interior trim paint is suited for your expectations, performance, also particular needs.

You may be closer to Benjamin-Moore™, as all Ace Hardware™ stores has a complete line of Ben Moore paints. If they do not, they can order it in for you.

Also, BEHR™, interior paints distributed at all Home Depot™ locations. You are best served with any of these paints mentioned.

There are many more tips knowing how to paint baseboards like a Pro, before undertaking this monumental painting task.

Learning some inside tips from an authority knowing what to paint first, walls or trim. Having over 40 years painting experience will help you with right order painting an interior room.

Welcome painters, painting contractors, also homeowners with your comments below! Happy Painting!


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[…] Should I Paint Walls Or Trim First? – Eco Paint, Inc. […] opposite of production. Normally painting trim first, then walls. Reason for this change in painting order, or sequence has a lot to do with […] Log in to Reply June 11, 2019 […]