Should You Paint Trim Before or After Installing?

February 26, 2021

By: The Finished Space

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If you’re installing new trim, you’re probably wondering if you should paint the trim before or after installing it. Like all things with home remodeling, there’s no simple answer. Experts everywhere have different opinions about the best practices.

Let’s take a look at what the experts have to say about whether you should paint the trim before installing it.

Paint it Before

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Many experts say that it’s wise to paint the trim before you install it. It’s a fast and easy process that can dramatically speed up paint time. People who paint trim before installing tend to place the boards on sawhorses over a drop cloth to work.

You can easily use a paint roller or spray painter to paint trim before installing it. The advantage of this approach is that you won’t have to worry about getting any of it on the wall, floor, or surrounding area. You simply paint and go.

This option is usually the better choice if your walls are already painted because trying to keep the paint from getting on the walls will be a tough task. You’ll have to have a steady hand, a good brushing technique, and plenty of painter’s tape to avoid getting any splatter on the wall or floor.

Once you install the trim, it’s pretty simple to fill in any nail holes and cover-up caulk or scuff marks with a small touch-up brush or a simple final coat.

Paint it After 

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On the other hand, there are many experts that advocate for painting it after it is installed. There are a few reasons for this. It might take more time to paint it afterward, but you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to cover up the nails, caulk, and scuff marks when you paint the trim after the fact.

Painting it after installing can also be beneficial for people who don’t have the space or place to paint it beforehand. Setting up sawhorses and drop cloths requires a lot of space, and sometimes that just isn’t available.

Many people who advocate for the “painting it after” method agree it’s best if the walls also need to be repainted. In this instance, you can install the trim, prime and paint it, caulk it, apply a finishing coat, and then paint the walls. You don’t have to be concerned about getting the trim paint on the walls as much if you’re already planning on repainting the walls.

However, keep in mind that you’ll still want to protect the floors while painting the trim and then protect the trim while painting the wall. For expert painters, these types of tasks aren’t big issues. If you don’t paint regularly, the task of protecting the wall and putting down masking tape can be quite time-consuming. 

There’s a Better Solution

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What if you didn’t have to worry about painting trim before or after installing? Instead, what if you didn’t have to paint your trim at all?

At Metrie, we have a pre-painted and ready-to-install, trim option that makes installing trim a breeze. Metrie Complete(R) pre-painted moulding and trim eliminates the need for any prep or painting, which not only saves time, but you never have to worry about drips, splatter, or messes on the walls or ceilings.

This factory finished trim has a smooth and beautiful painted surface for a completely flawless look. We use non-metal-marking, water-based paint to prevent scuffs, scratches, and fading, making it an ideal solution for high-traffic areas.

We also have accessories and touch-up kits for the installation process, including caulk, putty, paint, and a ax stick that are all expertly color-matched to ensure a perfect finish. These touch-up accessories make sure any marks and nails from the installation process can be cleaned up with professional looking results.

Experts are unanimous. If you have the option to choose a primed and pre-painted option – it’s the easiest choice out there, and will give you the best results.

G.A. White Homes - Office - Shiplap - Gray Home Office with Nature Windows - Angle

The benefits of our Metrie Complete patented solution Include:

  • No Mess, No Spills, No Drips

  • No Brush Marks – a Smooth Finish Every Time

  • Saves Time – No Painting or Dry Time Required!

  • Color-Matched Touch-Up Kits and Accessories for Professional Results

  • Resists Scuffs and Marks During and After Installation

  • Unique formula won’t Fade, Crack or Yellow

Clearly, if you’re wondering if you should paint your trim before or after installing, the answer is neither. Instead, opt for Metrie’s Complete™ Pre-Painted Mouldings for a hassle-free, trim solution.

For more information on our pre-painted moulding and trim, browse the Metrie Complete Prefinished Moulding collection today. If you aren’t sure what style of trim and moulding you want for your project, we can help.