What about oil or latex?Posted by TessaHR on May 5, 2012
One of the tricky parts of painting your home is doing the trimwork. Trim is anything that is not a wall. Doors, moldings, cabinets, stair rails etc.
Typically trim work is painted in a satin or semi or even high gloss paint because it gets the most wear. A paint finish with a slight sheen or gloss is going to repel dirt and fingerprints and is going to be easier to wipe clean.
Paints with sheen or gloss are a little more expensive than flat or matte finish paints but it’s well worth the investment. Trim painted with a gloss finish offsets a matte or flat wall finish very nicely and gives contrast.
Although it’s traditional to use a white or light cream trim, styles are changing and it’s now acceptable to paint your trim in a dark or contrasting color to your walls.
The trick to pulling this off is realizing you may only want to paint one room with an unusual trim color as painting it throughout the house may be too much visually. It also may be an issue if you are getting your home ready to sell. If that’s the case go with traditional white or bright white on your trim.
White trim contrasts very nicely with dark walls and woodwork and creates a clean crisp appearance.
How do you paint trim? Use your smallest brush and either a very steady hand or painters tape to tape off the walls surrounding your trim area. A brush with an angled tip makes it easier to cut into corners and tight spaces.
Should you use oil or latex (water based) paint for your trim?
The pros of oil based paint are: Durable, durable durable.
The cons of oil based paint are: Have to clean with turpentine or cleaner, harder to clean up if spilled, odor. Takes longer to dry.
The pros of latex paint are: Clean with water, low odor, dries quickly
The cons of latex paint are: Chips easily if not applied correctly, not as long wearing as oil based
One thing to remember. Never paint latex based paint over oil or it may chip off. Instead first sand and prime if you are painting over an old oil based finish before using water based paints. Same is true for the reverse. Oil based paints work better over latex but it helps to sand and prime first to make sure it bonds correctly. Here’s more information about paint from Bob Villa. Not sure if the paint you are painting over is oil or water base? Here’s how to tell.
So that’s all about painting for now. Remember if you are selling your home or staging your home, keep your colors fresh and neutral. It doesn’t have to be beige neutral but this is not the time to experiment with bright colors. You don’t want buyers to look at your walls and see all the labor it will take them to cover that bright paint!