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White paint covering a paintbrush and paint cans used for residential painting projects.

Helpful Home Painting and Trim Painting Tips from a Wichita Handyman

Are you thinking about starting a trim painting project for your next home improvement project? Simple right? Actually, you might be surprised how much there is to know about residential painting. More than a few local homeowners have broken out brushes, rollers, and old t-shirts to start a Wichita home painting or trim painting job, only to realize that there's a lot more involved beyond brushing on a fresh coat.

Have you taken the time to test your options? Is there damage that needs to be repaired? Are you in the midst of an ongoing remodeling project? Are you planning to do it yourself or get help? Who are you planning to ask? There's a lot to consider when it comes to Wichita home painting projects, and refinishing trim is an even more specific task with even more considerations.

If you want advice, information, or great service, Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area is always here to help! We know what it takes to make crown molding — or an entire room — look amazing. We also know which obstacles and common mistakes often lead to poor results for all types of home painting. Whether you're still planning or you've already started, we've got tips — and services — to make your life easier.

Take the Time to Color Test

Are you worried about choosing the wrong color, or that a color might look worse in your home than it does at the store? Don't be! If you test colors before you start a painting job, you're much less likely to be unsatisfied with the results of house and trim painting projects.

How Do You Test Colors?

Go to your local hardware store and look at their samples. Make sure that you're looking at brands and styles appropriate for your project. Some types of paint are only intended for indoor or outdoor use. Certain types of paint are also harder to use than others, such as oil-based paint.

Once you've found a great brand, collect some swatches — those little colored cards — and bring them home. Be sure to collect a variety of options. You never know what you might enjoy! At home, attach your swatches to the surfaces that you plan to refinish. Move them around occasionally to different spots too. Testing gives you a better idea of how they look in the light of your home during different hours of the day.

Could You Do Testing for Exterior Painting?

For exterior painting in Wichita, you may want to use larger swatches to get an idea about how new exterior trim colors look against your siding. It's sometimes possible to order larger sample sheets, but it's also possible to make your own by coating foam boards or cardboard using smaller sample jars of your chosen potential styles.

If you don't have to worry about what your neighbors might say, you could also just cover large sections of your exterior trim with different options to see which you like best. Have you ever seen houses in Wichita with large, different-colored squares on the side? Those people are paint testing their home too!

Don't Be Afraid of Unusual Choices

Unusual is just another word for special. Many Wichita homeowners avoid unique color schemes because they're worried about the effects that those choices have on curb appeal, but that should only be a concern if you're planning to sell your home — or if you live in one of the Wichita communities with a homeowner's association. Even then, those choices only matter for exterior areas. Don't be afraid to embrace the color, pattern, and texture choices that might make your home unique — and make you happier.

Potential Trim Colors:

  • White: for a classic, timeless finish

  • Black: to make highlights pop

  • Beige or brown: for a natural aesthetic

  • Smokey gray: for a subtle touch

  • Navy blue: for a cool, complimentary design

  • Burgundy: for a warm, moody feeling

  • Polished wood: for rustic character

  • Or whatever thrilling color you want!

Start With Repairs

Every professional painter in Wichita agrees, fresh color is not a replacement for drywall repairs. When you cover trim nicks or drywall damage with a fresh layer of color, those issues will still be just as visible. In some cases, a new layer of quality paint will draw more attention to pre-existing damage.

Trim and drywall repair is an important starting step for any interior or exterior home painting job in Wichita. Rather than permanently sealing damage, start by creating a pristine surface for your new finish. The better your canvas looks, the better the finished product will look. If you're dealing with large amounts of damage, don't be afraid to call a Wichita drywall repairman for help — especially if this is your first experience with drywall or trim repairs.

Clean Your Surfaces

Just like damage, any dust, dirt, or debris present while working on home painting will get locked in by the fresh layers. That existing grime makes it harder for fresh color to stick, which often results in early peeling — especially on exterior surfaces like decks and fences. Those dirty spots could also create stains or gritty textures on otherwise spotless surfaces, ruining your results.

What's the Best Way to Prime Outdoor Surfaces in Wichita?

Sweeping and washing decks or fences takes a lot of time, but there's a faster solution for Wichita homes: power washing. It's possible to prime decks, fences, and even siding by pressure washing all those surfaces. Be careful though. This is powerful equipment. Avoiding accidental damage requires the right skills and expertise.

Remove Your Hardware

We're not talking about all the tools in your garage or kitchen — although it's a good idea to move those too if they're going to be in the way. When we say hardware, we're talking about door handles, latches, hinges, and anything else that might ruin your crisp lines. By taking the extra time to remove those obstacles, you'll get a much cleaner finish.

Removing hardware from doors, cabinets, window trim, and other areas is also a great opportunity to think about completing any repairs or replacements at the same time. Would you rather have cabinet handles that compliment your new color? Has your window been getting harder and harder to open? This is a great opportunity to fix cabinet, window, and door problems in your home!

Think About Your Finish

Did you know there's more to picking a refinishing style than just colors and patterns? Different types of trim look better or worse with specific finishes. The same goes for all other areas. Everything from your walls to your window sills has a specific finish that looks best. Even your ceiling should have a complimentary finish. Picking certain finishes for each of those areas — walls, trim, and ceilings — creates specific effects, making rooms seem grander or cozier.

Finish Styles to Consider for Your Home:

  • Matte Finish: Matte paint doesn't reflect much light at all, which is why it looks “flat.” It's generally more cost-effective, and it actually does work well for hiding imperfections. Unfortunately, it's difficult to clean, so it's best for less messy areas like ceilings, bedrooms, and living rooms.

  • Eggshell Paint: Very similar to matte, an eggshell finish has lower reflectivity. The nice thing about eggshell is that it's easier to clean. It also has an added level of durability that provides more protection than matte styles.

  • Semi-Gloss Paint: A semi-gloss finish will have a more noticeable shine. Not only does semi-gloss reflect more light, but it's also more durable and easier to clean, making it ideal for high-traffic, mess-prone areas, such as hallways, kitchens, and bathrooms.

  • High-Gloss Finish: High-gloss has an immediately noticeable shine that's perfect for trim painting projects. It's also much more durable, which means that it will stand up to the type of abuse that affects door frames, window sills, and other types of trim. For this type of paint, we recommend hiring experienced trim painting professionals, as it's quite difficult to apply an even coat and imperfections will be much more noticeable.

Picking a Finish:

Your specific project type matters when it comes to picking a finish. There is a wide range of options, but not all of them are suitable for both Wichita home painting and trim painting. The type of material you're working with, nearby light sources, and the type of property needs that surfaces serve are all important considerations. When it comes to exterior surfaces, you might be happier with wood stain. For interior Wichita home painting, you might want to consider combining multiple styles to create an interesting, cohesive design.

Do You Need Help with Your Wichita Home Painting or Trim Painting Project?

Mr. Handyman of the Wichita Metro Area is here to help! Our services have you covered for prep steps like repairs and power washing, and our experienced handyman team is staffed with experts for trim repairs and installation. As Wichita's local home improvement experts, we're here to help with repairs, maintenance, and improvements across the Wichita metro area, from Derby to Bel Aire!

For help with commercial and residential properties in Wichita, call 316-285-1217. We have a convenient appointment time for you!