Painting your window trim using Exterior paint – Methods and Tools

Painting window trim is an easy task, but one that does take a bit of preparation. Making sure that you have everything you need at hand and that you have properly prepared the area in question will ensure a quality end product that won’t need redone for several years. 

Setting Up The Area 

Starting with a clean area is integral to a good result. Make sure to wipe down and dry the area you want to paint before you get started. Place drop cloths down and if you find any rough spots sand them lightly before you get ready to start. 

Materials Needed 

You will need painters tape, brushes, paint, sand paper, and something to hold the paint. Start by taping off all of the areas you won’t be painting and lightly sanding the area that you will before wiping it down. Pour the paint into the container you intent to use it out of and lay everything out on the drop cloth that you have already placed below the windows in question. 

Take special care to ensure that the glass and any area that seals, such as the sill underneath the window are well taped off. Painters tape removes with no residue so don’t be afraid to press hard and to put multiple pieces for full coverage. 

Tools To Use 

The most basic tool will be a somewhat large brush, which you should select based on the width of the trim in question. You want a brush slightly bigger than the trim you will be painting so that you can cover everything in a single stroke. You will also need at least one detail brush, but two is better. Choose small brushes that will easily get into corners and that you can use to repair any mistakes. 


Once everything has been taped off you will take your brush and dip it into the exterior paint, making sure to scrap off any extra either on a rubber band strung across the can or on the back of the container that you are using. You don’t want the brush to drip paint as this will create uneven areas that will flake and chip in addition to looking horrible. 

Take the loaded brush and press it to the trim, working from top to bottom. Try to get as much coverage in a single stroke as possible, going slowly and creating an even coat. Resist the urge to go back and forth with the brush as this will leave brush marks and can lead to bubbling as well. 

Once once with each side take the detail brush and fill in any areas that the larger brush was unable to reach. Then allow the area to dry before deciding if you need to apply multiple coats. 

For additional coats you want to work in the same direction, being careful not to create additional bubbles or marks in the paint. Allow enough time between coats for the paint to dry fully so you aren’t dragging or damaging the initial coat. 

When all is done, pull up the edging tape and ensure that no spots have been missed. Allow the paint to dry fully before touching and enjoy your new window trim.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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