How to Paint Stained Trim

10 Materials
1 Day
Seems like everyone is loving the farmhouse style right now so painting trim is a priority in room remodels!
Stained trim has an oil based sealer on it (polyurethane). For the same reason oil and water don't mix, latex paint cannot be painted on stained trim. It will stick for a while but eventually flake and peal off.
To begin, tape off any areas you don't want painted. (walls, carpet, glass, etc). Use 120 grit sandpaper to scuff the surface and remove any sheen. Wipe surfaces down with a damp cloth.
Next, use a disposable brush to paint on a coat of oil based primer. Allow to dry.
Add a couple coats of paint.
When you go from stained to painted, you will see gaps in some areas.
Use latex painters caulk to seal the gaps.
Run your finger over the caulk to smooth it. Wipe off any excess. Allow to dry. Most caulk says paintable in 30 minutes but it takes an hour or 2. Touch up to caulked areas with paint.
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Lisa Laker Interior Design
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • Michelle Dodson Michelle Dodson on Jan 07, 2018
    The ceiling is confusing me. Is it just a play of the light or ... ?

  • Carol Carol on Jan 08, 2018
    You said to use an oil based primer, but you didn't say what kind of paint you used??? Was it oil based as well? Thank you ahead of time for your answer!

  • Susan QC Susan QC on Jan 08, 2019

    I don't use an oil based product if I can help it and I hate to sand. What do you think of the products I see called de-glossers? Could I de-gloss the trim and then paint it with latex? Thanks for any hints or thoughts.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Ginny Ginny on Mar 10, 2019

    I just can't believe anyone would paint such beautiful wood!!!!

  • Susie Susie on Mar 11, 2019

    Each to their own, Ginny. Looks very nice, Lisa, and good instructions, too!! e