What Color To Paint Molding, Baseboards And Overall Trim? [3 Options]

Painting your molding, baseboards, and trim can upgrade your interior. It can take your house from builder-grade to fabulous with some paint and elbow grease.

Even a beginner DIY'er can do it. But, you might be wondering, what color do I paint my trim? We have thoroughly researched your answer, so use this as your go-to guide!

Overall, there are three best options for trim color. Typically, design experts recommend you paint your molding and baseboards and trim a clean, crisp white.

However, other colors are popular as well, like gray or black.

Additional questions might come to mind, should the trim and the doors be the same color? Or what is the most popular white paint for molding? Continue reading to the answer to these questions and more.

Scandinavian style living and dining room - What Color To Paint Molding, Baseboards And Overall Trim [3 Options]

What Color Should You Paint Trim?

There is no argument here - updating your trim has a powerful impact. Therefore, it's essential to know what color to paint your trim. The three most popular choices for trim are white, gray, and black.

Let's go over each color and why we recommend them below:


Dining room with distressed country wood table and lucite chairs and bench. The room has hard wood flooring, painted wood wainscoting and cabinets. The upper wall has a dark navy flat paint and the ceiling has adjustable recessed lights.

White trim is the most popular choice amongst designers and builders. And, for a good reason. It is versatile and gives your home a fresh and new look.

Additionally, white trim is timeless, so you won't have to change trim colors down the road.

You can either go for white walls with white trim to keep things looking clean and streamlined, or you can go with a darker color, like gray walls, to create some contrast. Either way, you can't go wrong with white trim!


Curtain against the dark gray wall

Black trim makes a bold statement. It will give your traditional space a dramatic and moody feel.

It is a great way to make your trim and molding pop out. However, keep in mind you will want to choose a light color on your walls so as not to darken the room completely.

Black trim is becoming more and more common these days. It is a great option if you want to go with a modern look but don't want something too out of the ordinary.


The plinth is dark gray to match the color of the door, mounting the plinth in the room, light gray floor and dark plinth.

Gray trim will give your home a contemporary, transitional look. It is a perfect choice if you're bored of white but doesn't want something overly bold like black.

You can choose a light or dark gray depending on how much of a contrast you want. Overall, gray is in style and doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon.

What's The Most Popular White Paint For Trim?

There are an infinite number of white paints to choose from that can seem overwhelming. But, have no fear! We have narrowed it down to the top 4 most well-liked white colors for your next trim project.

1. Sherwin Williams Pure White

Buckets with paints and plastic tray on wooden table — Free Stock Image

Sherwin Williams Pure White is an off-white color that looks like a toned-down, neutral white. Because of this, many people love this option for trim and baseboards.

For instance, it has a gray and black hue instead of a blue or yellow undertone, making it look less stark. We love this shade for a clean look without feeling too frosty.

2. Benjamin Moore White Dove

Cropped image of woman holding brush in white paint above bucket — Photo

This is a favorite shade among designers because of its versatility. It goes well with any color, which makes it easy to pair with warmer or cooler tones. It's described as creamy and soft, like a cloud.

That being the case, we can see why this is a well-loved color.

3. Benjamin Moore Simply White

Close-up of wet white paint on a paintbrush.

Simply White is a wonderful color. Even though it has yellow undertones, it doesn't feel cold and goes best in south-facing rooms.

Compared to White Dove's neutral tone, Simply White is considered a pure, fresh white. All in all, this color will give your trim a crisp twist on regular old white.

4. Sherwin Williams Extra White

Close-up of Isolated bristle brush with white paint pot

This icy white is "extra" in all the right ways. It is considered a cool white with blue undertones. This shade is anything but dull and is described as bright and crisp.

Charcoal, smoky, or coastal blue walls will go beautifully with this white on your trim and baseboards.

What Paint Finish Should I Use For Trim?

Gloss or semi-gloss is the recommended sheen for trim, baseboards, and moldings.

These glosses are easier to clean and scrub than other finishes such as matte or satin. Trust us when we say you want the most durable finish for baseboards where scuffs make their mark and dirt easily collects.

What Type Of Paint Brush Should I Use For Trim?

There are many types of brush styles and sizes. Selecting the correct brush for your project is vital for great results. Experts recommend a 1" or 2" chisel trim brush for trim.

This brush has slanted bristles making it easier to get into the corners and nooks of trim and molding.

Click here to see this trim brush on Amazon.

How Do I Paint Trim?

Woman painting trim.

Painting trim is extremely easy. Even newbies can get it right on the first try. Follow these simple steps to paint your trim like a pro:

  1. Gather supplies: painter's tape, sandpaper, spackle, putty knife, paint trays, paint, paint brushes, stir sticks, damp sponge, and a tack cloth.
  2. Clean trim: Using a damp sponge, wipe down the trim.
  3. Sand trim: Sand down all trim sides with 120-grit paper until the shine disappears. Follow up with 80- or 100-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. After sanding everything, wipe down your trim with the damp sponge to clean up the sandpaper residue.
  4. Fill in holes and cracks: Taking your putty knife, spackle anywhere you see a hole or crack in the wood. Allow for the spackle to fully dry before lightly sanding it over the spackle. Then, use a tack cloth to clean up the sanding dust.
  5. Apply painter's tape: Spread the painter's tape around the trim and firmly press it to the wall, so it adheres. Tip: use long instead of multiple short pieces to prevent the tape from bleeding.
  6. Paint: Thoroughly mix the paint with a paint stick and pour a small amount into a paint tray. Use long strokes to apply the paint to avoid seeing brush strokes. Allow the paint to dry before applying a second coat fully.

Voila! You have successfully painted your trim, baseboards, and molding. Congratulations!

Is It Better To Replace Trim Or Paint It?

Great question! You should replace your trim if it's warped or has water damage. In this case, the trim is beyond repair, and you need to install brand new trim to prevent future issues.

Alternatively, painting trim is recommended because it is less expensive and time-consuming. Of course, this option is only best if there is no prior damage to your trim.

Should Trim And Doors Be The Same Color?

Interior of a room with classic white double sliding raised doors against blue wall

Generally, most people try to match the trim and door colors to coordinate them. However, you can do whatever you want when designing your home.

It is not unheard of to have two different colors for your doors and trim. For example, some homes have white trim with wooden doors. The point is, it is up to you!

To Finish Up

Having fresh, updated trim is like the frosting to your cake. The cherry to your pie. The feather in your cap. It can take your home from drab to fab with little effort, time, and money.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful, related articles:

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

Should Wood Floors Match Trim

How To Fix Gaps In Door Trim

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