View Full Version : Should I paint the trim white if its wood color? -- Pictures posted :)

08-14-2010, 07:35 PM
Our new house has brown trim, nothing fancy... we're putting in wood floors.... do I leave the baseboards their wood color even if they are not really matching to the floor? Or do I paint them white? And if I paint them white where do I stop... because then there's the door frames, and the bedroom doors.... you know? I wish I had a picture.

08-14-2010, 07:37 PM
What colours are the wood? My cabinets and trim are dark and my outlet covers are a lighter reddish which doesn't match but is pretty. What colour are the walls?

08-14-2010, 07:38 PM
Would re-staining the trim be an option? (I always hesitate to paint over wood anything)

08-14-2010, 07:44 PM
I have the same dilemma. EVERY bit of trim in my house is 1985 medium-brown wood. It looks SO outdated but it's such a pain to paint. We did the trim & doors in the kids' room and with two coats of primer & two coats of water-based paint, it's still streaky :-/ My mom said to use an oil-based paint & it'll cover better, but ugh :sigh

08-14-2010, 07:46 PM
Is it real wood, or just painted brown? If it's real wood, I would leave it and try to match the floors to it. I think real wood trim and doors are beautiful!

08-14-2010, 07:55 PM
What colours are the wood? My cabinets and trim are dark and my outlet covers are a lighter reddish which doesn't match but is pretty. What colour are the walls?

The wall aren't painted yet but they are going to be, different colors, because this is the whole house

Would re-staining the trim be an option? (I always hesitate to paint over wood anything)

I remember it being really cheap looking trim with a dark stain, not shiny but a dull look. I think it was the same in every room but I am not sure.

Is it real wood, or just painted brown? If it's real wood, I would leave it and try to match the floors to it. I think real wood trim and doors are beautiful!

I actually don't know. But the doors are definitely hallow and a little cheap looking too. :doh

Maybe I can send DH to get a picture tomorrow.

08-14-2010, 08:06 PM
:popcorn I am having the same dilemma, but for different reasons.

08-14-2010, 09:18 PM

08-14-2010, 09:23 PM
From someone who has white baseboards, white trim, and white doors, no. It's harder to make it stay looking clean. :shifty Meaning you actually have to clean it occasionally, and it still doesn't look that great. I guess it depends on the wood color, though- do you have pics?

08-14-2010, 09:26 PM
i need to see a pic before i vote. :poke

08-14-2010, 09:28 PM
I would live with it for a while. If you hate it after six months you can always paint it.

Chaos Coordinator
08-14-2010, 10:16 PM
you could replace the quarter round with white. depending on how big the house is it might cost you less money than the actual paint and would certainly be easier. that might give a sort of border between the non matching wood....or it could just look like a racing stripe around your floors...:think

Rea T
08-15-2010, 07:45 AM
I'd try to live with it for awhile before making a decision. Once you paint it there is no going back. If anything, I'd choose to stain it first.

08-15-2010, 09:30 AM
The trim in our house is light/medium wood...I HATE it :shifty The wood trim here gets dinged a scratched up, and there really isn't a way to fix it an make it better other than refinishing. I don't think it looks right with our paint either, especially in the rooms that are more colorful (like the boys' room). I recently repainted the boys' room and did the trim in their white and it made a huge difference, looked so much better. We had off-white trim in our last house and did it in a semi-gloss finish, it was very easy to clean, a quick wipe with a magic eraser and it was nice and clean.

08-16-2010, 09:41 AM
I would definitely look at restaining before slathering paint all over real wood trim. That said, I'm seeing a lot of painting real wood white on home improvement shows. :shrug I think your best bet is to live with it for a while and then decide as pps have said.

Whatever you decide the baseboards and door trim should match.

08-16-2010, 09:48 AM
If I had the choice to make I'd refinish. It doesn't have to match your floors, just complement them. All the trim in this house was white when we got here, and I have considered stripping and refinishing just so I could have natural wood. White trim is hard to clean and it shows wear and tear just as much.

08-16-2010, 10:12 AM
I LOVE our white trim. The decision was already made for us, as all our trim was white when we moved in--and it's real wood underneath. I think white trim gives you more flexibility in paint colors (and looks nice against the wood floors). And I just really like the way it looks. But yeah, I think you'd definitely have to paint doors, doorframes, windows--not just baseboards. Which would be a giant pain.

In some cases I'd say it's a crying shame to paint over real wood. But there's a vast spectrum in quality/beauty when you say "real wood" :shrug3

08-16-2010, 10:12 AM
I'd paint it white but that is what I have been wanting to do in my house.

08-16-2010, 10:28 AM
I think I am in the minority here, :shifty but I'm all for white trim! I think it looks more modern to me. We have some wood trim in our family room and I just want it painted soo badly!

08-16-2010, 10:40 AM
If it's not *beautiful* wood trim, I'd paint it. I love white paint, but that's just me. I've painted all our trim white. But if it had been beautiful, original-to-the-house, antiquey-trim, than definitely not. So I guess it depends. Pics??

08-16-2010, 11:01 AM
If it's cheap trim, I would consider painting it white although I generally don't like painting over wood. Need pics!!

