Painting trim and baseboards is one of the most tedious tasks for any homeowner. There are so many different paints to choose from, but which one should you use?

Not all paints are created equal, and each one has its own pros and cons.

I’ve compiled a list of 11 best paint for trim and baseboard that will work for your trim and baseboard project. Besides, these baseboard and trim paints will save you time and money in the long run.

Our Top Picks

Best Paint for Trim and Baseboards

  1. Best Latex Trim Paint FinishRust-Oleum 285140 Latex, Ultra-Matte
  2. Best Paint for Wood TrimKrylonk0565007 Colormaxx Acrylic
  3. Best Paint for Interior TrimPrestige Interior AcrylicLatex
  4. Best Semi-Gloss For Fiberboard TrimGlidden One Coat Acrylic-Semi Gloss
  5. Best for Bare wood TrimMajic 8-15000 High Gloss, Enamel Acrylic Paints
  6. Best Paint for PVC TrimINSL-X CC5501094-44 Cabin CoatAcrylic Paint
  7. Best High Gloss Trim PaintPremium Décor PDL-HPPG HighGloss Paint
  8. Best Paint for Window TrimRust-Oleum7792730 Oil Based Enamel Gloss Paint
  9. Best All-PurposeShabby Chic Chalked BasedPaint

Best Paint for Baseboards and Trim Reviews

best paint for doors and trim

1. Best Latex Trim Paint Finish – Rust-Oleum 285140 Latex, Ultra-Matte Interior Chalked Paint

Rust-Oleum 1 qt Brands 285140 Linen White Chalked Ultra...
  • Use on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, ceramic, canvas and easily distress to create a vintage look
  • Low-odor, latex formula allows for easy clean up with soap & water
  • Dries to the touch in just 30 minutes and covers up to 150 sq ft, 1-coat coverage allows projects to be completed easily. For best results: Lightly scuff high gloss surfaces with sand paper or a sanding sponge. Apply 1-3 even coats 30 minutes apart

Rust-Oleum chalk paint is my “go-to” wood trim paint. It’s a good trim paint with excellent quality and perfect finishing. It’s made of latex formula, and the sheen is matte.

Rust-Oleum latex can be used on a variety of interior surfaces like wood, metal, and ceramic. It’s perfect for trims and baseboard painting as it gives your painting a vintage finishing.

For best results, remove any hardware, wash the surface of the trim or baseboard with soap and water and allow to dry. 

Clean any loose paint and lightly sand the surfaces for better adhesion. Apply 1-3 even coats 30 minutes apart. Applying primer is not required for most surfaces.

Still, this trim paint type is recommended for bare wood or high in tannins such as redwood, mahogany, and fir. It’s advisable to use a high-quality synthetic brush to apply light even brush strokes.

Also, make sure you’re not painting in 20-degree weather when using this water-based trim paint.

What We Liked Most

  • Good for Interior painting      
  • It has 13 different colors   
  • It has a Low Odor
  • It’s a Water-Based paint and matte finish
  • It easily cleaned with Soap & Water 
  • It dries Quickly

2. Best Paint for Wood Trim – Krylonk0565007 Colormaxx Acrylic Latex Gloss Paint

Krylon K05625007 COLORmaxx Brush On Paint, Quart, White, 32...
  • BRUSH ON PAINT – Krylon COLORmaxx Acrylic Latex Brush On Paint delivers premium coverage and superior color with adhesion and durability. This acrylic latex paint can be used on wood, metal, wicker, plastic/ceramic, wrought iron, drywall and masonry.
  • INDOOR/OUTDOOR PAINT – Whether your paint project is inside or outdoors, this gloss acrylic latex paint offers premium coverage to ensure your DIY and craft projects look great and last.
  • GLOSS WHITE COLOR – Krylon COLORmaxx Acrylic Brush-On Gloss White Paint offers a modern look to any project, from furniture to a creative touch-up. The classic white color is perfect for a variety of projects and the gloss finish has a shiny sheen.

Krylon COLORmaxx Acrylic Brush-On Gloss White Paint offers a modern look to any project, from furniture to a creative touch-up.

