Can You Spray Paint Trim- Renovate Your Home In 9 Easy Steps

pexels wangchen tsomu 8436382 Can You Spray Paint Trim- Renovate Your Home In 9 Easy Steps

Your home is your haven, but everything can lose its appeal over time. Fortunately, you can spruce up the look of your house by repainting the trims. Whether you choose a bright color or paint it a classic white, freshly painted trims can elevate your home’s interior without costing you an arm and a leg.

You can easily spray-paint trims to make them as good as new! Start by prepping the room with tape and paper. Next, clean the border and fill up any nail holes. Sand the surface so the primer can adhere correctly. Caulk the gaps between the baseboard/ walls and trims. Apply primer, followed by two coats of paint.

Spraying your trim always gives a better finish compared to brush application. However, spray paint means more mess and, therefore, more clean-up. I will tell you how to prepare your trims so there’s minimum clean-up for later. With my tips, you will achieve professional-looking results without spending on a pro-paint job.

Is it better to spray or brush paint trim?

Many homeowners wonder whether it’s better to brush paint or spray their trims. In theory, spray paint will always result in a smoother and even finish. If you are new to painting, brush application will leave ugly brushstrokes that are impossible to cover.

Spray painting is the best option in new construction where trims aren’t attached to the baseboards. But in an existing home, spray painting your trim will cause you a ton of extra work you might not be willing to do.

So, it all comes down to how much time and effort you’re willing to dedicate to the project. Another deciding factor would be the finish you’re after.

If you want to maintain the quality of the paint job regardless of the extra work it would require, spray paint your trims by all means. But if you’re on a tight schedule and don’t mind the look of brush strokes, you can brush paint all your trims.

How to spray paint trims

I have outlined the process in a step-by-step guide to help you spray paint your trims quickly. If you want to brush paint instead of spray, the following steps will remain the same. The only difference is that you will use paint and brush to do the priming and painting.

Let’s begin.

1. Prepare the floor

Spray painting can get messy very quickly, but if you prepare the surrounding areas properly, you should have a much easier time cleaning up. You will tape and paper –lots of it.

Prepping the floor

Place the paper on the floor and tape it so that one end is on the paper while the other is tucked under the trim. Take your time placing the tape in a straight line, so the result looks neat and sharp. If you have carpeted floors, tuck the inside edge of the tape under the trim but over the carpet.

Dragging a drop cloth everywhere you paint can be time-consuming and leave paint smears on the floor. The best way to cover your floors is with a 36″ rosin paper roll. This way, you can paint without fearing the paint getting on the baseboards.

Prepping the wall

Apply tape on the upper side of the trim as well, making a straight line between the edge and the wall.

Prepping for windows

If you’re painting the trims on your windows, apply a strip of tape and paper on the window, glass, or any other surface you don’t want to paint accidentally. You should also remove window coverings and cranks before you start.

Prepping for door trims

For door trims, you can remove the door and hinges or cover the two with tape and paper.

2. Clean the trims

Regardless of the project, cleaning the surface you will paint is crucial. Start by vacuuming the room with a shop vac to remove all dust from the area.

Vacuuming might not be enough if you’re painting the trims in your kitchen or a similar area. You can wash the trims with warm water and soap, cleaning up any oily residue or grease from the surface.

Once the trims are clean, wipe away the soap residue with a clean cloth.

3. Repair holes

If you’re going to paint your trims, any holes or cracks you leave will show up as a contrasting black and ruin the final result. Therefore, fill all the nail holes with spackling paste to achieve a smooth surface.

Refrain from filling the gaps between the walls and the trims because a flexible caulk works better for that surface.

4. Sand the trims

Once all the nail holes are filled, start sanding the trims to smooth down the surface. Sanding the surface also helps the primer bond properly with the trim being painted.

Take a medium grit sanding sponge and start sanding the surface in a back-and-forth motion. The good thing about using a sponge is that it conforms to the trim’s shape and prevents slivers.

After you’ve sanded thoroughly, clean the trims and the surrounding areas with a vacuum cleaner. A clean work area means fewer chances of dust and debris ruining your finish.

