Do You Paint Trim Or Walls First?

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Paint Trim or Walls First? And Other Painting Questions Answered

Do You Paint Trim or Walls First? – FAQ


When it comes to painting a room, one common question that arises is whether to paint the trim or walls first. It’s important to have a clear plan before starting any painting project to ensure a smooth and efficient process. In this article, we will address this frequently asked question and provide you with some helpful tips to make your painting experience hassle-free.

Why is the Order Important?

The order in which you paint your trim and walls can impact the overall outcome of your project. Painting the trim before the walls allows for easier precision and avoids accidental smudges or drips on the freshly painted walls. On the other hand, painting the walls before the trim can save time and effort, especially if you’re using a roller for both. However, both approaches have their pros and cons, so let’s dive deeper into each option.

Painting Trim First

If you decide to paint the trim first, begin by carefully taping off the areas where the trim meets the walls. This will help create clean lines and prevent paint from bleeding onto the walls. Start with a high-quality brush and apply a thin coat of paint to the trim. Once dry, you can then proceed with painting the walls. Take extra care while edging near the trim to avoid any accidental smudges.

Painting Walls First

Painting the walls first can save time, especially if you’re using a roller for both the trim and walls. Begin by taping off the trim to protect it from wall paint. Use a roller to paint the walls, ensuring even coverage. Once the walls are dry, carefully remove the tape and proceed with painting the trim. Take your time and use a smaller brush to achieve precise lines and avoid any smearing onto the walls.

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Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to paint the trim or walls first, consider the following factors:

Personal Preference

Some people prefer painting the trim first as it allows for better precision and control. Others find it more efficient to paint the walls first and then focus on the trim. Consider your painting style and which approach aligns with your preferences.

Room Size and Complexity

The size and complexity of the room can also influence your decision. If you have intricate trim work or a smaller room, it may be easier to paint the trim first to ensure neat and precise lines. In larger rooms, painting the walls first and then tackling the trim can save time and effort.

Paint Drying Time

Consider the drying time required for the type of paint you’re using. If the trim paint takes longer to dry, it may be more convenient to paint the walls first and allow them to fully dry before starting on the trim. This will help prevent any accidental smudging or damage to the walls.


Ultimately, whether you choose to paint the trim or walls first depends on your personal preference, the size and complexity of the room, and the drying time of the paint. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, so choose the option that best suits your needs and ensures a smooth painting process. Remember to prepare your surfaces properly, use high-quality tools and materials, and take your time to achieve a professional-looking finish.

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