The classic white paint color is perfect for painting trim, various indoor and outdoor projects, and the gloss finish has a shiny sheen. 

Whether your paint project is inside or outdoors, acrylic latex paints offer excellent coverage to ensure your DIY and craft projects look great and last.

This paint for wood crafts, time, and molding cover up to 25 square feet, whether you’re tackling a DIY furniture project or giving new life to old items. 

To get the best results, paint when temperatures are 50 to 90 degrees, and humidity are below 75%, as applying outside this range may affect the finish. Also, it’s advisable to clean up with a lacquer thinner when you are done. 

What We Liked Most

  • It gives premium coverage and superior color with adhesion and durability   
  • Suitable for Indoor and outdoor paintings  
  • It comes in 8 different colors

What Could Be Improved

  • Not suitable for baseboards made of bare wood

3. Best Interior Trim Paint – Prestige Interior AcrylicLatex, Semi-Gloss Paint and Primer

PRESTIGE Paints Interior Paint and Primer In One, 1-Gallon,...
  • Prestige Paints has created a comparable color based on color specifications of the original color using industry leading technology.
  • This Behr paint color name is a trademark of Behr. Prestige Paints is not associated or affiliated with Behr in any way.
  • Smooth Application ideal for living rooms, family rooms, media rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and hallways

PRESTIGE Paints Ultra-premium interior paint is one of the best paints for your interior trim and baseboards.

It works as a primer and trim paint, reducing the stress of priming your bare walls and previously painted interior surfaces.  

It’s ideal for living rooms, kitchen cabinets, interior walls, dining rooms, and hallways. On stained or glossy surfaces, use a stain-blocking primer-sealer.

Before painting, all loose paint finish should be removed and the surface wiped with a wet cloth. Also, specific colors may require more than one coat for complete hide.

Just a hint, some colors may vary due to the sheen, light, surface, and application method.

What We Liked Most

  • The Paint type is acrylic, and the finish type is semi-gloss
  • Good for Interior trim and baseboard Paintings
  • It comes in 41 different colors
  • Paint-and-primer-in-one  
  • Quickly dry       
  • Easy to clean up

4. Best baseboard paint – Minwax Water Based ProtectiveFinish Paint

1 qt Minwax 63333 Clear Polycrylic Water-Based Protective...
25,074 Reviews
1 qt Minwax 63333 Clear Polycrylic Water-Based Protective...
  • PROTECT WOOD SURFACES – Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish protects and adds beauty to your interior wood projects, including woodwork, furniture, doors and cabinets. The clear top coat protects against scratches, spills, dirt and more.
  • CRYSTAL CLEAR FINISH THAT LASTS – The crystal clear finished offered in this protective coating is ideal for use over all Minwax Oil-Based and Water-Based Stains and colors, as well as all wood species including light woods like maple, ash and birch.
  • SATIN SHEEN – Give your wood projects a sleek finish with a satin clear varnish. It not only protects the natural beauty of the wood, but offers an attractive, classic sheen for a modern and subtle look. It’s also non-yellowing, non-ambering and low odor.

Minwax Water Based Protective Finish is perfect for your interior trim and baseboards. This trim paint sticks and gives your paint job a glossy paint finish. If you need a glossy top coat for acrylic alkyd hybrid paintings, this is it.

It gives your paintings a protective coating and high gloss shine. There is no overpowering smell, so it can be used indoors and still be healthy for health.

What We Liked Most

  • Low odor, 
  • Non-yellowing      
  • Easy clean up with water      
  • It’s water-based, and the finish is Satin.
  • Suitable for Indoor painting projects    
  • Multiple finishes available 

5. Best Semi-Gloss For Fiberboard Trim – Glidden One Coat Acrylic-Semi Gloss, Paint and Primer

Glidden Exterior Paint + Primer: Black/Black Magic, One...
  • Glidden One Coat exterior paint has one coat coverage* to save you time and money with uncompromising durability to handle Mother Nature’s attacks. One Coat Coverage means you save time and money because you only have to apply one coat!* *Coverage applies only when tinted to colors specified for Glidden One Coat interior paints.
  • Excellent Cracking & Peeling Resistance - Glidden One Coat Exterior Paint & Primer resists damage to your home's finish caused by changes between summer heat, winter cold and anything else Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
  • Colors Chosen By Experts - These hand-selected beautiful Gray and Black Paint Colors make Glidden One Coat Interior Paint perfect for use in every room of your home.

