How to Paint Exterior House Trim

garage restoration in minneapolis minnesota

We painted this cottage-style garage in Edina classic white with taupe trim. It’s hard to go wrong with classic color schemes.

When you’re planning an exterior painting project, you hope for dry, sunny weather. That means this summer is the perfect time to paint some trim! Here are tips on how to prep and paint exterior house trim so that your work will last for years.

how to paint exterior house trim

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Ask the Expert: How to Paint Exterior House Trim

Step One: Prep, Prep, Prep

  • Clean all the windows and surfaces, such as window and door frames.
  • Check the caulk and glazing — this is a great time to fix those items as well.
  • Scrape and brush all loose paint. Put drop cloths on the ground to catch the paint flakes.
  • After scraping, lightly sand the surfaces and wipe off the dust. This will help the primer adhere.
  • Apply painter’s tape to the windows and adjacent siding.

Photo Licensed under Adobe Stock

Step Two: Paint

  • Depending on the condition of the wood, apply one or more coats of primer.
  • If your windows have multiple panes, paint the dividers first.
  • Then paint the horizontals.
  • Finish with the verticals.
  • Let the paint dry thoroughly in between each coat.
  • When you are finished and all coats have dried, remove the tape. Use a razor blade to scrape any drips off of the glass.
  • Clean the windows one more time.

Step back and enjoy the view. You earned it!

For some, choosing a color can be a bit daunting. It’s hard to visualize how the whole house is going to look when you’re looking at those itty-bitty paint chips. We recommend The Spruce’s Guide to Great Combinations of Paint Colors for Houses.


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