If you’re installing new windows or changing up your home’s color scheme, you’ll most likely have to paint window trim. A crisp and clean paint job will accentuate your windows, whereas messy and chipped paint can ruin the look and take away from your home’s value.
There are a few hacks that can make the task of painting your windows easier and give you better results. Doing a job that looks professional without the price tag isn’t as hard as you’d think. Here are our recommended steps to ensure your paint job is flawless.
If you’re painting your indoor trim, you can plan for a day that suits your schedule best. For outdoor trim however, there is less flexibility. You’ll need to make sure it is a good temperature outside for both you and the paint. Frigid fingers make for unsteady hands. Hot weather dries your paint too quickly. The ideal temperature to paint outdoors is about 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
To start, make sure that your window trim is a smooth, blank canvas. Using a paint scraper, remove any previous paint and smoothen out the surface. Flaky paint remnants will undoubtedly cause your new paint to chip off easily and shorten its lifespan.
If your trim is newly installed, you might have little divots where it was nailed in. Use wood filler to fill the holes, let it dry and then sand it flat. You might need to do additional sanding to the trim to make sure it has a smooth, even surface before applying your window trim paint.
Once all the old paint is removed or the sanding is completed, use a towel and household cleaner to remove dust, debris and anything else on your trim’s surface that will ruin the texture of your new paint.
Remember to caulk exposed seams and gaps in the window trim.
It’s time for the main event – painting your window trim! Unless you are a seasoned painter with a steady hand, you’ll probably need to prep to make sure the window trim paint doesn’t stray onto your wall color. Use painter’s masking tape to cover up the area around the trim with strips that are about the length of your forearm. Align the tape with the edges of your window trim and around the inner edges as well. This won’t prevent all paint from landing where it doesn’t belong, but it’ll greatly increase accuracy and shorten your cleanup time. The masking tape will help you create even lines and add that professional-looking precision.
Start by adding a coat of primer to your window trim. Once that first coat is dry, you can begin adding your main coat. One to two layers is the perfect amount of paint – any more and it may start to look goopy, any less and it’ll end up looking faded. Matching your color to the rest of your windows helps create unison and pulls together your home’s color scheme. Use a glossy paint to keep it looking fresh longer. It’s best to start by painting the trim closest to the window so you can avoid smudging the wet paint during the job.
Painting your interior window trim is a good way to improve the overall appearance. We recommend capping the exterior window trim because it requires less maintenance and extends the lifespan on your window trim. Window capping refers to the application on aluminum cut and formed with a brake to fit over the exterior wood trim of a window.
Once the final coat of paint is dry, the last step is to remove the painter’s tape around it. Pull the tape using an even stroke. Tape remnants that don’t pull off easily can be removed using a utility knife.
If you notice any paint splattering on your window’s glass – no worries! Even completely dried, paint is easy to scrape off. Use a paint scraper to chip off any paint in unwanted places.
If a new coat of paint isn’t enough to freshen up your windows, consider replacing them altogether. While painted trim can help in your window’s overall appearance, it won’t do much for inoperable, drafty windows. Energy efficient windows are a great investment for your home’s resale value and overall comfort. Call Thompson Creek today or visit our website for more information on how we can improve your windows and your home.