Glidden One Coat Exterior Paint & Primer is the best semi-gloss interior trim paint.

Although, as the name implies, it’s only One Coat Coverage, this means you only have to coat once and save the time and money for buying primer and paint separately.

The best aspect of using Glidden one-coat paint is that it is suitable for painting baseboards, including kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and other room trim.

This semi gloss trim paint resists damage to your home’s finish caused by summer heat and winter cold. It has excellent cracking, peeling, and fade resistance.

After applying one coat, you will realize that it could effortlessly hide the standard stain and hides brush marks that other paints cannot.

You can also use two coats to get the perfect trim and baseboard finishing.

What We Liked Most

  • It comes in 19 different colors
  • It’s suitable for the exterior painting project.
  • The best semi gloss trim paint.
  • Multiple finishes available
  • Low Voc and low odor formula

What Could Be Improved

  • Color tends to differ from the catalogue color

6. Best for Bare wood Trim – Majic 8-15000 High Gloss, Enamel Acrylic Paints

Majic Paints 8-1500-4 Diamond Hard Acrylic Enamel High Gloss...
  • Color: Gloss White
  • ALL-PURPOSE USE: Perfect for wood, metal, brick, drywall, glass, steel, tile, vinyl, aluminum, most plastics, copper, and masonry
  • EASY-TO-APPLY: Low odor, non-flammable water base formula out performs conventional oil base paints and is rust-inhibiting to protect your projects

Majic 8-15000 High Gloss, Enamel is perfect for different paint options like furniture, trim, cabinets, doors, and wall paint. The paint type enamel acrylic and finish are high gloss.

Its water-based formula outperforms other paint types, and its rust-inhibiting to protects your projects. 

The process for application is a complete one-step process that does not require sanding or priming before application.

It is the perfect house trim paint for all your crafty DIY-ers out there who want to add a little more color to your lives.

What We Liked Most

  • Suitable for Interior/Exterior
  • It sticks to nearly any surface  
  • It does not require sanding or priming 
  • It comes in 10 different colors  
  • It is a Low VOC and low odor formula

7. Best Paint for PVC Trim – INSL-X CC5501094-44 Cabin CoatAcrylic Paint

INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel, Satin Sheen Paint,...
  • The ultimate acrylic cabinet paint for a “factory-like” finish when refurbishing kitchen and bathroom cabinets, shelving, furniture, trim, and crown molding.
  • Delivers an ultra smooth, durable finish.
  • Super adhesion to hard-to-coat surfaces without primer.

INSL-X CC5501094-44Cabin Coat is a Benjamin Moore product, and Benjamin Moore is one of the leading companies in the paint industry.

This Benjamin Moore product gives a “factory-like” finish when painting PVC, interior trim, and crown molding. It delivers an ultra-smooth finish, with super adhesion to hard-to-coat surfaces without primer.

It’s also a durable satin finish that resists chipping, scuffing, food stains, grease & water. 

It’s advisable to apply when air, product, or surface temperature is above 50 °F (10 °C) and below 90 °F (32 °C) and make sure to review the INSL-X Cabinet Coat label for proper preparation and application tips. It’s pretty pricey, but it’s worth it.

What We Liked Most

  • It has Satin and semi-gloss finishes 
  • Suitable for Interior painting projects
  • It covers well and dries extremely hard.

What Could Be Improved

  • It’s costly

8. Best High Gloss Trim Paint – Premium Décor PDL-HPPG HighGloss Paint

True Value PDL1-HP PD 1/2-Pint White Gloss Enamel
  • Pdl-1, premium decor, 1/2 pt, white, waterborne Gloss enamel, VOC less than 250 grams per Liter
  • Adds extra shine to your product
  • For indoor and outdoor use

Premium DécorPDL-HPPG High Gloss Paint is Water-based acrylic enamel, and the finish is glossy. This best trim paint is perfect for DIY as it’s stress-free, it covers nicely, it’s a one-coat coverage, and it’s effortless to clean up.

