How to Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained

Stained wood trim gives a classic and timeless look to any home. However, the process can seem daunting when you want to switch up the color scheme. If you’re wondering how to paint wood trim that is stained without stripping or sanding it down, we have you covered. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of painting your stained wood trim, step-by-step.

How to Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained

Can You Paint the Stained Wood Trim?

Wood trim is a beautiful and timeless feature that can add a touch of elegance to any room. However, regular wear and tear can result in unsightly stains on the wood over time. Many homeowners wonder if they can paint over the stained wood trim to give it a fresh look.

The good news is that it is possible to paint over the stained wood trim, but some important steps must be taken first to ensure a successful outcome. Proper preparation is key, and choosing the right type of paint for the job is important. Painting over stained wood trim can breathe new life into any room with a little bit of effort and patience.

Why Should You Paint a Wood Trim that Is Stained?

Painting a stained wood trim may initially seem like an unnecessary task, but the benefits it can bring to your home are worth considering. For one, painting over a stained trim can instantly lift your space. It can brighten up a room and make it look fresher and more polished.

Additionally, painting a wood trim can help protect it from further damage. Stains can wear away over time, leaving your trim exposed to elements like moisture and sunlight, which can cause the wood to deteriorate. Painting your trim can act as a sealant, protecting it from damage and extending its lifespan. Overall, painting over a stained trim can be a simple yet impactful way to improve the look and longevity of your home.

How to Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Preparing the surface is the first step in painting your stained wood trim. Begin by cleaning it thoroughly, removing any dust, dirt, or grime that may have collected on it. If the surface is particularly dirty, use a degreaser to remove any buildup. Once the surface is clean, use painter’s tape to mask any areas you don’t want to paint. This includes the walls, floor, and any window frames adjacent to the trim.

Removing Any Dust

Step 2: Apply Primer

Before applying paint to the stained wood trim, it’s essential to apply a coat of high-quality primer. This will help the paint adhere to the wood and provide a smooth finish. Use a brush or roller to apply primer to your trim, making sure to use long, even strokes. Always work with the grain of the wood to get the best results.

Step 3: Paint the Trim

Once the primer has fully dried, it’s time to paint your stained wood trim. Make sure you choose a high-quality paint suitable for wood. Select a paint color that complements your interior design scheme. Using the same brush or roller, apply the paint to your trim, following the same method as with the primer, ensuring the entire surface is covered. Apply a second coat if necessary after the first coat has dried.

Step 4: Touch Up

Remove the painter’s tape after the paint has dried, and inspect your work. Look for any areas where the paint has been missed or needs a touch-up. Use a small brush to paint over these sections, blending the new paint with the old. Allow the touch-up paint to dry, and re-inspect your work to ensure a smooth finish.

Step 5: Clean Up

Once you have finished painting your stained wood trim, it’s time to clean up. Clean brushes and rollers with warm, soapy water, and allow them to dry completely before storing them. Dispose of used painter’s tape and any other packaging materials safely. Make sure to clean up any drips or spills on the floor and surrounding areas.

Step 6: Consider Finishing

Consider applying a clear polyurethane coat over the paint if you want a shiny finish. This will add a protective layer and give your trim a glossy look. However, you can skip this step if you prefer a more natural look. Just make sure the paint is fully dry before moving on to the final step.

Consider Applying a Clear Polyurethane Coat

Step 7: Admire Your Work

Now that you have completed all the steps, standing back and admiring your painted stained wood trim, it is time. Not only will it look refreshed and updated, but it will also protect your wood from future damage. With proper maintenance and care, your painted wood trim can last for years, adding value and beauty to your home.

Congratulations on a job well done!  So, this is how you can paint wood trim that is stained without any hassle. Remember to follow these steps carefully, and you’ll have a beautiful trim in no time.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained

1. Prepare the Wood Trim

Before you start painting, you need to prepare the wood trim by cleaning it and removing any existing stains. This can be done with a mild detergent, water solution, or wood cleaner. Once cleaned, you should sand the surface of the wood trim to remove any imperfections and make it easier for the paint to adhere.

2. Choose an Appropriate Primer

Choosing an appropriate primer is essential when painting over stained wood trim. A quality primer will help seal in the stain and provide a smooth base for your paint. Look for a primer that is specifically designed for use on stained surfaces, as this will ensure that your paint adheres properly and lasts longer.

A Quality Primer Will Help

3. Select an Appropriate Paint Finish

When selecting a paint finish for your wood trim, you should consider how much wear and tear it will receive. If it is exposed to moisture or high humidity levels, then you should opt for a semi-gloss or gloss finish, as these are more resistant to damage from moisture than matte finishes are. On the other hand, if the trim won’t be exposed to moisture, then a matte finish may be more suitable.

4. Use Quality Painting Tools

Using quality painting tools is essential when painting over stained wood trim. Invest in good brushes and roller covers, as these will help ensure that your paint job looks professional and lasts longer than if using cheap tools. Additionally, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies, such as drop cloths, painter’s tape, and tarps, before you begin painting so that everything is ready when you start work.

5. Allow Adequate Drying Time

Finally, once you have finished painting your wood trim, it is important to allow adequate drying time before applying a second coat of paint or varnish sealer. Depending on the type of paint used and environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity levels, it could take anywhere from several hours to several days before your project is completely dry and ready for use again

Benefits of Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained

Stained wood trim can add a touch of elegance and warmth to any living space. However, over time, it can begin to lose its luster and look dull and worn. This is where paint comes in. By painting your stained wood trim, you not only give it a new lease of life but also open up a whole new world of design possibilities.

Imagine a crisp white trim framing your windows and doorways or a deep, rich shade of navy blue highlighting your baseboards. By painting your stained wood trim, you can completely transform the look and feel of your home and create a space that is both inviting and stylish. Plus, painting your wood trim can help protect it from the elements, ensuring that it lasts for years to come.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Paint Wood Trim that Is Stained

Painting wood trim that has been stained can be a tricky task, especially if you’re inexperienced. Many people make the mistake of improperly preparing the wood surface before painting, resulting in uneven coverage or chipping. Another common mistake is not using the right paint or primer.

Common Mistake is Not Using the Right Paint

Choosing a paint not formulated for stained wood can result in poor adhesion and an unsatisfactory finish. Additionally, some people make the error of rushing the painting process, leading to missed spots and a sloppy appearance. It’s essential to take your time and ensure that each part of the wood trim is adequately covered and that any mistakes are corrected promptly. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish on your stained wood trim.


Painting stained wood trim can be daunting, but with the right preparation, materials, and techniques, you can get the job done efficiently and effectively. Always prepare the surface, apply primer and paint with long, even strokes, and allow each coat to dry completely. Take the time to inspect your work and adjust as necessary. By following these steps, you can breathe new life into your stained wood trim and transform the look of your home. Thanks for reading our post about how to paint wood trim that is stained.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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