Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Trim: Finishing Touches

The trick to getting trim to look great is all in the finishing. It requires a lot of patience and a keen eye for details - both of which I don't really have. Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures during this process, but I've tried to explain everything as best I can so hopefully that's still helpful to those of you who are tackling your own trim projects. 

When we last left our newly installed trim we had finished caulking, we still had some sanding, patching, priming, and painting to do. 

Sanding is probably the most important part of finishing trim, it helps to make miters perfect, as well as sanding the patchwork over nail holes. Once you've painted, it's harder to sand without paint flaking and it's definitely worth the legwork to get it right the first time. 

There are some spots I really wish I had sanded more, so I've learned my lesson for the rest of the rooms once we get to them. Sometimes when you run your hand over it, since you've sanded it you don't feel rough edges and think it's smooth, but when it still isn't perfectly level with the rest you can see it once you've painted over. 

Once the first sanding is done, you can patch with a filler, we used this product from Home Depot which is specifically meant for filling trim. It was located in the same aisle as the trim so it was convenient for us to quickly grab. You'll want to spread filler over every nail hole, as well as your miters and other gaps that you might see using a small putty knife. 

Trim Filler that we used to fill all the little nail holes. 
One tip that would help with my sanding issues above is putting the filler on very thin, scraping most of it off with your putty knife so that there is less sanding to do and the sanding will be much more effective too. Some nail holes can also be filled when you paint so that they aren't noticeable. 

Once you've patched and it dries, sand it all again! Patch, sand, repeat until you're happy with the result. 

Using a foam roller for a smooth effect and no brush strokes, prime any unfinished wood, and paint over that once it's dry. We purchased special self-leveling paint from Benjamin Moore, but it was crazy expensive so I have to admit that I would maybe try without it next time. When using a foam roller it turns out smooth anyway, and the spots where we did use a brush like in door jams we can see some brush strokes still (although who knows, maybe they'd be a lot worse without the special paint). If you're interested in self-leveling paint we used Benjamin Moore Advance paint which has great leveling properties. 

Self-leveling paint, it was about $75 for a gallon. 
Once it's all dry you can consider yourself done! I love our new white trim, it is beautiful. I'm a total sucker for white, as a kid my favourite colour was even white because you could colour on it. The same principles still apply, white allows the other colours to pop! 

We're almost done these two rooms, and they're looking beautiful! Anyone have any tips for finishing trim? What projects are you working on when you should be Christmas shopping (seriously - time is ticking and we have a lot of gifts left to buy)? 

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