Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Paint Your Trim Like a Jerk

I love the country-cottage, almost coastal look. White kitchen cabinets, pops of color, curvy furniture, and farm antiques make me a little giddy. Something about it makes me feel relaxed.

Unfortunately, my home is a rather beige, earth-toned little dwelling. The previous owners left every paint can they ever purchased, neatly labeled with its location in the house. My kitchen, for example, is painted with Mississippi Mud. It's pretty dark in there, with deep wood cabinets, black countertops, and then of course the brown-green mud. I love my home, don't get me wrong, but I'm ready to bring some light in. Maybe make a mud pie. Ok bad joke.

The first room we started with was our bedroom. It went from an off-white to a light gray-lavender. The color was actually Aaron's idea, which shocked the heck outta me. He was dead-on, though...it really works with our furniture and I love the way it changes to a smooth, almost milky-blue when the light fades.

That brings me to my first tip on how to paint your trim like a jerk:

Jerk Tip 1. Paint the walls first. This way, when you go to paint your trim, you'll have double the prep work.

Once we had the lavender up we unanimously decided we should paint the trim white. Everyone always says you should never paint your wood. I disagree - the wood in my home, while beautiful and appreciated, dulls the light I crave from our big, beautiful windows. I went for it.

Well, and by "I went for it," I mean, "Aaron went for it." He removed the door first, painted it, and started on the trim in a matter of days. I was super impressed...and anyone who's tried painting with a one year old toddling around understands why!

Then I got the text.

"FML. Paint isn't sticking. I give up."

Jerk Tip 2. Just go for it and don't do any research. Makes it exciting to learn as you go.

We found out the hard way primer is a must if you aren't sanding your trim. If you don't prime, and instead just apply latex paint, you'll end up with doorframes like this:

And baseboards like this:

Jerk Tip 3. Make sure your home's baseboards are completely jacked up and almost warped in places. It will allow the paint to bubble right in the crack. Perfect jerkness!

Jerk Tip 4. Paint right over that bubbliness with some primer, then add two coats of your paint. And no, don't tape off the wall first. Just go for it. Fix it later.  

We used a pretty good primer called Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. It came recommended in an awesome blog post I read from LiveLoveDIY. She recommends sanding your trim first, if you can....but I wanted to do this like a jerk, so I of course didn't even consider sanding.

Jerk Tip 5. Don't sand your trim. It takes way too long and primer works great. For now.

Now when we got to the windows I must admit I was a little conflicted. Painting the inside part (what is that, the sash?) would mean getting paint on the glass (let's just be real and acknowledge this is ME we're dealing with here) and probably cause some sort of issue with the way the window seals and then a blizzard would come in and we'd all be frozen in our beds or a swarm of mosquitoes would come suck the life out of me while I sat in my room with white trim.

So we left the inside part of the window alone.  

Jerk Tip 6. Ignore what you learned about conducting research and just paint the windows like they're normal pieces of trim. Wood is wood, am I right?? Ehh? EHHHH??? Ups your jerk appeal to have those teeny little bubbles right in the frame. They're staying.

I tried to avoid being a jerk by taping off the inside of the frame, the part that comes into contact with the bottom of the window while in the "closed" position and creates that magical seal.

Jerk Tip 7. Get frustrated when the project takes longer than you expected and just rip that tape off. Just rip it right off at an awkward angle. You get this real jerky feathering around the "closing zone." Looks good. 

In all seriousness, this project was way more time consuming than I thought it would be...and I'm not even done yet. I need to go back and touch up all the lavender paint I covered with trim primer. I think I might keep adding paint on the windows so I can cover those bubbles. Oh and I need to keep scraping away at the door with a screwdriver because some jerk painted over the hinge areas and now the door won't close.

But when all is said and done, I love it. I mean I really, really do. I may have completed the job like a jerk, and been a jerk while doing it, but I would do it again. That's the plan, actually...to do the kids' room, the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. It's just so bright and beautiful!

Not bad for a jerk, huh? Happy Tuesday everyone :)


  1. I prefer the jerk approach also. Planning ahead and preparedness takes to long. Your room looks great!! Love the color.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing. I get relavant information from your post.