Painted Trim vs. Stained Trim: Which is Best for Your Home?

Interior wood trim is an important design detail that can be found in nearly every room of a home. While many people often overlook their wood trim and leave it as is when they move in, when painted, wood trim can significantly transform the look and feel of a house.

Whether your trim is simple, or your home has elaborate molding or intricate trim details, professional interior trim painting can give your home a polished, beautiful look. But if you’re like most people, you are probably having difficulty deciding between keeping your trim stained or painting it. Before making a choice, consider the following factors to ensure your interior trim looks perfect inside your home.


Quality of Woodwork

The first thing to consider is the quality of your woodwork. Wood trim can either be “paint grade” or “stain grade.” One easy way to determine wood trim quality is to take a good look at what you’re working with. If your trim has already been stained, make sure to notice whether the woodgrain easily shows through the stain. If it does, you know that you have higher quality wood that you may not want to touch with paint. Stain grade trim is also perfect for painting if that is what you prefer.

On the flip side, if your wood trim has already been painted, and you are wanting to stain it yourself, you will need to strip off a small section of paint to look at the wood and determine the woodgrain quality. It’s important to note that if your trim was painted when you moved in, it’s highly likely that the wood is lower quality, which means that having it professionally painted would likely be your best bet.

Trim painting tip! If you notice that older woodwork has a substantial amount of cracks, holes, or dings, asking professional painters to paint the trim would be ideal, even if the woodgrain is high-quality on other parts of the trim.


Style of Home

You may also want to consider your home’s original style and the time period in which your home was built. If you have a newer build, painting your trim may work out much better than in a home that is 100 years old. If you have an older home, you probably have some high-quality stained woodwork. Stained wood trim is very common in older homes, and keeping it stained can bring a sense of warmth and rustic charm to a room.

Even so, some older homes can still benefit from painting trim. For example, the old Victorian-style “painted lady” houses can certainly get away with brighter paint colors.

If you don’t know when your house was built, conduct some research on your home and the neighborhood to discover the history behind it. What did your neighborhood home interiors look like originally? Any interior design information you dig up could help steer you toward the best trim option.


Trim in Other Rooms

When you’re deciding between painting your interior trim or keeping it stained, you should also think about the trim in other rooms of your home. Are some of your trim painted, and other trim stained? If the majority of your home’s trim is painted, you should probably keep things uniform and go with paint for the rest of the trim. On the other hand, if most of the trim is stained, or your house contains high-quality and decorative woodwork, you may want to strip off some of the paint and then stain the woodwork to match the rest of the trim.


Room Lighting

Many older homes have dark-stained woodwork which can make rooms without much natural light look dim and small. If this is the type of room you have on your hands, painting your trim white can help liven it up. But, if your home has a significant amount of natural light flowing in, you have the luxury of deciding whether to keep your trim stained or have professional painters paint your baseboards, doors, molding, or ornate woodwork a darker color to make them pop.


Combining Stained and Painted Trim

Sometimes certain homes can even get away with combining already-stained woodwork and newly painted trim for a truly unique look. Here are some common combinations that you may want to consider:

  1. Painting trim white but keeping window frames and doors stained to balance out your home’s older features with contemporary style.
  2. Painting crown molding white or cream and keeping baseboards, doors, and window frames stained to make a room’s impressive woodwork details stand out.
  3. Painting trim white and keeping just the door stained to brighten up a room while retaining a small piece of the room’s old charm.
  4. Keeping kitchen trim stained and painting cabinets white to help break up the room visually.


Paint Your Trim White

Choosing between painting interior trim or keeping it stained can be a difficult decision for many. This is why a large majority of people choose to paint their wood trim and moldings a white hue since it is so versatile.

The simplicity of white trim can work well with all sorts of room decorations, wall paint colors, or wall designs. White trim paint can also brighten up woodwork and make a room feel fresh and modern. So, if you’re still having trouble deciding whether to paint or keep your woodwork stained, white trim paint could be perfect for you!


Professional Interior Trim Painting

Whether you want to simply paint your baseboards and keep your doors stained, or are looking to paint wood trim throughout your home, it’s important to rely on experienced interior trim painters. Trim painting may seem like a simple task, especially if you’re only painting one room, but professional painters will ensure that your trim is washed, sanded down, and primed to keep your new paint job looking great for years to come. Get a free trim painting quote.