What’s The Best Paint Finish For Trim?

House trim may be one of the last things you think about when you're painting. But when it does come to mind, you may start wondering what the best paint finish is for this job. We have done our research to find you some answers.

The best paint finish for trim is a semi-gloss or high gloss option. Paint with a glossy finish is easy to clean and won't chip or scratch as quickly as other options. That said, if you prefer something more subtle, satin paint finishes will also work nicely for trim.

As we begin, we will cover all things trim and show you our favorite paint ideas. Whether you are completely lost or already have an idea of what paint finish you want, we've got you covered. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

Empty room with power outlet. The wall has a blue beadboard wainscoting and white baseboard, What's The Best Paint Finish For Trim?

What Paint Finish Should You Use For Trim?

Armchair and coffee table with black wall

Although there is no one right answer to this, we think glossy paint finishes work best for trim. Not only do semi and high gloss paints wipe off easily, but they can also handle quite the beating.

Especially for anyone with kids or pets, your paint mustn't chip or scratch every time life happens. That said, we also love a satin paint finish for trim and think it is a close contender to glossier options.

Is Semi-Gloss Or High Gloss Better For Trim?

Between the two, we would say that semi-gloss trim will look best in a home. Although high gloss paint is slightly easier to clean, semi-gloss trim won't draw as much attention away from your walls.

Saying this, we do love the look of high gloss paint, and if you don't mind light reflecting from your trim/baseboards, we think it's also a great option. Of course, this depends on your home's vibe, but both paint finishes are worth looking into.

Prestige Interior Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer

This premium paint has a semi-gloss finish, acrylic latex formula, low VOC, and promises a smooth application.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Should Baseboards Match Throughout The House?

When it comes to matching the baseboards throughout your house, we think this is a good idea. Not only will doing this make each room feel cohesive with one another, but it also will create a theme throughout your home.

Generally, keeping your baseboards the same or very similar in color will look better and give your house a classy, well-designed appearance.

What Is The Best Color For Trim?

Color-wise, we recommend sticking to a white or soft grey trim color. Although this might seem boring, your trim needs to blend into your space rather than compete with your walls.

As we mentioned, semi-gloss and satin paint will be better at blending in than high gloss, so those are good options if you have a bright wall color.

Prestige Paints Grey Semi-Gloss Interior Paint and Primer

This interior paint has a semi-gloss finish, built-in primer, comes in a 128-ounce container, and is 100% acrylic latex.

View this light grey paint on Amazon here.

Should Baseboards Match Wall Color?

Empty room with power outlet. The wall has a white wainscoting and baseboard

In general, your baseboards and walls need to match. Although using the same color throughout your home can have a sleek, modern look, this is not required.

Your house's trim/baseboards should be neutral, regardless of your wall color, so it doesn't come across as distracting. Of course, this is up to you, but having your baseboards be somewhat plain will allow for more vibrant colors and patterns on your walls.

Should Ceilings And Trim Be The Same Color?

When it comes to matching your trim and ceiling color, this is a great idea. Matching your trim and ceiling is an easy way to bring out the color in your walls, which will brighten up a space.

For example, if your walls are soft blue and you choose to make your ceilings and trim white, this will help bring people's attention to your walls and make them pop. The same goes for deeper colored walls, which is why keeping your ceiling and trim the same color is a good idea.

Should Baseboards Match Door Trim Color?

Color-wise, we do believe that a doors trim should match the baseboards in a home. Although mixing and matching colors can be fun, you want to keep details like trim similar throughout your space.

Doing this will prevent your colors from clashing and give your house a cohesive, well-thought-out look.

Should Door Trim Match Door Color?

It's a great idea to match your door trim and door color. Like our suggestion above, keeping your colors similar or the same is an easy way to create a theme, which will give your home an upscale vibe.

That said, if your door is a different color than the trim in your house, we recommend painting its trim the same color rather than having it stand out.

What Is The Best Kind Of Paint For Baseboards And Trim?

Moulding in the corner. Blue Matte Wall with laminate imitating oak texture

Typically, you want to use water-based acrylic latex paint or an alkyd/oil-based hybrid option for your baseboards and trim. Between the two, we think that thicker oil/alkyd-based paints will hold out better against wear and tear but might take a long time to dry.

On the other hand, water-based paint will be easier to wash off and doesn't usually have as strong a scent as oil-based, so that is something to think about. Regardless, make sure to find an option with some gloss for your trim and baseboards.

Is Satin Paint Okay For Trim?

It is completely fine to paint your trim with a satin finish. As we mentioned earlier, satin paint has a more subtle look, perfect for anybody not keen on glossier options.

Durability-wise, satin paint will still hold out against everyday wear and tear, but not as well as glossier finishes will. For cleaning, satin finishes wipe off very easily and are about on par with glossy options for their washability.

Is It Better To Stain Or Paint Trim?

It is generally better to paint your trim over staining unless you have finished wood like Oak or Mahagony. Most times, homes start with plain, unfinished wood, which is why you see painted trim and baseboards for the most part.

Of course, if you prefer a natural wood look, we think it is OK to stain your trim, although that style does tend to look old-fashioned.

Do You Need Special Paint For Trim?

Interior paint options should work just fine. That said, you don't have to use specialty trim paint, although those options might have a slightly easier application.

Like we covered earlier, as long as you use interior paint with a semi/high gloss or satin finish, it should apply well to your baseboards and trim.

To Wrap Everything Up

Empty room with power outlet. The wall has a blue beadboard wainscoting and white baseboard, What's The Best Paint Finish For Trim?

Whether you want to repaint your current trim or are building your dream home, finding the best paint finish for your project is essential. From what we found, semi and high gloss paints are the best options for your trim and baseboards.

Another finish we like for trim is a satin option, which has a more subtle look while being easy to clean. We recommend using a water-based acrylic or oil/alkyd-based option for your trim when it comes to formula. Regardless, find a paint finish that has some gloss, is easy to wipe off, and doesn't take away attention from your walls.

Made it to the end? Head on over to these helpful related posts below!

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