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Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

by | Jan 10, 2013 | Entry, My Dining Room, my house

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Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

A a part of our home remodel projects at the end of last year (which included our kitchen remodel and new hardwood floors), we added some new trim work and wainscoting. We were excited to give our new house a little bit more charm and character and to cover up drywall with something a little more durable in the form of real wood tongue and groove wainscoting through a high traffic area in our entry and hall connecting to the kitchen.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

But since one project leads to another, you can’t just add new woodwork without painting it. Well you could, but then you’d have another unfinished project and I have made it my goal in life to FINISH more things. While interior painting is obviously a project most people can do themselves, we decided to splurge a bit and hire professionals for this job.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

There were several reasons we opted for professional painters over doing it ourselves.

1. We are prone to painting accidents and mishaps.

2. Wood work is a bit tricky to paint. While we want our new woodwork to have the charm of yesteryear, we didn’t want a less than beautiful paint job to drag our house down and make the house or our remodel look cheap. Old houses can handle a lot more imperfection and still be called charming. Newer houses can look pretty bad when projects or updates aren’t done well. At least that is how I feel about it at our house.

3. We didn’t have the time or patience or skill for doing a quality paint job ourselves. My husband doesn’t love DIY projects or have the time for it, but he is a perfectionist when it comes to painting. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to painting so hiring someone else to handle this project this was a marriage saving decision. 

4. We decided to have our woodwork sprayed on rather than brushed and that took this big job to a whole new level of preparation and skill. We have learned our limitations.

We chose spraying over brushing, to give the wood a smooth new looking finish since we have a newer house. I guess I wanted the best of both worlds, the charm of older style woodwork with the finish of new.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

A project of this size requires a ton of preparation.

To get started, we had to move out all of our furniture (again, sigh). Fortunately we had space to move furniture into other rooms and didn’t have to actually take furniture out of the house. But still, it is a pain in the rump to keep moving furniture.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

The painters made big tents out of  plastic, tape and even poles to basically create a “painting booth” for spraying in our living room and entry.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

They covered the glass of the windows with paper so they can spray the trim without getting paint on the glass.

They also covered doorways with plastic and all of our lovely new floors and walls with paper and tape too, they aren’t taking any chances of a mishap.

The painters also do a lot of caulking, sanding, sweeping and preparation BEFORE painting in order to ensure that everything is clean, smooth and ready for paint since so many things can negatively affect the quality of the finish.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

They removed the three interior doors they are going to paint (my hope is to someday put in more charming real wood doors instead of our “new house doors,” but for now we are just freshening what we have with paint. All along I  intended to paint these doors gray, charcoal or even a color  to give them a little more personality, but decided for now to just stick with white for simplicity sake, until we can get new doors. This also made it easier for spraying since they could spray the doors along with the other white woodwork. Changing colors complicates things. Our front door will remain black on the inside.

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

Once the trim is painted, we will need to be careful of it, both while it is drying and for the next couple of weeks as the paint cures. The painters also painted my open shelving in the kitchen, so we’ll have to be careful there too to not set things on the paint until it is fully cured. So, basically the next couple of weeks we’ll be being careful and then putting things away!

Painting the Interior Trim {Remodeling Project Update}

Then at that point I have great hopes we will be ready to get back to normal people life without being in the middle of so many messy remodeling projects! Of course, this certainly won’t be the end of painting projects around our house. We have lots more trim to paint (someday down the road!).

 Have you tackled a big trim or woodwork painting project at your house? And more importantly, have you ever hired out a potential DIY job around the house as a marriage saving decision?


  1. Audrey

    Oh I remember that too, too well. I used to be a professional painter, yes a woman can also be a professional painter. ;) I can’t tell you how many people have been shocked by that, like women can’t paint? Puh-lease! I actually enjoyed it but I l.o.a.t.h.e.d. the prep work. Painting is exercise for sure, I was in the best shape of my life! I can’t wait to see your big reveal! Have a great night.

    • Melissa

      Thanks Audrey! We have two painters here for this project and one is a woman! YES! She is GREAT! ;-) I specifically requested her after she was highly recommended to me, so I’m thrilled she was able to come paint our house!

  2. Richella at Imparting Grace

    We’ve now lived in Durham for 11 years. We’ve been in this house nearly eight years. 11 years ago, we bought a house that was nice but needed a good bit of work, including painting EVERY SINGLE SURFACE of the interior. No exaggeration. So you know who my first friends in Durham were? Professional painters! I’m quite serious! They were highly recommended to me, and they’re such wonderful people. I still call them if I have any painting project larger than just a tiny room to do. Jack calls them “my cousins”–but seriously, they became like family members when they were re-painting every surface in my house!

    Looking forward to seeing what everything looks like when it’s done, Melissa. I’m so glad you’re shaping your new house into a Michaels-family-home space!

