Painting a Room’s Woodwork and the Trim Around Doors and Windows Opens Up Design Potential

When painting woodwork, start at the top of the room and work down: ceiling
molding, doors, windows, chair-rail moldings, then baseboards, save wear and tear on your knees when painting baseboards by wearing knee pads or by kneeling on a cushion. The edge of woodwork is sometimes curved or very narrow, less than one inch, making it difficult to paint them neatly. Vertical edges of windows and door casings not only are narrow but also are often at an angle that is difficult to reach easily with a paintbrush.

It is sometimes a good idea to paint the woodwork before painting the walls,
overlapping the walls slightly as you work on the woodwork. You find it easier to
paint a straight edge along a wall than along the edges of narrow or curved
woodwork. Be sure to protect freshly painted woodwork when working with a roller
on walls. Before removing paint from woodwork, test the surface for old lead paint.
The dust produced by sanding can carry the lead paint throughout the house,
posing a serious health threat.

Painting woodwork requires a slightly different technique than covering the walls
and ceilings does. The sweeping motions of using a roller give way to the control
and precision of using a brush on a small surface. Also, brush marks are more likely
to occur on wood than on plaster or drywall. You can choose a bold color to
contrast with the color of walls and ceilings, or use the woodwork as a frame to
highlight the color of the walls. If the woodwork is quite ordinary, you can make it
blend into the background.

Whether the woodwork has been painted before or not, wood must be properly
prepared before being painted. In general, this means filling any cracks and holes
and then sanding the surface. To sand concave surface, wrap the paper around a
section of hose or pipe. Large flat surfaces can be sanded with a sheet of paper
wrapped around a wood block. The sanding gives the surface tooth, or something to
which the new paint can adhere.


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