It’s Durable, and it leaves an attractive high gloss finish.

What We Liked Most

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Quick-drying    
  • It’s a one-coat coverage   
  • Easy soap and water cleanup

What Could Be Improved

  • The can is way smaller than seen in the pictures 

9. Best Paint for Window Trim – Rust-Oleum7792730 Oil Based Enamel Gloss Paint

Rust-Oleum 7792730-6PK Stops Rust Brush On Paint, Half Pint,...
  • Weather and corrosion resistant coating protects exterior/interior surfaces like wood, metal, concrete, masonry and more
  • Oil-based formula provides a durable protective coating with excellent rust prevention
  • Dries to the touch in 2-4 hours and covers up to 22 sq. ft.

Oleum 7792730 Enamel Gloss Paint resists moisture, thus preventing rust. The corrosion-resistant window trim paint protects exterior/interior surfaces like wood and metals.

Even better, it’s one of the best white paints on the market. It is perfect for window trim as it’s rust-preventive white paint and provides lasting protection and beauty in various colors and finishes. 

This oil-based trim paint offers excellent coverage, chip resistance, and color retention. It has a slight smell, and like any other trim paint, the consistency is thick and solidifies any brush used.

So, make sure you use an appropriate brush designed for oil-based paints or any brush you don’t mind tossing after one use.

Note that you will need a primer if the wood is bare and for even longer-lasting protection, so use a Stops Rust Primer first.

You can learn the process of thinning Rustoleum paint for spray gun if you’re looking to spray during application.

What We Liked Most

  • Its Oil-based formula    
  • It Dries in 2-4 hours  
  • Suitable for Indoor and outdoor use

What Could Be Improved

  • Not easily washable     
  • The consistency is thick, so you need a firm brush or roller for application.

10. Best All-Purpose – Shabby Chic Chalked BasedPaint

Shabby Chic Chalk Furniture Paint: Luxurious Metallic Paint,...
  • INTERIOR DESIGN: The term ‘shabby chic’ boasts ‘the beauty of imperfection’, that’s what shabby chic is all about – restoring furniture while still giving it a distressed, ‘imperfect’ finish.
  • A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY: Great coverage saving you time and money. Long-lasting durability, little-to-no prep work required for wood (just clean first). Suitable for interior and exterior painting projects.
  • CHALK BASED (Not Chalk Paint): Shabby Chic is a chalk based paint. Specifically formulated to create a distressed or imperfect look where brush strokes are desirable. To achieve this look a thinner paint with superior pigments is preferred over a thicker paint.

Shabby Chic is a chalk-based trim paint specifically formulated to create a distressed or imperfect look where brush strokes are desirable. It restores furniture, trim, and baseboards while still giving it a distressed, ‘imperfect’ finish.  

Shabby Chic trim paint is Ideal for wooden furniture. Refurbish a wood dresser, vanity, picture frame, or crib without a primer (wood only, a primer is recommended).

A tiny can covers so much. I honestly cannot recommend this ultra-interior paint enough for your trims and baseboard.

What We Liked Most

  • It comes in 35 different colors     
  • Good for Interior projects  
  • Low odor, ultra-low VOC  
  • It contains no harsh chemicals

Paint for Trim and Baseboard Comparison Table

Education: What You Need to Know Before Buying

What is the Best Paint Sheen for Baseboards?

Best Paint Sheen for Baseboards

I always use semi-gloss paint for ease of cleaning. Semi-gloss paint is the standard go-to, but Satin is trending.

You can find many sturdy oil-based satins that will clean up just as easily as a semi-gloss but will give you a more updated look.

The best paint finish for baseboards is gloss or semi-gloss sheens. All trim, woodwork, baseboards which are painted needs to be in gloss or semi-gloss paint finish and not Satin.

Semi-gloss offers more scrubbing, wiping, and deep cleanings than satin paint finishes. The different paint sheens for baseboards for you to consider are:

Flat or matte

Flat trim paints have no shine and absorb all of the light that shines onto them. Some people prefer this look as it can give a room a unique and modern look.

