White Trim: can i get a hallelujah?

Sorry but this is a bit of a long post. It was a long job. I stuck the befores in there twice so you wouldn't have to scroll back and forth and back and forth. Hope that helps. 

This project start back in March. Yes, March. I lived with the white walls and brown trim for 9 months. This probably had a lot to do with the funk I was in. I could not take it any longer. It wasn't that they were white but that they were chalky white with lots of dings and nails painted over. Future painters out there, don't be lazy, remove the nails and screws before painting please. I had already painted the dining room. It looks a little bright but it's not. It's a blue/green color that I love. It doesn't really glow like it looks like it's doing in this picture.

These pictures were snapped right before the painting started. I remembered at the last minute. They aren't the best as I was being rushed by someone.

Here's the fireplace before I painted the brass. There is another window behind the tv and then a set of french doors on the next wall to the right. So, lots of windows and two skylights yet it always seems dark. The brown was sucking up all the light. Adding to my funk.

Above is a view in the hallway looking back at the family room. The walls in the family room and hall got painted but I still had not painted all of the trim. I filled some knot holes but then stopped. There was still so much trim to do. 

Brown was everywhere. It was bringing me down. Way down. It was time to bring out my little friend named Zinsser. It was something I wanted done but I didn't want to do. Thank you Donna for kicking me in the butt again and helping me to get it done. It was her Gitter Done project that got me moving. Well, that and company was coming.

I started with the doorways. I don't use tape. I find it just makes it worse. I use a fully loaded angled brush. It is the key. And I do not have a very steady hand so if I can do it you can too. When you mess up you just wipe it off. Just keep a damp cloth handy. You can always go back and touch up with your paint if you need to. Still, it's less time consuming then taping everything off.

After one coat of primer it was easier to see where I needed filler. I filled any nail holes, knots or gouges. Then I used paintable caulk along the joints. The trim is not the best. Caulk is your friend. It will hide a multitude of sins. Stained trim makes it hard to see crappy work. The next day I did a second coat of primer. Second coats go on much faster.

The only thing I used the tape for was the carpet going up the stairs and down the hallway. Hubby helped me out with painting the walls on the stairs and upstairs hallway because there were tall ladders involved. I would have ended up in the ER. Turns out he ended up in the ER. Not from the ladder but from tripping over the hand rail that we had taken off. He ripped open his toe. Yep, 3 stitches.Thankfully it was after the painting was done. Whew! And luckily he didn't have that stick down his pants when he tripped or that would have ended a whole other way.

Two coats of primer and two top coats later and I have a much brighter home.

family room: after
family room: before

stairs: after

stairs: before

I picked up some walnut stain today. I am going to try to darken up the hand rails and post.

fireplace: after

fireplace: before

from hallway: after

from hallway: before, well midway

see it's not glowing

I will admit, the door trim upstairs is not done. Or the kitchen. The whole kitchen needs to be done so I will do the trim then. In the near future. After I go through a gazillion more shades of white for the cabinets. Oh, and the doors. Because I really want new doors. Why waste my energy? I want them gone. Now, it sounds like I hardly did anything. But I did. I swear. It was a lot. Those spindles were a pain in the butt. 

Linking up to:

FJI's Gitter Done! challenge




  1. So worth the wait. I am glad I FINALLY got to see it. Do you want to come and visit and help me do mine?????

  2. Anita!! Hallelujah!!! That looks AMAZING!!! I can only imagine what a pain painting all that trim was but it was definitely worth it. That is a HUGE difference. I hope you are patting yourself on the back a million times. :)

  3. This is terrific! I have a similar color in my house and my carpet is pretty much identical to yours AND my woodwork is white! I have been thinking about stripping the banisters and the post, and now I know how it will look! Will check back to see the darker stain. Great job!

  4. Hi Anita,
    Oh, wow! I can appreciate all of the work you put into painting! I know how much time & effort it takes. Too bad about your hubbies toe! Yikes! I really love the white trim, and your fireplace redo. Love your fireplace screen, and the window on your mantle! Everything looks so fresh & bright! Wish I could get rid of some of the wood tones around here :)

  5. A+++! Oh I am so glad you posted this as one of my gazillion projects is to paint our trim white, this just inspires me even more, it's just beautiful. Can't wait to see your kitchen... that's a ditto for my kitchen too. With all the work involved, I have decided to tackle only 1 wall at a time, I think I might be able to manage that! Awesome job - everything looks fabulous!

