How to Paint Door Frames, Window Frames and Baseboards - Cal-Res Coatings - Residential Painters - Featured Image

Are the accents on your home showing wear? Do you have dingy door frames, yellowing window sills and/or washed-out baseboards? Time can fade once bright areas making them dark and unappealing. Fortunately, painting trim is a quick and easy way to freshen up your home. The following are some tips for painting door frames, window frames and baseboards.


Prepare properly: Preparing a surface for paint is crucial to making a paint job last.  

  • Scrape liberally to remove all flakes of loose paint or wood. 
  • Sand rough surfaces. Use 60-80 grit silicon-carbide sandpaper for exterior trim and 80-120 for interior trim. Finish with 220 grit sandpaper. 
  • Vacuum surfaces to remove excess dust and debris. 
  • Wipe the surface with a wet rag and cleaner to remove stains and oils. On interior wood, MDF and/or vinyl trim, use a household degreasing cleaner. On exterior wood, choose a cleaner that contains a mildewcide to protect the wood against potential mould and mildew growth. On metal trim, work with a rust-removing cleanser.
  • Remove hardened caulking that has become brittle and pulled away from the trim.
  • Apply caulking to seal the gaps between trim and siding, the spaces between baseboards and the wall and the joints in a frame. Control the flow of caulking by adjusting the trigger pressure and the speed at which you pull the tip along. Smooth the fresh caulk with a wet finger.
  • Fill holes: Use a lightweight spackling compound and a putty knife to fill small holes or cracks. Let dry.
  • Spot prime spackled areas. Let dry then lightly sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Wipe away dust. 
  • Tape the edges of the trim, floor, carpet and window glass with painter’s tape to avoid “paint over.”  


Apply the paint:  Use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint to maximize the accent colour and provide a lustrous shine. Apply painter’s tape or use a paint shield to avoid getting paint on walls, carpets and floors.

  • Apply a coat of paint using a small angled paintbrush. Dip no more than an inch of the brush into the paint and wipe away excess. Use short strokes to cover a few feet of trim. Then, smooth the section of freshly painted trim with one long stroke.
  • Let paint dry thoroughly. You’ll find the recommended drying times on the paint can.
  • Sand the first coat of paint lightly with 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Wipe away dust with a tack cloth or vacuum.
  • Apply the final finish coat.


Clean up

  • Close cans tightly to keep air from getting in causing the paint to skim over and dry out.
  • Clearly label cans with the date, colour and area painted.
  • Wash brushes: If you used latex paint, wash the brushes with soap and water. If you used an alkyd-based product, use paint thinner to clean brushes.
  • Carefully remove painter’s tape, pulling it away from the wall at a 45-degree angle while the paint is still wet.


Painting trim enhances the colour of your home, freshens the look and adds visual interest. Properly prepare the surfaces, carefully apply the correct paint and thoroughly clean when painting is completed. Sound like too much work? Your local paint contractor will happily take this chore off your hands! They will complete it quickly and expertly. 


Want to freshen the interior and/or exterior of your home by painting door frames, window frames and/or baseboards? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 835-4817. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour, and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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