However, walls with this finish are the hardest to clean, so if you have children, you may want to consider painting with a little bit more gloss.

Matte paints work best for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, as well as ceilings. Note that flat or matte can help to disguise brush strokes or scuff marks.

Still, it can be easily damaged when cleaning. So instead, use a less abrasive sponge or washcloth and gently clean to avoid damaging the look of your baseboard. 

Semi-gloss paint

Most professionals use a semi-gloss finish. This paint sheen can vary significantly in gloss. The range for this type of paint is between thirty-five to seventy percent reflectivity.

This type of paint is noticeably glossy and durable. You can easily paint busy areas of the home as this paint dries quickly, and it’s easy to remove dirt and stains.

Semi-gloss can be used in any room in the house and is especially good for kids’ rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. It is also often used on details such as molding, doors, and more. 

Gloss or high gloss trim paint

High-gloss paints offer the most reflectivity over any other type of paint. In addition, it has over seventy percent glossiness and is durable and easy to clean.

This type of paint is difficult to apply. It will highlight any imperfections in the wall, so be careful where you apply it.

It is trendy to use on cabinets, trims, molding, and even outdoor areas. Check out how to paint over glossy paint.

Satin finish

Satin paint sheens have up to thirty-five percent gloss, making them more durable than flat and eggshell.

Although it does not give a glossy look, satin paint sheens can give walls a little bit of a “glow” than flat ones.

The increased durability makes this a good sheen for higher-traffic areas such as bathrooms, hallways, and kids’ rooms.


This sheen is a more popular option than matte as it is slightly more durable. However, there is only about a ten to twenty percent gloss on eggshell paints, so it is still suitable for giving a room a clean and simple look.

Because this paint sheen is challenging to clean, it is not recommended for homes with children or pets. 

What Baseboard Paint to Choose

We have Acrylic paint, Oil-based paints, and Alkyd paint.

Acrylic paint

Acrylic Paint is the most common paint because it has a slight smell and dries very quickly. Its water-based composition make it less toxic.

It can be easily cleaned with water. Acrylic paint is the most used paint in modern houses. Check on how to use acrylic paint on wood.

These water-based paints give a perfect finish in modern homes. Acrylic paints are as durable as water-based paints. The application process and the cleaning process are straightforward.

Oil based paint

Oil Paint is not common in recent times.  It has a strong smell and is toxic, and is made with a solvent. It is not easy to clean and requires the use of a specific product to clean tools.

It is good to ventilate the room when using it, and it is not recommended to use in the kitchen and bedroom. 

If your home is decades old, then this is the best option for your home’s baseboards and trim. Oil-based paint is a classical paint option.

They have superior gloss finishing on old houses’ baseboards and do not take much time to dry.

However, there are a lot of downsides, the application process is a bit tedious, and the cleaning process is more complicated. Also, the use of oil paint is now legally banned in many states.

The Alkyd paints

Alkyd paints are a new generation paint that combines the natural base with water but has the same resistance as oil paint.

It does not smell extreme and dries in quickly (less than an hour). It is said to be less toxic. Also, it is easily washable from the instruments you paint it with. This paint is an excellent option for oil-based paint.

Factors to Consider When Buying Paint for Trims and Baseboards

best paint for door trim

Low VOC/ Odorless  

When sourcing for the best paints for your trims and baseboard, you must look out for paints that have low VOC or that are odorless.

That’s why water-based paints and Alkyd are the best kinds of paint to buy as they contain little or no odor. The odor in any paint is highly harmful to the health of adults and children.

After painting on baseboards and trim, this odor stays in your house with the wind for a long time.

Size/ packaging

Most of the paints for trims and baseboards are available in different sizes and packaging.

Good packaging protects the product or paint sheen, and this protection is essential because the paints and sheens can turn hard if the air is let in. 

If your paint sheens have a container that can allow air in, you might have a tragic story like receiving an oxidized product.

Most paints come in different cans sizes. You can apply these paints using a roller or brush. Ensure that you know the size of your projects so that you settle for the suitable capacity that will serve you right.


When choosing any paint and primer, it is essential to look at the consistency to determine if it will be easy to apply and quick to dry.

A good paint product is manufactured so that the consistency of the product makes the painting process easy and mess-free.