08-17-2010, 05:25 PM
Okay here are the pictures :shifty

We are going to be painting every room walls and ceiling, and replacing the floor with hardwood (white oak) dining/hall/living room and carpet in the bedrooms (DH insists) before we move in (yucky yucky carpets):

** Oh and never mind the light fixtures... it will take a while to get to those :P




08-17-2010, 05:33 PM
We have the same thing. DH is very against painting it so we didn't (if it wasn't for the trouble I would be for painting it). We did match the quarter round to the baseboard not the floor color (I prefer that look, but they usually match the floor - I think because it it easier). Our bedroom trim had been painted before we moved it. It is awful. It peels etc. I don't know what you need to do to the trim before you paint, but I think it would require some prep.

08-17-2010, 05:42 PM
IDK if I'd paint that. It's the same as what my parents have and... IDK... something about it seems like it would be funky painted. The style just doesn't seem right.

08-17-2010, 06:10 PM
I'd leave it. We painted trim like that in a former house and it never looked "right". New floors and nice warm walls will make such a big difference in how modern the trim looks.

08-17-2010, 06:18 PM
Yeah, I think I'd leave it, too. That would be a LOT of painting!

08-17-2010, 06:19 PM
And sanding. :crazy2

08-17-2010, 07:20 PM
I'd leave it. IMO, it will contrast well with the white oak.

08-17-2010, 07:25 PM
I would not paint it. It will make a nice contrast to your flooring. And that three paned window is gorgeous!

08-17-2010, 08:19 PM
I think your dark trim will go really nicely with lighter oak floors. Very contemporary but still earthy and warm--makes me think of the rooms I love from Crate & Barrel's catalog. :rockon

08-18-2010, 05:20 AM
I say paint it. There would be a lot of work involved sanding, priming and painting probably with oil based pain which would mean turpentine for clean up. But It would look so so good.

and I would replace the doors weather you painted the trim or not.

08-18-2010, 06:39 AM
I could go either way now. But yeah, those doors should be replaced no matter what.

08-18-2010, 07:24 AM
What is wrong with the doors? I can't see replacing the doors because i would want to match the new doors to the trim and I don't want to match any doors to that trim.

08-18-2010, 07:53 AM
I would replace the doors with white weather or not I painted the trim. They could either math the trim if you painted or they would make the trim pop as an accent.

08-18-2010, 08:09 AM
As someone who is in the process of sanding, priming and painting an entire house of trim and molding and doors I'm obviously not against painting. But I think that the existing trim could make a nice accent depending on your decor style. :yes

My parents house has brown trim and base boards in many of the room and it looks really nice. Picking complimenting paint colors (lighter colors look great with a dark trim to make it pop :tu) could make it really unique looking.

I don't think it's ugly at all. :no

08-18-2010, 08:09 AM
Hmmm. I like the doors. I think the grain is nice. :) I probably would modernize the doorknobs when I got around to the light fixtures... but in my house it takes a while to get to details like that. :giggle

08-18-2010, 08:22 AM
The condo we bought (and no longer own) had that brown trim and we did paint them wait. it took a couple of coats and we used the Bear paint, which is good paint, but it still took 2 coats and i think we used French Ivory? as the color and then painted the walls Tuscan Beige, so it was a little different, but the contrast looked really nice. I actually LOVED the white trim! So much better than the icky brown ones.

08-18-2010, 08:41 AM
What is wrong with the doors? I can't see replacing the doors because i would want to match the new doors to the trim and I don't want to match any doors to that trim.

I could be wrong, but from the pics they look like the cheapy hollow-core doors like my mom has. I think they will look really out of place once you've upgraded the flooring and light fixtures. Like knitlove said, the doors don't have to match the trim and white would look good regardless.

08-18-2010, 09:17 AM
Like others have said, if you do paint it's quite a bit of work, and cost (more than just wall paint).

We had to sand everything, then prime, then paint. We haven't finished painting, I expect it will take at least two coats. And it really needs to be oil based enamel if you want it to hold up and last. So that means respirators and plenty of time to off gas. We used Benjamin Moore for the trim. It's the best one out there and we didn't want to have to do it again in the foreseeable future. It was pricey (somewhere around $45 to $50 a gallon :hunh) but we got referrals that it really was our best bet.

AFA paint I think Behr is definitely the next best after BM. We're using their paint and prime line for all of our walls. Way more cost effective. :tu

08-18-2010, 09:21 AM
Oh yes they are totally cheap doors. :rolleyes

This house we haven't quite moved out of has nicer doors, trim, and we discovered wood floor underneath. Figures. :rolleyes

Still, I think the doors are probably staying.... I have a whole list of things I want to do that cost $$$ :shifty

It will be fun to post before and after pictures though, as a work in progress...

08-18-2010, 09:24 AM
We didn't paint the doors nor replace them when we did white trim.

08-18-2010, 04:00 PM
i would paint. our house looked a lot like that when we moved in...dh primed and painted every single ceiling, wall, door and every inch of trim. we used a gloss paint for the trim and doors. i love it. it did take some time, but well worth it IMO. and FWIW, we did not strip first...just lightly sanded, wiped them down, primed and 2 coats of paint. we took all the doors off and did them outside, same way.

---------- Post added at 06:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:59 PM ----------

eta: but our doors are solid wood...so no question about replacing those babies...they will be here forever. :giggle and we didn't use oil based paint...just a good quality latex.