Can You Use Trim Paint On Walls? [And Vice Versa]

You’ve probably started painting your trim using that perfect color for your room, and you’re probably wondering if you can use the same paint on the walls. We’ve looked into this topic, and in this post, we will discuss what we’ve learned about using trim paint on walls (and vice versa) and the kind of paint you should use.

Technically speaking, there is a specific kind of paint that you can use for trims and cabinets. This paint has sheens ranging from satin to high gloss, and because of its durability, you can also use it on your walls. It also works the other way around, and you can use your preferred wall paint for your trim.

Knowing that you can use the same paint for trim and walls can be a bit surprising. This is why we will go deeper into the topic in this post. Keep reading because we will share with you the kinds of paint you can use, as well as reasons why you should paint them the same color.

Woman painting on trim wall, Can You Use Trim Paint On Walls? [And Vice Versa]

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Can You Use Trim Paint On Walls?

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Entrance hallway with tile floor and beige wall with white trim. White door with arch and windows

When renovating rooms, one of the most important additions is the wall trim. As an addition to your walls, trim is made to hide the imperfections from your baseboards and ceilings. It can be used to create a bold design statement in your home, depending on how you want to paint them.

There are many different types of trim available for you to use. Depending on the style that you choose, trim is meant to be emphasized, and you can do this by painting them a different color. Another way to accentuate the trim is by painting it using a different finish.

Since trim should be accentuated, there is a specific kind of paint that you can use on it. These paints have different features compared to your standard wall paint, which makes them a perfect choice to use on trim. This paint can also be used on cabinets because it is known for its durability. 

If you’ve started using trim paint, you might want to have a uniform look for your room. Fortunately, paint formulations have continually improved over time and trim paints have become more durable. You can use the same paints on your walls in order to give your room that uniformity.

This also works vice versa. Most wall paints can also be used on your wall trim, but there are certain finishes that are preferred over others. These finishes are mostly satin, gloss, or semi-gloss finishes, and they work well with both the walls and trim.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use For Wall Trim?

Many paint professionals will suggest using special trim paint for your wall trim because it offers specific qualities that will make your moldings look better. These paints are typically pre-tinted bright white, but you can also find base colors that can be custom tinted to your choice.

Trim paints typically have higher gloss finishes and are also self-leveling. You will also find that these paints are resistant to sagging (which often happens when painting using brushes), and they have non-yellowing properties.

A high gloss finish is important for trim paint because paints with a higher gloss are more resistant to dirt. This makes it easy for you to clean your trim every time the room gets dusty. You will typically find trim paint in satin, semi-gloss, gloss, and high-gloss finishes.

Check out this semi-gloss trim paint on Amazon.

This paint is also self-leveling, which means that brush marks are unlikely to appear on your finished paint job. Oil-based paint takes longer to try, allowing the paint to level itself. Acrylic-latex paints, on the other hand, have additives that prevent brush marks from appearing as the paint dries.

Another great feature of trim paint is its resistance to sagging. This usually happens to paint when big gloops of paint start to pool and sag as a result of painting using a brush and gravity. Trim paint is typically a lot thicker, so it makes it easier to stick to the trim, preventing it from sagging as it dries.

These paints are also non-yellowing, which is very important because there is trim that is always exposed to sunlight. UV rays are notorious for making paints yellow, so this feature of trim paints gives us a long time to keep the trim pristine white.

Why Should You Paint The Trim And Walls The Same Color?

Empty white room with parquet floor and wood trimmed wall

One of the most recent trends in interior design is painting the walls and the trim using the same color. Interior designers will agree that painting the walls and trim with the same color provides a different look for the room, and it often makes the space look more modern. Here are some of the reasons why you should paint the walls and trim the same color:

Creates a Minimalist, Monochromatic Style

A very popular interior design trend is creating a minimalistic, monochromatic palette for your rooms. This modern take on making use of the same color of paint for the entire room makes it look very elegant and serene. A  monochromatic color scheme also gives your room that impact that makes a lasting impression on your guests.

Hide Trim Styles

If you’ve only moved houses and you find that the house’s trim isn’t exactly up to your aesthetic standards, then there might be a way for you to work with it. Painting the walls and the trim using the same color can help the ornate trim recede and blend in with your walls. This will help camouflage your trim and make it look seamless to your room.

Open Up the Space

Using identical colors in a space helps minimize lines, making your room look bigger and brighter. With your walls and trim having the same color, the space opens up, and it will even give your ceilings an illusion of height without having to do major renovation work.

Blend in the Cabinets

If you’re planning to make your cabinets look seamless in your room, paint everything in the same color, and it will give you that “built-in” look. Aside from giving the room that “extra space” from that monochromatic style, your cabinets will also look like they’ve always been part of the room.

Make it Stand Out

Another great tip from many interior designers is to use the same color of paint on the trim and the walls, but with different finishes. Wall trim and backboards look great using glossy finishes like satin or semi-gloss, but walls look better with a flatter paint sheen. Using the same color but with different finishes will help your trim stand out, without making it look too extreme.

Which Should You Paint First—Trim Or Walls?

Hand painting molding

If you are doing your own paint job for your walls, you’ve probably wondered where to begin. There are a lot of discussions about which part of the wall should be painted first, but most painting professionals do agree with certain methods.

Many experts agree that it would be better to paint the trim first before working on the walls. This is because it is a lot easier to tape off the trim, and it lends to sharper lines. If you’re more of an expert painter, it is also easier to cut in the paint when you start with the trim instead of working with the walls first. 

However, there are occasions when painting the walls is a better option. If you want the room painted fast and you have extra help to keep the work going, then it’s a good idea to paint the walls first. You should also paint the walls before the trim if you aren’t completely sold on the wall color—this way, you can also change the paint for the trim if you suddenly change your mind.

Final Thoughts

Hand with a paint brush.

Over the last couple of years, painting the walls and trim using the same color has become a well-known trend in the world of interior design. Not only does it make your room look uniform and clean, but it also makes it easier for you to decide on the color of the space. When redecorating your living space, do consider this style and see how it transforms your rooms.

Looking to give your trims a fresh new look? We’ve got some articles that might be of interest to you:

How Much Paint Do I Need For Trim?

Should Trim Be Darker Or Lighter Than Siding?


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