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Have you ever wondered what to paint your trim color versus your wall color? Well, I go over different options on how to paint those baseboards, crown moldings panel, moldings door casings, and all of that. We’ll go over the different finishes and options that you have, whether you should use eggshell or satin or matte or flat or any of that.
The First Option
So basically when you’re painting out your trim, you pretty much have three options. The first option that you have is to paint it out the same color as your wall color. That’s the most common question. A lot of you guys really, really want to get fancy and you want to paint the trim color different than the wall color, but there is always a really safe option of just painting it the same. So if you’ve painted your wall in Chantilly Lace you can always carry that through onto your trim. It’s kind of the fail-safe option.
Oftentimes it’s my preferred option for white paints, especially. So don’t necessarily think that you have to get fancy. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Just take the trim color and just paint it out. The same as what you’ve done on the walls can usually look super sharp. It’s always great and super classic.
And that way, even just the difference of sheen is enough to create some contrast and really separate out those trims without necessarily needing to paint a completely different color. And what it also does is by painting your walls and your trims out the same color. I’m including panel moldings and all the rest of it. It creates just a really beautiful texture onto the wall without necessarily needing to like scream, contrast, and drama and whatever. Just a sort of really kind of creating something really simple and really clean but it’s sort of understated. And it kind of allows your furniture and other sorts of decor pieces to really stand out.
Option Two: Paint White
Option two for how to paint your trim. So if option one was just painted out the same color option two is to paint it out white. Usually, with an off-white, that’s going to either match the undertones of the paint that you have on the wall, or it’s going to be a really crisp, clean, quite something like super white is usually a really awesome option.
It’s a really, really great option and super beautiful on your trims. If you want to get a little bit fancy though, you can also use a trim paint where the undertones match, or you can use something a little bit more neutral, like a super white. And you know, what’s going to work most likely unless you get funky with the undertones. It’s more likely to work with the wall paint that you’re working with.
And it’s also going to really beautifully frame the space. Because if your crown moldings are right, your ceilings are white and your baseboards are white. It’s just going to really sort of frame the walls and create a beautiful look. Of course, depending on your wall color, it is going to create some contrast. I think it looks really gorgeous because it’s just really creating that contrast, which is what I was looking for.
The other reason I really also like white trim is something that you might not think of. And that is that oftentimes things like light switches and baseboard heaters and electrical outlets and fire sprinklers and thermostats, and all that type of stuff that normally has like white plates. They normally are white. It works with the rest of those elements in the space when you have white baseboards or white trim.
That’s all kind of white is generally working together. If you’re working with a really bold, crazy color, just know that you’re already probably going to be introducing white or an off-white and all those other things that exist in your space that oftentimes we don’t necessarily really think of. If it’s white you’re not introducing another color. That’s more likely to work with the rest of those different elements.
Always remember that more contrast you’re putting between the trim and the wall color the more your eye is naturally going to be drawn to it. If you’ve gone for something like Сlassic Gray or even Gray Owl it’s a little bit on the kind of mid-tone side. So it’s going to be a little bit less contrast. And if you were to say, go for something like paint your walls, Onyx, which is like a very deep black, next to white is going to create a lot of contrast and it’s going to sort of really draw your eye to it.
Option Number Three
Option number three is going to be painting out your trim in similar colors to the rest of your palette. If you’re working with a complimentary color palette, it’s maybe going a little bit crazy. Painting out your baseboards or your crown moldings or your casings or your panel moldings to work with the rest of your color palette. This is pretty advanced.
I’m sure you already know all about it, but essentially you can use color theory or more specifically the color wheel to find a trim color within your existing color scheme. For example, if you’re thinking of keeping things fairly monochromatic, then your trim color would simply be a different shade of that same color hue that you’ve already been using. Make sure that your trim and baseboards have enough of a contrast in-depth to your walls. So if you have a light cool gray on the walls, then you can perhaps opt for a darker, cool gray on the trim.
The same goes for an analogous color scheme. Instead of a lighter or darker version of your wall color on the baseboards, you can pivot to a color that’s next door on the color wheel. This will provide you with a little more variety and a lot of fun. I would still consider keeping the level of depth different enough, even though you’re changing up the color hue because you still want to see a fairly distinct difference between your walls and your woodwork and analogous color schemes can be fairly subtle at times for more daring and bold looks. You could experiment with complementary color schemes where you have opposing colors on the color wheel, or you can even get into triadic color schemes. That list really goes on and on. But for the most part, if you already have an established color palette that you’re working with. I’d invite you to stay within that color scheme and try your best to have some visual distinction between your walls and your woodwork.
A quick word on finishes
The general rule of finishes is that the more gloss that you have in your finish, the more it is going to really show off the imperfections in the wall or the ceiling or whatever, but the more durable the finish is going to be. Wall color is typically you want to do something that’s maybe a mat or even an eggshell. That’s going to have a little bit of gloss to it. That’s just to protect against kind of scratches and things like that. So trims can be like your casings in your baseboards, could be a semi-gloss if you want to go for even more of kind of that traditional, more likely something like a satin finish and then ceilings.
And that’s because it really hides those imperfections beautifully. And you’re probably not going to be like digging it very often because you’re probably not going to go up there.
Richard Jenkins is a 33-year-old Professional Painter that applies paint on the interior and exterior surfaces. Qualified in painting technology knowledge, physical fitness, stamina, teamwork, and attention to safety. Read More.