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Trim may seem like a small and inconsequential aspect of your home but it’s usually a high impact area that has to stand up to vacuum cleaners, toys, pets and toddlers. Trim needs to be durable. It needs to be washable. Trim has to perform! So what kind of paint do you use for this critical surface? There are three choices of paint for trim.

  • Oil-based paint is a classic trim paint that has been used for years to create a smooth surface on baseboards, mouldings, soffits, and fascia. It provides a superior glass-like finish with minimal-to-zero brush marks. It’s great for filling small scratches, divots, or other minor imperfections and won’t sag after application. This paint is resistant to moisture and everyday wear and tear. However, oil-based paint has a slow drying time, contains VOCs and has solvent-based clean-up requirements.
  • Acrylic latex paint produces a good finish with minimal brush marks and cleans easily with soap and water. Look for 100% acrylic paint. Though it’s more expensive, it cures harder and is less porous, making it durable and easy to clean. Acrylic latex paints are a good choice but don’t match the toughness of oil-based paint.
  • Acrylic-alkyd hybrid paints have all the best qualities of oil-based paint (levelling, hardness, flow) while still providing easy soap-and-water cleanup and resistance to yellowing over time. If you want professional-looking trim that is durable but wish to avoid VOCs, this is the paint for you.

 

What about gloss and colour?

Flat and matte finishes are difficult to wipe clean, and their low reflective properties mean they are poor at highlighting the ornate details of trim. Satin, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss are all suitable for use on trim. They’re smoother and more reflective accentuating trim details. Their tighter molecular structure and smaller pores make it hard for dirt and debris to work their way in. Be aware that the higher the gloss, the more the imperfections will show. Semi-gloss offers the best balance of looks and practicality. It’s reflective but still masks imperfections.

Though neutral colours add elegance and bold colours have more of an impact, white is still the most versatile paint colour for trim. Modern or rustic, white pairs pleasingly with every design style. It works well with neutral walls and gives the eye a break from bright wall colours. White trim looks right in any home.

If you’re ready to refresh your baseboards, moulding, soffits and fascia, consider white, semi-gloss, acrylic-alkyd hybrid paint for best results. Look for a high-quality paint that will last for years.

Are you looking for advice on a painting project? Call Calgary’s independent paint and blinds store West Hillhurst Paint + Design at (403) 270-9696 or email at kyle@westhillhurstpaint.com Our knowledgeable, professional design associates provide high-quality paint, a wide selection of blinds and advice for home projects. We offer excellent service and a variety of products to match any budget. Call for a consultation today!

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