Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Arrival of the Little Trim Painting Elf

Now that we have our new wood floors ordered for the den and master bedroom, I decided it was finally time to start tackling the trim.  The entire first level of the house has wood trim on all windows and baseboards as well as natural wood doors.  When we first moved into the house, the wood trim looked really dated.

Surprisingly, when we painted the rooms, the trim looked a lot fresher as we found we could live with it for a while.

 Unfortunately, our tolerance has come to an end.  I think I could have lived with the wood trim if it had all been the same but with additions put on the house throughout the years, the trim from room to room was different.  The kitchen windows and exterior door were painted with a faux-finish to look like wood (and therefore chipping); the den and master bedroom has faux wood trim and doors that is a plastic material and lighter than the rest of the house; upstairs has all white trim.  Since we are putting in new floors in the den and master bedroom, I finally decided to tackle this huge project.  A few numbers:

10 Doors

12 Windows

7 Rooms of Baseboards (plus 1 stairway)
So, a daunting task (which is really why it has been put off).  But, happy little painting elf that I am, I dove into the den and master bedroom with the plan to finish the two rooms before the new flooring arrived.  Optimistic little painter that I am, I planned on one coat of 1, 2, 3 Zinsser Primer and one coat of True White EasyCare Interior from True Value paint in semi-gloss finish.  A week later, and FOUR coats later (2 of primer and 2 of paint) and this disgruntled little painting elf is slightly regretting the decision to paint the trim.  I have learned several things though (other than how to properly apply hair product thanks to a "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy" marathon I'm watching):

  1. I NEVER use painters tape, just brush slowly but this is the kind of project that is much easier with tape.  Take the time to tape around the trim slowly and it will save a lot of time down the road.  Even though there is tape though, don't slop it on the tape too much or it will peel when you remove the tape.
  2. Wash the trim and windows really well before before starting or you will be brushing around dust.
  3. An angled brush with a short handle is great for getting in tight places and doesn't cramp up your hands!  
  4. Next time I wouldn't use the EasyCare paint.  It was very thin and I think was the primary reason I had to use 4 coats.  I probably would have gotten away with 2 coats of primer and 1 of paint if I had a thicker semi-gloss paint.  Even though clean-up is a HUGE pain and it is generally more expensive, I would use oil-based paint next time (though I am hoping I don't have to paint trim again after this project for a LONG time).  It will save time in the long run and by applying fewer coats, the price will probably come out pretty even in the end.

So, some good lessons but very slow going, nonetheless.  After a week of painting, I have 3 windows totally finished and 5 doorways with only 1 more coat to do.   The difference is amazing and I think will really update the house tremendously... if I ever get finished that is.
Sparkling new white trim in den

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