In that case, quick-drying is very important so that beginners and experts can all paint smoothly with excellent finishing. 

Recommend Reading: Best Nailer for Baseboard

How do I apply paints to my trims and baseboards?

applying paints on trims and baseboards

For an easy application process, it’s advisable to have the following tools before applying paint to trims and baseboards. The tools are:

  • Tack cloth or drop cloths and water bucket
  • Wood putty to repair damage
  • Tape
  • Putty knife or razor blade
  • Sandpaper
  • Vacuum
  • Primer
  • Paintable Caulk
  • Quality Paint Brush ( Here’s the best paint brush for trim)
  • Paint

The first step is to wipe clean the baseboards and trim them with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Even if your baseboards look spotless to the naked eye, it’s still a good idea to give them a quick wipe to ensure you don’t end up with chunky debris or unwanted grime in your paint. 

To begin, repair any dents, brush marks, or cracks in the trim with wood putty. Whether you’re new to painting or a seasoned expert will determine the amount of painter’s tape you should use.

If this is your very first time painting baseboards, it might be a good idea to place one-inch-thick painter’s tape along the edge of the baseboards on the floor and wall sides.

However, if you’ve already been there and done that more times than you can count, you might prefer to cut in the top of the baseboards by hand while saving your tape for use on the floor side of the trim. 

Clean all the trim residue or build-up in the corners of window sills or on the top edge of baseboards by scraping with a putty knife or razor blade.

Sand repaired portions of your trim with a sanding block. Dust and vacuum your entire trim, including the top ledges, which are often overlooked.

Look for high spots from your repairs and sand them flush with 320 grit sandpaper, making sure to feather them out.

After you’ve prepared your trim for painting, you may need to prime it. If you are painting over raw wood, you will want to prime your trim before painting.

This gives your final topcoat the best adhesion and longevity. After priming, you can then start painting with your desired choice of paint.

Do not apply too much pressure as you paint, but rather let the paint do the work of self-leveling as it dries. Many people think that brushing harder will smooth out the paint, but it does the opposite. 

Once your first coat of paint is dry, lightly sand with 320 or 360 grit sandpaper. Most people skip the sanding step between coats, but this will give you the smoothest finish.

Next, repeat the same process with your finished coat of paint. Most trim only requires two coats of paint. If you were painting over a dark color and didn’t prime, it may require three.

Should I use a brush or rollers to paint baseboards?

When deciding whether to use a brush or a roller to paint your trim, you need to consider what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy application process, you can opt to use a roller to get the job done. However, if you want to achieve a high-quality final product, you’ll want to use a brush instead. 

It will take more time to finish, but you’ll be able to guarantee complete and smooth coverage of your trim. 

Some DIYers have opted to use both a roller and a brush. You can start by applying your main coat with a roller, then switch to a brush to cover any missed spots and eliminate lines or streaks.

The option of choosing rollers or brushes depends on what you’re working with and hoping to achieve.

How long should I let the coat dry before applying a second coat?

After applying the first paint coat and dries, it’s safe to recoat after four to six hours. It’s advisable to wait at least three hours to recoat your paint or primer if it’s water-based.

Waiting 24 hours is best for oil-based paint and primer. If you’re unsure, the paint’s label instructions can give you the best final say.

Should baseboards color match wall color?

Yes! Painting walls and trim in the same color is a popular trend. Whether you choose a light neutral color or a dark tone, it is okay to paint your walls, baseboards, window, door trim, doors, crown molding, and even your ceilings the same color.

If you have a small room, painting the walls and trim the same color will make it feel larger. This is because your eye won’t have a marked “ending” spot like it does when your walls are one color and your trim is another.

Take it to the next level and paint your ceiling the same color as well. If the color is light enough or the accents in the room are bright enough, it won’t feel like you’re in a caveat all.

There isn’t a rule to follow, so there isn’t anything you “should” or shouldn’t do. It’s whatever look you prefer

Can I use ceiling paints for the baseboard? 

To sum it up, you can put ceiling paint on walls, doors or trim, if you plan to top coating with a higher gloss finish as ceiling paint comes in flat paint sheen finish.