5. Apply a primer

When selecting a primer and paint for your project, make sure to choose the same type. For example, if you’re going to use water-based paint, then buy a water-based primer to accompany it. Similarly, you should select a water-based top coat to finish the paint job.

I suggest using water-based paints for residential homes primarily because of the VOCs in oil-based paints that can stink up your house. In addition, cleaning up oil-based paints is challenging because it doesn’t just wash off; you have to use a paint thinner to remove it.

Since painting the trims requires moving around the whole house, the clean-up after using an oil-based paint could be a disaster.

Spray a coat of primer to prepare the surface. The smoother the foundation, the better your final paint application will be. The Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover is an excellent flat white primer for this project.

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6. Sand the surface again

Allow the primer to dry completely before sanding all the trims again. If you’re wondering whether it’s necessary to sand the surface again, you should remember that quality paint jobs require several rounds of sanding.

This time, use a 3M fine-grit sanding sponge, as it helps make the primer extra smooth. Once you’re done, vacuum the trims and the room to remove any dust from your work area.

7. Caulk the trim gaps

You can caulk the gaps before priming the surface, but I prefer to do it later for a few reasons. For starters, primed trims make the cracks even more apparent. It makes your caulking job easier and also saves time from having to caulk areas where it’s not needed.

Secondly, primed and sanded trims significantly reduce the chances of slivers. And finally, your trim is very smooth after all the above processes, allowing you to lay a fine bead of caulk.

To caulk the trims, you need a dripless gun, paintable caulk, and a wet cloth. Snip a small piece off the tube to neatly squeeze the caulk into the gap. Start laying a bead of caulk and pause to go over it with a wet rag. This pushes the caulk into the gap and makes it look neat and smooth.

Try not to overdo the caulking and keep it from coming out or over the gaps. Allow it enough time to dry before painting the surface. You don’t need to sand the surface after caulking.

8. Start painting

Now that your trims are primed, sanded, and caulked, we can finally move on to the color coat. For interior projects, creating an ideal temperature and humidity level is recommended for the best results.

Shake the can for a good five minutes and check for any clogged nozzles. If you’re working with old paint, check its expiry date and spray on a spare cardboard sheet to ensure the spray paint has not expired. Spray one coat of paint and wait for 15 minutes to go in with the second one.

If you’re working on several trims at the same time, finish painting and circle back to where you started for the second coat.

9. Clean up

You’re in the final stretch now. Once your top coat has dried completely but not cured, pull the tape around the trims and remove all the paper you’ve spread on the floor. Don’t wait too long to pull the tape, though, as paint drips on the floor will get very hard to remove later.

Painting trims or walls? Which one to do first

Here’s a question I have heard many times: “Should I paint my trims before I paint the walls?”

The answer is yes! Here’s why.

A painted trim has already been prepped and primed. So when you start painting the walls, you can save time creating a surface for the tape. You simply tape a straight line on the trim and paint the walls.

Secondly, if you paint the trim later, it means you didn’t caulk it to the walls before it was painted. So, when you spray paint the trims at the end, the paint will flow from the trims to the caulk and onto the walls.

Finally, the paint you use on the trims is harder compared to wall paint. For this reason, when you tape the wall to paint the border, there’s always a chance of that wall paint pulling off with the tape. Sometimes, pulling the tape also results in lifting the top layer of paper from your drywall along with the color, which could be a catastrophe.

Hence, it is recommended to paint the trims before moving on to the walls.


Can you use can spray paint on the trim?

You can easily spray paint your home’s interior and exterior trims if you sand and prime the surface properly before applying the top coat.

Can you paint wood trim with spray paint?

The best way to paint wood trims is by using spray paint specially designed for wood surfaces. The result will not be long-lasting if you use other variants that are not meant for wood.

Should you spray or hand paint trim?

Spraying your trims will give you a smooth and clean finish, but it’s a time-consuming process. You can hand paint your trims if you are okay with the brush strokes and have limited time for the project.

What kind of paint should be used on trim?

Trims are considered a decorative addition; therefore, the paint you choose should bring out its details. Semi-gloss, satin, gloss or high-gloss paint finishes are best suited to trims.


Repainting your trims helps brighten your home and makes the walls and décor look more attractive. Fortunately, spray painting is a quick way to refresh your living space while staying within a DIY budget. 

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