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Painting Exterior Trim

Materials List
Exterior house paint
Rags and/or
paper towels
Masking tape
Tools List (click item to shop)
Stir sticks
1/2 inch or 1 inch paintbrushes
2inch angle trim brushes
Extension ladder
S hook for hanging paint can from a ladder (You can make this from a wire coat hanger or other stiff wire)
Work gloves
Old work clothes
Painter’s hat
Interior Paint Calculator
Painting Interior Rooms
Exterior Painting
Exterior Paint Preparation
Easy2DIY (continued)
Prepping for Interior Painting
Exterior Caulking

The Flood Co.

IMPORTANT: Read this before you start

Painting windows, trim and doors gives you a chance to be creative and express your personality. You can create a sophisticated color scheme by using colors that complement your siding. Or go for a subtle look with lighter or darker shades of the same color, what designers call a monochromatic color scheme.

Whatever colors you use, you’ll want to paint trim and accents in a higher sheen than the siding to help them stand out. Generally, you should use eggshell or satin paint for siding, and semi-gloss or gloss for windows, trim and doors. With that in mind, and by following the steps in this tutorial, you’ll beautify your house and increase its value at the same time.

Skill Level & Time To Complete
Varies depending on the size of the house, the number of people painting and how many coats you apply. For one coat on a typical ranch house, consider the following estimates as a starting point. Second coats generally take less time to apply.
• Beginner - 8 to 10 hours
• Intermediate - 7 to 8 hours
• Advanced - 6 to 7 hours

Oil-based paints contain higher levels of solvents, or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Check with your paint store or local government to see whether there are restrictions on using oil-based paints in your area. Avoid breathing oil-based paint fumes.

Many of the steps that follow may require a ladder. Use care, and be aware of where you are at all times. Follow all precautions on the ladder’s warning stickers.

Common Mistakes
Always match latex primer with latex topcoat, and oil-based primer with oil-based topcoat. It is possible to apply fresh latex topcoat over old oil-based topcoat if you sand the surface first, or use a dulling chemical.

Helpful Tips
Mask off areas that are not going to be painted, such as siding next to trim, or porch surfaces under railings. For windows, mask off the glass in each pane when painting the muntins (dividers).

Always apply a coat of primer to areas of bare wood; this includes new construction, repaired areas, or areas where you’ve removed the paint. Using primer helps the topcoat stick better and last much longer.

Never paint when it’s raining. Let the house dry for 2-3 days if it has rained recently.

Don’t paint in the direct sun; paint west and south sides in the morning, and east and north sides in the afternoon. This will be more comfortable, and prevent the paint from drying too quickly.

Nylon and polyester bristle brushes work better with latex paints. Natural bristles work better with oil-based. Flick loose bristles out of a new brush before you begin painting with it.

Always wait the number of hours recommended by the paint manufacturer before applying a second coat of paint. As a general rule-of-thumb, eight hours (or overnight) gives the first coat time to dry. Two layers of topcoat are usually preferred over one for optimum protection.

1. You’ll save time and work if you paint your house in the following order: 1) gables, 2) main siding, 3) windows, 4) trim, 5) doors. Always paint from the top down. Review the tutorials on Painting Wood Siding or Painting Aluminum and Vinyl Siding for help with those projects.
2. Make sure the paint is well stirred. Re-stir the paint periodically to keep it mixed.
3. Dip your brush in the paint 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the bristles. Wipe the underside gently on the rim of the paint can to minimize drips. Hold the brush bristle-end up as you move it toward the trim. Generally, more delicate strokes with less paint on the brush will work better when painting trim.
After masking off the glass panes, use a small trim brush to paint the muntins (dividers). Start at the top and work down, painting both the vertical and horizontal dividers.
5. Then paint the window surround areas. Again, work from the top down. Wipe up any drips before they have a chance to dry.
6. Finally, paint the face trim around the window using an angled trim brush. The angle lets you control where paint goes and change brush direction more easily than with a straight edge.
House trim may appear at corners, along the roof line on gables, around windows and doors, or where the siding meets the foundation On older Victorian-style houses, trim may also be used to separate areas of siding.
8. Paint trim from the top down. Use the largest size brush that fits the trim you’re painting. Delicate “wedding cake” details require a smaller brush than flat face trim.
9. On porch railings, paint all the spindles first, and then paint the horizontal rail pieces. Take care that paint doesn’t “glob” or drip as you work in all the crevices and joints.
If your door has raised, inset panels, paint these first. Then paint the door surface around such panels.
11. Clean your brushes thoroughly at the end of each workday. Use soap and water for latex paint; oil-based paint requires turpentine or paint thinner for clean up. Dispose of used turpentine or paint thinner properly.



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