You can use the same color on ceilings and trim. Just use a different sheen. Use flat paints on the ceilings and semi-gloss on the trim.

To sum it up, you can put ceiling paint on walls, doors, or trim if you plan to top coating with a higher gloss finish as ceiling paint comes in a flat paint sheen finish.

What kind of paint to use on trim?

paints for trims

The best type of paint for trim is gloss or semi-gloss paint sheens. All trim, woodwork, and baseboards which are painted needs to be in gloss or semi-gloss paint finish and not Satin.

Semi-gloss offers more scrubbing, wiping, and deep cleanings than satin paint finishes. There’s a reason why trim paints generally aren’t sold in sheens lower than Satin.

Flat and matte finishes are coarser and thus more difficult to wipe clean. Still, their low reflective properties also make them unable to highlight the ornate details in trim.

Because trim serves a decorative purpose, the best paint for trim should accentuate the details, so Satin, semi-gloss, and gloss are all suitable. 

Semi-gloss, however, is the industry standard for trim, as it offers the best balance of looks and practicality.

Read: Can you paint over trex decking?

What Kind of Paint do you use for Window Trim?

Wood is the most common material used to trim both interior and exterior windows. You won’t have any problem finding good-quality paints.

For exterior wood trim, choose a premium exterior gloss paint, either oil or acrylic. What if it’s in surplus, and you still have a pending project? Can you use exterior paint for interior purposes?

Well, we don’t recommend that. For interior wood trim, choose a high-quality latex gloss paint. 

The fact is that painting trim on most occasions serves a decorative purpose, and white trim for windows is trendy. That’s why the best paint for trim should always outline the details.

So Satin, semi-gloss, gloss, high gloss, and white paint are all suitable. 

What kind of paint do you use for Primed Wood Trim?

If you’re painting a piece of wood that’s already been finished or painted – then you need to use something that sticks very well.

In that case, oil paints work very well. In contrast with water-based and latex paints, oil paint adheres well and gets the job done on almost any surface with a finish. 

If we’re talking about primers and other paints, then oil paint is the most effective to use. Acrylic paint may also do the work. It mixes well with other paints. Yet, it doesn’t cover crevices, and grooves like solvent does.

You want to choose a paint that matches the primer used to treat the wood with primed wood. That will allow the paint and the primer to bond and fuse into each other. 

For an exterior prime wood window trim, acrylic or oil gloss paint is the best option. I will recommend latex for indoor prime wood trim, such as the Rust-Oleum 285140.  

You can also use enamel paint, which is easy to clean and makes the trim stand out from the wall paint.

What kind of paint do you use for Bare Wood Trim? 

Suppose you’re working with a piece of furniture, deck, or decoration with an unfinished wood surface. In that case, you need to use something that sticks well and delivers a beautiful finish.

In that case, water-based and latex are your perfect option. The semi-gloss and full gloss finish from these paints improve the appearance of the unfinished wood exponentially.

Latex acrylic enamel paints are gaining popularity due to their ease of application, quick cleanup, and faster drying times. 

New or unfinished trim must be primed before applying paint to provide a protective seal and prevent it from soaking into the wood. Still, bare wood is easier to paint if it is primed. Here are the top primers for bare wood trim.

So, don’t hesitate to sand, prime, and stain the wood before painting it with any of these paints. Also, add a protective coat later for extra resilience.

When painting window trim made of bare wood, you need a paint with strong adhesive properties and one that will repel water, dirt, and grime. 

You also need paint that you can clean without chipping off the wood to protect the trim from weather elements.

In that regard, enamel paint and acrylic paints are among the best options. Enamel paint, in particular, provides unfinished wood or bare wood with a hard, smooth finish. 

Read: Can you paint Azek?

What kind of paint do you use for Fiberboard Trim?

When painting MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) boards, cabinets, or other furniture, you always need to avoid water-based paints.

Even after the MDF has been sealed, do not take the risk of applying water to a naturally absorbent surface. The best option for MDF boards is oil/solvent paints. 

Acrylic latex paint is recommended in this article due to its easy cleanup (it is water-based). For higher gloss and a more complex finish, you can add a top coat to the paint, or you can, instead, use enamel paint.

