Thursday, April 18, 2013

6 Options for painting trim

  There are so many decisions to make when you begin decorating a new home or renovating. Something as basic as what colour to paint the trim often causes homeowners hours of deliberation.  How about you?  What decision have you made about painting your trim work?

1.  White/off white

This is  the most common solution to painting trim .  It works with every style and is fresh and crisp. 

Even if you have white walls your trim can also be white. Consider changing the paint sheen to semi gloss or gloss if you want to accentuate the trim in a white room.        

2. Wood - natural  or stained 

There was a period of time when many homes had natural or stained wood trim, but this trend has slipped a little in the last ten years.  When you have wood your decision is often to leave it natural or stain it.  When your floors are also wood, it can help you decide which stain option to go with.

 Contrary to popular belief wood trim is not sacred.  If you want to paint it don't hold back.  Interestingly enough it is mostly men who revere wood. When you choose this application your are making a decision to outline a room.  Make sure this is what you want to accomplish.

 Rebekah Zaveloff

 In this space the trim colour is in keeping with the floor tones and is just a little darker.  


With light wood floors you always have the option to choose your trim stain  to work  with your furniture. I think the omission of crown in this space really works well to provide a lofty look and keep the viewer's eye at living level.

Your wood trim  doesn't have to be dark to be effective.  You often see natural wood trim  in more modern spaces  where the walls are usually a  light colour  Hint. If you want to achieve a lofty look as in the previous room shown, paint your crown the same colour as the wall.

3.  Same colour  as walls
I often use this application in modern spaces or in rooms where there are too many doors.  When you do this a seamless look is created and the walls become the perfect place to display art without  all those lines you get with alternate colour trim. If you have a more traditionally styled home and modern furniture,  painting your trim the same as your walls will provide an updated look. 

Wondering about chair railing or other paneled effects ?  Rather than removing it, paint it the same as the wall.

4. Colours 

If you are someone who loves colour, this might be the look for you.  It also works well in kids' rooms.    Beware this application creates strong outlines in a room and can chop up your space. Some would say it adds energy because your eyes are always wandering.

5. Darker Than the Walls

This is a good solution in certain spaces. When you paint your trim darker, choose a colour that is roughly two values darker than the walls. This is a great treatment for modern spaces or commercial spaces.


6. Black
This is a daring solution for trim.  When used with white/off white  walls it provides a crisp look that is elegant and serious.  Black looks equally good with soft gray walls.

 Architect Neuhaus Design Architecture, P.C.

If you have very ornate trim , black can really accentuate this sculptural element in your home. Don't be afraid to use it. 

Lots of options....


  1. Really appreciate the breadth of trim options shown. Informative and helpful visualization for making creative yet grounded decisions. thanks a lot.

  2. Delightful post and each pictures defines great work and proves enough to be trusted. his blog truly deserves to be shared.

  3. I am happy to find this post Very useful for me, as it contains lot of information.
    see this

  4. I want to paint all my trim an off white. All the trim and the doors are stained wood and we can't replace the doors right away. is it a design no no to leave the doors stained and paint the trim?

    1. Krista,
      You can definitely leave the stained doors and paint the trim.


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