  6. Great work Anita, you have worked very hard. I think the trim is the worst bit to paint (so time consuming) but it makes a huge difference! xx

  7. Anita! Oh my gosh... what a transformation! It not only looks brighter, it's so warm too. Your wall colours really enhance the white so beautifully.

    I was feeling like I lived in a chunk of wood too. Isn't white in the right places so refreshing?


  8. Hallelujah!!! It looks FABULOUS! Who knew that painting the trim would make SUCH a difference?? (well, you did. But I never would have thought it.)

    It looks so fresh, and so pretty~good job!

  9. Your pictures have me so excited, I am getting ready to do the very same thing. My living room is like a cave and I can't wait!! My kitchen cabinets are the same stained wood, and I have new doors ordered,and getting ready for some Benjamin Moore White Dove. Everything is looking great over at your place. Jackie

  10. I have the biggest smile on my face looking at the AFTER pictures!! Wow! It's so warm and happy and glowing (in a grand way)! Bet you feel happier being in those spaces now!!!!

    Hallelujah with both hands raised!!!!! Love the transformations!!!!

    btw, HI!!!!

  11. Congrats on a hard job that I know first hand since I did the same thing. I didn't see a pic of your doors. Are they hollow which is why you want new ones? I painted over mine which saved $. But, i look at them now & still thing, hmm they really could use another coat...oh well. Great Job! Karen

  12. This looks georgeous!! LOVE love the white trim!!

  13. What a transformation! I love it! Have you thought about painting the brick on the fireplace white? We had a brick fireplace in Georgia and Gary didn't want me to paint it. I waited until he was out of town and painted it white. We both loved it! Just a thought.

  14. Oh my goodness, that looks so much better than the brown wood. I know how tidious that is, and commend you for sticking with it.

    Looks great!

  15. Amen and Hallelujah!!! Everything looks so wonderful. I can't believe you painted all those spindles on the stair case. That is a lot of work. You home looks so fresh and inviting. And I am totally still crushin' on that shelf on the shutters you have in your hallway. You did good! Sorry Hubby had to take one for the team on this project.

  16. Huge difference looks great and more than a little coastal!

  17. The white is so much better! I so want to do that in our house. We need all the extra "light" we can get.

  18. Isn't paint amazing! Your room just glows now...in a good way LOL! Lovely!

  19. The warm and welcoming result was worth all your hard work!

  20. It looks terrific! I am procrastinating on my trim painting too, and we've been in this house 11 years! Well, the new trim went in about 5 years ago, but still, it needs paint and I'm the only one who's gonna do it, so it hasn't gotten done yet! You did an excellent job and I bet you feel so good about it! Thanks for the inspriration and slight shove, who knows, I just might get started real soon...(I am not looking forward to painting the stair railing, either!)
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  21. {Ella's Laundry Co.}July 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    It looks super. I just painted out the trim on our main floor. I knew it would be an improvement, but wow it makes everything so bright! It is well worth all the work.

  22. A LOT of work ~ and you did a fabulous job! I've never understood the dark trim...lots of houses in Texas have that along with dark paneling. I need light! :-)

    Have a relaxing weekend ~

  23. my house had the same trim and wood doors. we have managed to paint all of the trim but still have a few doors to replace. it is a process!! yours look awesome! dont you feel like it opens up your room and makes it feel so much brighter!

  24. Big difference! it looks fantastic :)

  25. Wow... what a difference! Your space is so much more relaxing now!

  26. Wonderful job! Everything looks great!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a good day!

  27. Great job, I feel your pain because we had 28 windows plus a gazillion doors which have taken 19, yep 19 years, to be completed. So worth all the hassle in the end!

  28. This is a great post for me. I am in the process of repainting all the main rooms of the house and painting the TRIM!!!!!! I can't wait! I have had a vision of how this would look for years and am just now getting around to it...

  29. So much brighter -- I'm also in the process of doing the same. Just wondering how you plan to darken the handrail. Are you going to sand a bit first?

  30. hurrah for white trim!! how did you paint the gold on your fireplace?? i have been eyeing mine and tried to take the gold bits off to spray them, but they didn't want to budge...any tips?

  31. WOW!!!! What an amazing difference! I will be showing my mom who has the same brown trim around every doorway in her house!


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