Note: Read through entire tutorial prior to starting. Tutorial is for painting over stained and varnished existing trim. If you want to paint over already painted trim be sure that your existing trim is painted with a latex (water-based) paint and not an oil-base paint otherwise your new paint will not adhere properly according to these instructions.
- Premium quality primer. I recommend Kilz Premium Primer
- Good quality semi-gloss latex acrylic paint
- Medium grit sandpaper
- Cleaning rags
- Water bucket
- White paintable, interior caulk
- Painter's tape
- 1" paint brush
- Foam roller with handle
- Paint tray for roller
- Small artist brush
- Small pocket knife or box opener
STEP 1: SAND
Using medium grit sandpaper, sand down all the wood trim and window and door parts that you want to paint. The idea is to scuff up the surface to give the primer something to grab onto. It isn't necessary to remove all the stain, but try to at least break through the varnish.
Vacuum up all the dust created from sanding.
Gently wipe clean the surface with a wet rag until you no longer see dust on the rag. Be sure not to over saturate the wood. Allow the surface to thoroughly dry.
Look for areas with gaps between trim pieces or between the trim and the wall. Using a white, paintable interior caulk, run a bead along the gap. Run your finger along the caulk to push it into the gaps. This is a messy step. Wash off finger(s). Then, using a clean, wet rag, wipe along the caulk to smooth the surface and to remove excess caulk. Allow caulk to properly dry.
STEP 5: TAPE
Using painter's tape, mask off any areas surrounding the trim that you don't want to get paint on. This includes walls, flooring or non-removable hardware.
Once all your surfaces are clean and dry, apply one or two coats of primer to the wood. I have medium-colored stain in my home and apply two coats of primer for the best coverage. However, if you are painting over a light wood, you can probably get away with one coat.
When primer is dry, apply two coats of semi-gloss, latex paint. Let the first coat dry before applying the second coat.
When paint is completely dry, you can remove the tape. To prevent any paint from being pulled off, score the tape where it meets the trim. Slowly remove the tape and discard.
Enjoy your freshly painted trim.