Thursday, October 4, 2012

decor: painting trim

When Tony and I were house hunting, we looked at so many flips. And they were all gorgeous, of course -- granite countertops, freshly painted walls, all-new grass and landscaping, beautifully tiled bathrooms, nicely staged. Our house was different. There was no furniture in it at the open house. It was poorly lit. The walls in our living room and dining room were a horrible green. All of the vents and outlets had been painted over. The bushes in the front yard were dying. Basically, there was a lot of low-hanging fruit in terms of cosmetic home upgrades.

And it's worked out well for us. We've spent evenings and weekends here and there working on the house, and we have a home that looks leaps and bounds better than it did on Moving Day.

Among the most tedious projects we've undertaken is painting the trim, doors and windows in pretty much the whole place. The trim in our living room and dining room was a horrible creamy-green, chosen, I'm sure, to match the horrible green walls. The trim in the bathrooms, kitchen, and hallway was beige. I am here to tell you that no matter how clean beige trim is, it always looks dirty. I want to ask the previous owner, "Why, for the love of all that is good, would you paint the trim such horrible colors?"

So, room by room, Tony and I have been painting the trim. We are painting it white. Before I owned a house, I never would have imagined myself saying this, but in the past year and a half, I have developed very, very strong feelings that the trim in your home should be white. It is clean. It makes your wall color pop. Clearly, though, there are exceptions. Like if you are lucky enough to have beautiful natural wood trim. Or if you are a bold decorator and want to paint your trim dark brown or black. But, please, stay away from the beiges and creamy-greens.

I think you can see what I'm talking about from this picture, which I took last weekend after starting to slather on white paint on the door of the laundry area. (This is among the last trim areas I've had to tackle, and I've been putting it off because those slats were a major pain.) See how the beige looks dirty? It even blends in with the neutral wall color.

Two coats later, and here we are, all finished! With a Victor shot for good measure.


  1. I think beige is usually chosen to hide imperfections, especially in older homes. I know when I bought my home, everything was freshly painted and beige and it was built in 1970. I agree, though, white makes it pop.

    1. I will take imperfections over beige any day, Ofie!