powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Problem painting trim

klrchlngdNovember 11, 2012
We decided to paint the clear-coated trim in family room, on fireplace, and half wall dividing family room and kitchen in a semi-gloss. We started with the half wall by priming it and then painting. The moulding took to the primer and paint well using a bristle brush...no problem. The flat piece of wood on top did not do so well. I wanted to use a sponge brush to avoid lines from a regular brush but the paint store steered us away. The brush left brushstrokes when applying primer. We sanded it down. Then back to the store we went to ask about correcting this. We were given a thick roller to use. I still thought sponge would be better but we were told sponge doesn't hold enough paint to use on wood. The second attempt at primer went on thick and rippled. We sanded it enough to just smooth out leaving the wood primed and tried to roll the paint hoping the primer was the problem. The paint did the same. It looks thick, rippled and has more shine than the trim below it. I don't know what happened and I'm afraid the same thing will happen to the fireplace so now I'm contemplating sanding the paint off the half wall trim and clear-coating the wood again to spare myself the grief. What went wrong?
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Arrg, that sucks!!!!! A small foam roller would have worked the best and a foam brush for the tight spots. You don't need a roller to hold half a can of paint. Several thin coats are best.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Perhaps you had too much paint in the roller. Were you using a screen of any sort to get the excess paint off after you dipped the roller? Another thought would be if you had thinned the paint so it would go on smoothly.

If the top has more shine than the side, this might be because the two underlying surfaces worked differently. A second coat on both surfaces may make the finish look the same.

What paint were you using? Was it newly purchased?

For trim areas, I like the small microfiber "wizzy" rollers
1 Like    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The mouldings look okay...brushstrokes visible very slightly but I think that is because the mouldings are not nearly as wide as the sill. And we never touched the mouldings with the roller. The sill paint looks like...like an old apartment. I believe the thick roller used on the half wall sill tipped the scale towards disaster. Visible brushstrokes replaced with a rippled thick overly shiny finish. The sill needs sanding down whatever we do next. If we try the paint again, though, I want it to look and feel like the mouldings...minus the minor visible brushstrokes. My biggest concern is for my fireplace surround and mantle. That has to be perfect. And the half wall sill needs to be fairly nice as well since we walk past it and look over it all day.

Just a thought. Should I be considering satin paint for the fireplace and half wall?

olldcan...I actually didn't go to SW paint store first round. My husband did. When he told me that he was steered away from the foam brushes and rollers because they don't hold paint, I asked "Well how much paint do you need the brush to hold for trim?" Then we went to Lowes to pick up odds and ends and asked there how to fix this issue. We were directed to these thick blue rollers that were small but as thick as rollers you use on a wall. I asked "Don't you think this is too thick for trim?" The paint salesperson said those rollers gets used on wood decking so it should be okay for wood inside. Sigh.

Linda...we didn't use a screen but used a paint tray to roll off excess. The primer and paint are brand new. Zinsser primer and SW Harmony semi-gloss. It did occur to me to thin out the paint when it came out looking thick but I never did that before. I don't know how to thin paint enough and stop before it's too thin. Can primer be thinned as well because that stuff is a beast?
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Soooo, Should the remaining paint in the can be turned upside down on the heads of the people at SW or Lowes or both LOL..... I can't tell weather to do a satin or not without seeing the space. Personally I like a high gloss for mantels and surrounds but that's just me :)
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I don't know, you might be having a capability problem with the finish, the primer and the paint. Is the mantel so terrible that you can't just go back to the wood and leave it alone? Did you give the sill a good scrub first? Any lingering grease and such even after sanding can cause problems.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
olldcan...If I had a nickel for every time an expert convinced me to do something their way after I questioned it and ended up with the result I was afraid of getting, I would have enough money to buy a cup of coffee...at Starbuck's though. I don't get a lot of handy work done around here. I think the paint can should be turned upside down on me for going against my instinct. I like your idea of high gloss but I would have to work my way up to that sheen.