Synthetic paintbrushes are recommended over natural bristles for all latex paint types because they don’t leave brush marks. MDF will absorb moisture and water, causing the board to splinter, swell, or crack.

Because MDF is so sensitive to water and moisture, it’s best to avoid using water-based paint on anything made with MDF. 

You need to prime a fiberboard trim before you can paint it because it is porous. That means applying a primer coat and giving it up to 24 hours to dry.

The primer will get absorbed into the miniature holes and seal them. After the primer dries, apply semi-gloss paint such as latex, enamel, or acrylic on the fiberboard, just as you would other wooden surfaces.

The paint color you choose for your trim should complete the wall paint for a classy finish. While most enamel paints are oil-based, they dry to form a hard, smooth, and glossy finish.

Recommended Reading: Can wall paint be used on wood?

What kind of paint do you use for PVC trim?

For PVC trim, use a quality acrylic latex primer recommended by the manufacturer for exterior PVC surfaces. The standard PVC trim is always painted white. But if you have a color other than white in mind, the choice is yours to make.

To achieve superior coating durability and flexibility, you should use 100% acrylic latex with a urethane additive.

It is also easier to clean and does not peel off when exposed to varying temperatures throughout the year. However, you should only use light-to-medium-colored paints.

These have a light reflective value of 55 units and above, which helps to keep them cool. Darker paints may absorb heat energy and start peeling or cracking. 

You need to give the paint on PVC trim up to 30 days to cure all moisture to escape through the paint’s surface.

On recommendation, INSL-X CC5501094-44 Cabin Coat Acrylic manufactured by Benjamin Moore paint brands is perfect for PVC white trim.


Best paint brand for trim and baseboards

  • Valspar door and trim paint
  • Sherwin Williams door and trim paint
  • Benjamin Moore trim paint
  • Behr trim paint
  • Rust-oleum
  • Clare paints

What is trim paint?

What is enamel paint for trim?

Start with – Enamel trim paint

What type of Sherwin Williams paint is best for trim?

Sherwin Williams best trim paint is oil or alkyd. This type of paint has good adhesion qualities, is highly durable, and resists stain. These features make oil-based Sherwin Williams paints great choices for trim in high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Can you use trim paint on walls?

Yes, you can trim paint on walls. In fact, it is a common trend to paint walls and trim in the same color. It creates a seamless and cohesive look throughout the space, and it’s simply easier to maintain since you only have to keep up with one color.

Best paint for trim and doors?

The best paint for interior doors and trim is semi-gloss. This paint is easy to maintain, considering you can wipe and clean the paint. What’s more, semi-gloss is shinier, which is why you can clean it or wipe it o your trim and doors.

The best primer for trim and baseboards?

The best paint for trim and doors is Zinsser Primer. This primer bonds properly to wood trim and hardly comes off. Once you apply it, the trim primer gives a much better surface for the final finish coat to bond than bare wood.

The best paint for molding and trim

The best paint for molding and trim is semi-gloss, and high gloss finishes. While you can opt for either, semi-gloss has a more gloss level than satin, although it isn’t as shinny as high gloss. These finishes will provide a more durable and washable surface that will better withstand repeated cleaning.

What paint to use for baseboards?

Semi-gloss finish is great for baseboards. If you want a more traditional look, then semi-gloss paint is a great option. It gives the baseboards a nice sheen and makes them look a bit more formal. You really can t go wrong with semi-gloss if you chose it for your base boards.

Best paint for trim and cabinets?

Semi-gloss paint is the best paint to use for trim and cabinetry. This type of paint has a high sheen, which makes it ideal for these surfaces. It’s also durable and easy to clean, so it’s perfect for areas that see a lot of traffic.

The Best Type of Paint for Trim Summary

Now that you know all about the best paint for trim and baseboard and the processes involved in the application.

You can confidently walk into any paint store and make the best decision on the paint brands, types, finishes, packaging, consistency, and lots more as a PRO.

As I outlined in this product review, you can see that you have many options when choosing the best paint for your trims and baseboard.

With the detailed buyer guide and FAQs, it’s safe to say you are ready to begin your painting project.

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