Prepping Trim and Woodwork
Project Checklist
  • Paint brushes and rollers
  • Foam pad
  • Trim brushes
  • Edge pads
  • Drop cloths
  • Edge rollers


Woodwork and Molding

Proper preparation is critical when painting woodwork —the touch ups you do here will create the smooth surface you seek once it is painted.

  • Fill in dents and rebuild chipped corners with wood filler.
  • Use patching compound on scratches and smaller cracks.
  • Sand the dry surface with 180-grit sandpaper and wipe away the dust.
  • Use a hand vacuum with a brush attachment to clean dust and debris from woodwork and door frames.

Tip: With contoured or intricate trim or molding, use a sanding sponge rather than sandpaper. The sponge gets at places the paper can't reach, resulting in a more uniformly smooth surface.

Bare woodwork: Use a latex or oil-based specialty primer that is formulated to block stains.


Glossy Painted Surfaces

Prime your glossy surfaces to promote adhesion of the top coat.

There are three ways to prime a glossy surface:

  1. Use a latex or oil-based primer formulated for glossy surface adhesion.
  2. Use a liquid deglosser, following all label instructions.
  3. Scuff the surface with 180-grit sandpaper. The scuffing will help the new paint adhere better. Before painting, wash the surface with trisodium phosphate (TSP) or substitute according to the manufacturer's instructions; rinse with water and let dry.

Locate a store
Retail Locator
See How-To Videos
Watch a project from start to finish.
Watch Videos