Wood trim can be absolutely beautiful. However, when we want to personalize our homes, there are times our trim might look better in a different color. So many DIY projects just grab a paintbrush and go to work. But how do you make sure what you’re doing is ok and that you’re doing it right?

Painting wood trim can be a great way to spruce up the color and décor of your home. It can make the trim stand out or even blend in. In modern design, painting wood trim is fairly normal but there are times a rustic look with traditional wood trim can be gorgeous as well. How do you choose if you should paint wood trim?

Choosing to paint your wood trim really depends primarily on your preferences. If you like the rustic look of traditional wood trim, there is no need to paint it. However, if you prefer a look that is popular in today’s age, painting the trim is a great way to spruce it up a bit.

It’s important to consider all the elements before you choose whether or not to paint your wood trim. Consider whether or not painting the trim will add value to your home. There are times when it might not be beneficial. Take a look at this simple guide to help you determine when to paint wood trim.

The Pros and Cons of Painting Wood Trim

A great place to start is weighing out the pros and cons. There are certainly two sides to the story. You’ve got to consider the end results and whether or not painting the trim can detract value from your home.


  • Modern style
  • Potentially add value
  • Choose your color
  • Enlarge a room


  • Long, challenging process
  • Could potentially devalue home
  • What if you hate it?

Picking a color for Trim

Choosing to paint your trim could help you modernize the style and décor in your home. You can easily blend your color and trim to match other elements of your home. Keep in mind that just because you paint the trim in one room doesn’t mean you have to paint it throughout the entire home.

You can choose the color you like. Most people paint their trim a traditional white or black. But the good news is that you can paint it whatever color you want. The trim is meant to stand out and painting it to contrast could potentially help your room feel larger.

Things to Consider before Picking Color

The times that painting trim could detract value from your home is when it is not done well or when you mess with the authentic style of the home. For example, a homemaking a statement on a lot of really great, natural wood probably won’t handle painted trim as well.

You need to be very careful to choose your colors wisely. You might even try a small section first in an area that can be covered up if you hate it. Be prepared for a long process. Painting trim requires precision and care to get it looking great.

6 Simple Steps to Paint Your Trim

If you think painting your trim is the right answer for you, we’ve put together a few simple steps to help you through the process.

  1. Start by choosing your color. Will you be using white, black, or some other shade? Choose your shade and get the paint from your store of choice.
  2. Prepare the room for painting. Unless you are painting the entire room, you will want to tape off the trim so you don’t get paint where it shouldn’t be.
  3. As part of the preparation, you also want to be sure to move all furniture away from the trim and give yourself plenty of working space. Feel free to put plastic beneath you to protect your floors.
  4. Prep the trim. It is recommended that you take the time to clean the trim before you get started. This will help the paint take better. Just some soap and water will do. Some people prefer to sand the trim as well. This is up to you, but the sanding just needs to be a light scuffing up.
  5. Prime the trim. If you are using a paint and primer combination, then you don’t need to apply a separate primer.
  6. Now, it’s time to paint! Be sure you have a paint tray and the appropriate brushes to be able to paint the trim and be precise with the small spaces and angles.

When you finish, step back and enjoy your fresh new look!

Wood Trim Vs. White Trim

When it comes down to it, you’re most likely choosing between wood trim or white trim. That being said, we’ve seen some dark trim colors that are gorgeous. Look up black trim in rooms and check it out!

However, the current trend is primarily white trim. The decision comes down to whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice the beautiful wood for your design plans.

Guess what? Both of these can look phenomenal. So go ahead and go with your gut to make a decision for the look that you love. If you love white trim (or another color for that matter) go for it! If you love the natural wood trim, go in that direction. Just be sure the trim also matches the elements and design of the home.

Is Wood Trim Outdated?

When you speak to designers and DIYers, they will likely tell you that wood trim is no longer trendy. While most décor elements now lend to the concept that wood trim is outdated, it really does depend on preference.

For example, an old, rustic home would look great with wood trim and cabinets. However, a home that is attuned to modernized décor likely won’t blend in with wood trim. This might also depend on the color of the wood. Lighter wood trim is now more trendy than dark stained wood.

Is Stained Wood Trim Out of Style?

The solution to getting trim the color you wanted was to buy a generic light color of wood trim and then stain it. A dark stain was a popular choice for a really long time. For some, this is still the style and preference of choice.

You may find that people that prefer a masculine or rustic style still prefer stained wood trim. However, those that prefer a feminine touch or a modern appeal will skip the stain and just paint the trim white or black instead.


Wood trim can still be a great look. While the modern style uses white or black trim instead of wood, there is nothing wrong with keeping wood trim in most cases. Consider the total design elements of your home as well as your own preferences and then take it from there.