  3. Barbara (WA)

    Hahahahahahaha – whew. I had to get that out because I, me, self, painted 4 coats on every last door and piece of trim in this whole house AND the apartment above the garage!! I was so worried it wouldn’t turn out well, for those very reasons you said, but I did pretty well. Not sure I would ever paint kitchen cabinets or furniture. I am taking an old dresser to someone who paints furniture with a very durable finish. And we were so happy to be able to hire painters to do the exterior of our house this past summer. Yes, THAT was a marriage saver!

  4. Diane

    Actually….I did ALL the painting myself for our whole house at our first house when we had it built. Well…yes, my husband did help a little. But, I was off from school for the summer so I did all the sanding and tacking and painting. Quite a job. It was beautiful when it was done. Plus I also sanded…with my husband help….ALL the pine flooring before it went down and then sanded and finished it. Previous to that…I had no experience. But…the experts at the paint store taught me what to do and I followed their terrific instructions. It was a real accomplishment. Fortunately, I was able to do most of the painting before the trim went up so that made it easier. Just the final coat needed to be applied after it was installed.
    I’m amazed at your painters’ amount of prep. How wonderful to have such a skilled team to make your house shine. I can’t wait to see it finished in all its glory!!! And I’m sure you can’t either. Have you scheduled your first gathering yet? I’m sure your friends can’t wait to see your “new” home!

  5. Julie M. ~ The Little Red Shop

    Yes…to your first question. I restored two bedrooms in my 100+ year old house several years ago and did some major trim work in the muddled kitchen. Mine is a frankenstein of a farmstyle house, so I have a lot more work to do. I’ve yet to hire out for painting, etc…and yet to find a husband. ;)

    Happy New Year!

    Julie M.

  6. Erin

    When we did our renovation a couple years ago we got several estimates for painting and realized there was just no way to justify the cost of having painters do everything. So we hired them to paint the ceilings (I swore I’d never paint a ceiling again without a massage therapist on site) and the tall walls in the living room and I painted everything else. Entire walls of new wood paneling. The bathroom. The bedrooms. Every bit of trim in 2/3rds of the house and worst of all, I stripped the horrible paint job off the stairs and redid it all. I did find it (especially the stairs) to be very satisfying and I’m still proud when I look at the staircase but if we could have afforded it I certainly would have hired a pro to do it.

  7. Gillian

    I painted every door, skirting, picture rail and window in our 1920s beachside semi in Sydney. I sanded and prepped although hung back on sanding all doors when I got freaked out at prospect of lead paint (most certainly there in house of that era). The doors not sanded as much I noticed , just today when removing blue tack from girls door, are now peeling, I’m crushed!
    PS: love your blog, I’m originally from Scotland where it rains like the Pacific Northwest, I know as have lovely friends in Seattle whom I’ve visited many times going the long way from Sydney to Scotland.

  8. Lynn Kellan

    Oh, wow! Can’t wait to see what everything looks like!

  9. Wendy Munsell

    Ahh, painting! You either love it or loathe it. Fortunately I am the former. Our present home is a 3 story Victorian farmhouse and I have painted all 15 of it’s rooms, including the kitchen cabinets. (Prepping included removing layers of wallpaper and repairing the horsehair plaster walls that had never been painted.) I am a perfectionist when it comes to painting so the final result is beautiful.

    Early in our marriage my husband and I found out that we simply cannot put up wallpaper together. At least not and maintain a loving relationship!

  10. Leslie Stewart

    When we did our basement makeover, we had some custom built-ins made and some crown molding installed. We had it all sprayed. It was a lot of prep, but well worth it! I know your finished project will look beautiful! I can’t wait to see it. Have a great weekend!

  11. Kristin

    Good morning, we are going to tackle painting our hallways’s & all our trim this winter. Love your hallway color – do you mind sharing which color you used?


    • Melissa

      Sure, the gray? It’s studio taupe by Behr all in one! Have fun painting!

  12. Lisa

    It’s been so fun to watch you transform your house, Melissa! All this new trim looks gorgeous!

  13. KMP Modern

    Yes, I agree that sometimes you can’t do it all yourself. I don’t know how many fights have started with my husband over a DIY house project. These painters you hired really looked like they know how to protect your home from paint too! Can’t wait to see the after pictures! Thank you!

  14. melissa owczarzak

    You’re so lucky! Tim is so over DIY right now but doesn’t want to hire someone because he thinks he can do better. So…. impass :(

  15. Beth

    Wow! What an undertaking! But when it’s finally all done it will be so worth the effort. Looking forward to the reveal!

  16. Mimi

    Looks like an incredibly big job, but I’m sure you mdde the right decision to have it professionally done. Have a great Weekend!

  17. Cindy

    Our great room needed painting, the popcorn removed, dark trim to be covered, etc…and we hired a professional!!! The best decision by far! :)


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