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  • Carlton Clark

Should You Paint Trim Or Walls First?

When painting a room, this can be a big decision, is one way better than another?

Although we wish there was one simple answer, there’s not. But were going to go through every possibility of what to do for the best outcome.

Painting a room especially as a beginner is a huge project, it takes planning, time, and even some money. So – in the end, you obviously want it to make it look amazing. Throughout the process, you may be faced with some hardships or even stress.


Throughout this article we’ll go over every situation and when its best to paint trim or walls first.

Let’s get into it!

Should You Paint Trim First?

This question completely depends on your situation. Here are the most common times of when to paint trim first:

  • If the room is under construction

  • When you’re using tape

  • When you’re not using tape

Now, to make it less confusing – If you’re using tape, it makes sense to tape off the places you don’t want to get paint on. With smooth edges, trim is much easier to apply tape to compared to the wall.

If you’re not using tape – Trim is much easier to tape off as well as “cut-in”. This is perfect for those that aren’t a fan of taping and prefer to freehand instead. It’s much easier to cut-in when you can spread the brush out.

It’s best to paint trim first when the room is under construction. This is because there won’t be any worries about messes. It will also leave the easier part (the wall) for last.

Should You Paint The Wall First?

In some cases painting the wall first might be better. Heres the best situations on when to paint the wall first:

  • Instant gratification

  • Unskilled helpers

  • Not committed to the wall color

It can be hard to stay patient, especially when it comes to finally get your home painted. This is the leading cause of painting the wall first. Is it worth it?

That’s up to you.

The second reason is the unskilled helpers. Its nothing against your helpers but painting a room or wall takes serious time and dedication, but more importantly; skill.

The best reason to paint your walls first is to know if you’ll like the color. Because walls are the biggest change its important that you’re happy with it. By doing the wall first you'll be able to quickly decide whether or not you like it.

Extra Tip: It’s best to paint both trim and baseboards before the installation if possible.


It’s a whole lot easier to paint these beforehand for a few reasons. The first reason would be that you’re not bent over typing to get every nook and cranny. Instead, you can just set them up on saw horses and comfortably paint them.

The next reason would be that it’ll look much nicer with more even coats.

Instead of painting in an awkward or uncomfortable position. Youll quickly gets it done in a timely manner before installation. Once theory nailed into the walls, all that's left to do is fill the nail holes with caulk or wood filler and you’re good to go.

Final Thoughts:

How painting a room, the question of “should I paint the trim or walls first” can be a hot idea. But the truth is – Its completely up to you.

There’s no science behind which is better, its all just personal preference.

If at all possible, it’s best to paint trim or baseboards before the project. This will allow for more comfortable paint, higher quality, and a better overall look.

So whether you decide with trim or walls first, be sure to take your time. In the end, look back and praise yourself for the great work you’ve accomplished.

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