After a month of painting we’ve finally concluded….

After a month of painting we’ve finally concluded whether to paint the trims first or last? When I did my research the majority of people and websites said “last”. My conclusion? It depends whether you use tape or not. When using tape, painting the trim first is easy as you do not need to worry if you get a little paint on the wall. If you paint the trims last, the tape does stick properly to the wall enabling paint to drip in. In this situation, it is best to paint the trims without tape.  My recommendation is to use tape to get a perfect finish.

In summary, the ideal steps to take when painting are:

  1. Preparation – i.e. remove fixtures, sand, putty (if required), sand back putty and sugar soap.
  2. Paint all trims – i.e. architraves, window frames, skirting boards
  3. Tape – Use painting tape (e.g. blue “Scotch” tape). A tip is to stick newspapers to tapes as extra protection. See picture below.
  4. Cut in – Make sure brush is not too loaded so that it does not drip under the tape. Cut in at right angles to the tape.
  5. Paint using roller – Ensure roller is not overloaded and that the paint is evenly spread. Start from center and roll towards edges. This ensures there is not too much paint by the time you reach the edge. Undercoat if you think the surface requires it (e.g. if there is a lot of putty then it is a good idea).

If you are outsourcing the service to a professional painter, ask them the simple questions. Do you use tape? There are bumps on the wall, will you sand them back? Many painters take shortcut. The hardest part of painting (and what you should be paying for) is the preparation. I would say 70% is in the prep work and only 30% is in the painting. So ensure you get what you paid for.

Before - Dull room, yellow skirting, grey/muddy wall


More work than we expected! The previous owners placed a heap of putty on the wall. They were never sanded back properly resulting in uneven surfaces. The more we sanded, the more we had to scrap off the old paint, sand back the old putty, put on new putty etc etc. It ended up being 2 full days of prep work.

When you tape, it often good practice to stick newspaper to the other side of the tape as extra protection.

After - Dulux Breezy, 1/4 strength Breezy

After - Fresher and brighter colour combination. Often lighter colours are selected for the top half of architraves. I wanted to be different to to provide a more intimate feel. By having the darker colour on top the ceiling does not appear to be too high creating a more intimate effect. This is feasible in old houses with high ceiling. For rooms with lower ceilings, you may want to use lighter colours or even white to extend the ceiling effect.

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