Sep 27, 2011

Trim Painting Part 1: Downstairs

It didn’t really show up much in the room-wide photos, but it was pretty obvious in real life: the trim needed painting.   Renovations and furniture moving had caused numerous dings and scratches all over the downstairs base molding and door frames.  There was a spot above the front door where we removed the nonsensically placed smoke alarm.  There were some much needed touch ups in the dining room.  And the biggest and worst offender of all - the carpeted stairs.

The ugly truth up close

We didn’t realize at the time when our carpet was installed that our low-profile berber would be slightly lower than the worn-down pink berber.  And the trim below that line hadn’t been painted in years.  We kept putting off the task of fixing this ugly line for so long because it was so difficult and slow to fix - painting a very slow careful line above the carpet with a teeny tiny brush.   With 10 emergency we paper towels on hand.   Even after painting, it still wasn’t perfect because the trim sustained some damage in different parts, but it was a million times better than before.   And I’m not about to replace the original trim - it’s half the charm of the house.

Clean freshly painted trim

I got the downstairs trim done and made it to the stairwell landing before stopping.   All this work took a lot longer than I thought it would, so I had to split the project into two weekends (confession: two weekends that were actually several weeks apart).  At least the downstairs looked a million times better (in person).


  1. A tip for painting the bottom of a baseboard near carpeting is to use a stiff wide putty knife to push and hold down against the carpet while painting above it as the putty knife will be a paint shield for the carpet as well as holding the fibers down and out of the way. Once the area above the putty knife is painted carefully remove the putty knife and wipe clean with a wet rag and you're ready for the next few inches as you work your way around the room.

    1. That is a fantastic tip! Thank you! I'll have to remember that on our next trim painting project (which needs to be soon!).