How to Prep Exterior Trim for Painting

When repainting or touching up your home’s exterior trim, it’s important to properly prepare the surface before you get started. A thorough cleaning is what’s needed to get the job done however, at a minimum, you’ll need to get some cleaning, sanding, and priming in. We’re here to walk you through the steps, continue reading to learn more!


If your exterior trim is in a bad state, you may notice peels and cracks in the paint. You’ll want to clear this out and create a smooth layer before you begin painting. A convenient way to tackle cleaning and ridding your trim of old paint is to use a pressure washer. While it shouldn’t be viewed as a way to peel paint, it can help you get rid of dirt, grime, and any bits of paint that is willing to come off.

Rinse your house down and make sure to let it dry out before starting anything else.


This is the step where you truly tackle the paint after the washing removes the easy-to-handle areas. You will either scrape off the peeling paint on the trim or you can sand it down with a disc sand. This is important because it creates a good base for new paint to go on and ensures that the new coat of paint will last.

Use this time to also inspect the trim and see if there’s anything that needs replacing, caulking, refilling. These are extra steps that may be added to your preparation process but are just as important. Checking for and taking care of any blemishes will help you protect your home from water penetration. While paint does a great job on its own, filling in any of the areas where paint doesn’t bridge the gap will keep moisture from getting in.


Priming will be one of the last things you do to prepare your trim for painting. This will help you seal the wood and give the paint a good surface to adhere to. It is also a great tool in keeping your paint use to a minimum. You will probably only need one or two coats to completely cover the trim. As you can see, a good primer will take you a long way.

To get in touch with a professional exterior painter in Gilbert, Arizona, call Life In Color Painting Services at 480-229-7615 or contact us online


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