victorianbungalowranch...There is a capability problem. I wouldn't be painting any of this trim, but we recently repainted the kitchen and family room and the family room's clear coated pine trim and fireplace surround/mantle including the half wall sill between kitchen and family room doesn't go very well with the paint. Thankfully, we didn't start with the fireplace. The only thing we painted so far is the half wall trim and sill. The sill was clean and lightly sanded but the primer clearly states there is no need for it. Funny thing is, we didn't sand the trim and it looks better than the sill. I really don't think prep is the problem. I think the application process (application tool specifically) is the problem and that is what we need to fix.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dear husband is sanding down the sill as I type. We're just going to clear coat it again and worry about the family room trim in the spring. This was supposed to tie us over until we decided on new mantle and trim since we have builder's grade from 17 years ago. Thanks everyone for your help. olldcan...If I have any painting questions in the future, I know who to ask. Thanks.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sorry you had so much trouble and best of luck in the spring. I've had far more costly mistakes myself by not going with my judgement and getting talked into something I wasn't sure about, so I know what you are talking about. And even with research and self-education, there are things you can't anticipate, and time pressure to do something.

To be fair, the big box store guys aren't usually experts in their field. I look for the old-timers--contractors who knees are going bad or need to tide over the winter--at the store, and try to talk to them when things aren't busy. Got a good paint guy at Home Depot like this, and a few others about I've gotten to know pretty well that way. :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Most of the guys I know who are professional painters wear whites so they're easy to spot. Occasionally you find someone at a big box store who is actually knowledgeable about their subject, but I prefer going to an old-fashioned paint store or good hardware store for questions. If in doubt, look for the place with coffee...always some folks around who enjoy chatting while they drink their morning brew. I've found a good way to pick up tips is to listen to a couple guys when one tells another how his preferred method is best and the second one says "yes, but when you see X, you should do Y because otherwise you have trouble with Z" I learn a lot more that way or by asking leading questions than by asking directly.

I've met quite a few tradesmen and women through working with Habitat for Humanity, both on build sites and also in ReStore. I've also met some good contacts through regular ReStore customers.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you both for the advice. My poor husband was sanding for hours to get the paint off and I have my work cut out for me tomorrow ridding the kitchen and family room of the remaining paint/saw dust. When we moved into our home years ago, we used to get good direction from people in Lowes, Home Depot and local hardware stores. Now the local hardware store isn't even open on weekends (winter hours) or in the evening. I think my husband needs to sign up for some classes at the vo-tech before we have no way of getting anything done around here. Thanks again for the advice.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If this ever happens again, use a heat gun and/or paint stripper rather than sanding it down. With only one coat it isn't that hard and way less dust than sanding the whole thing.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yup...we have used paint stripper before and it's great. We didn't think that one sill would create the mess it did otherwise we would have taken that route. Upside, the sill looks better now than it did when the builder put it in. My husband should take all the credit. I was only the cleaning crew/bystander.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yes, that dust gets everywhere!
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:12AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Trim color help needed on a 1920's house with 1970's trim :)
I have an old house that was built in 1925, but remodeled...
Painting Problem!
I want to paint this hallway and hang pictures to make...
Wood Trim: Paint White or Not?
My husband and I found a nice house. The only thing...
Want to paint paneling but crown molding/cabinets pose a color problem
Hi! I have wanted to paint my family room pine paneling...
Will you kindly share the trim/body/garage dormer &doors paint colors?
This gorgeous home has provided inspiration and the...
More Discussions
Hanging panels tomorrow! Help!
Hanging panels on either side of end windows and just...
Living room is too....blah :(
I just can't make this room work no matter what I do!...
Should I paint this?
It's a unique piece from my mother's house, but doesn't...
Help with wall of windows!
I need some creative DIY inexpensive ideas for this...
Awkward Living Room Layout
I've moved into a new house and am struggling to pull...
People viewed this after searching for:
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.