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Poll: Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with the house color?
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with the house color?

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:32 AM   #1
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


When painting the exterior of a house (with clapboards), almost everyone (it seems) paints
  • the sides, top, and underside of the window (and door) trim
  • the sides of the corner boards
  • the under side of the rake boards
...the same color as the house color. So if you have white trim, the only white you see is the face.

I will occasionally see the reverse, but it seems that the zig-zag of the siding would be prohibitively expensive to paint. And never gets quite straight over the caulk.

What do you do?


Last edited by tgm1024; 11-17-2010 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


Painters love to paint the trim return the body color - it is so much easier. However it looks much better if it is painted the trim color. Professionally, the nicer the house we are working on, the more likely we are to paint the return the trim color - unless we are spraying, then it typically stays body color. Personally, I painted all the trim returns on my house trim color. Really, it is not that much extra work, but for the professional, it is one more thing that they may not have time for. It is not hard to do either - you don't want to paint over the caulking line, but if the caulk is done properly you use the edge of the caulking bead as a guide and just paint up to it, keeping the bead itself the body color. This is how it looks best.

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Old 11-17-2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


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Originally Posted by Windows View Post
you don't want to paint over the caulking line, but if the caulk is done properly you use the edge of the caulking bead as a guide and just paint up to it, keeping the bead itself the body color. This is how it looks best.
I don't understand----if you paint just up to the bead, then you are keeping the bead itself the trim color (because you didn't cover it with the body color), (no?) I don't understand the sentence as written.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


It’s strictly personal preference. Just facing off the trim board is certainly easier and if the painter can do it that way he saved time, however if you think about it, the board is the board, whether the face or the edge, it’s still the board and all surfaces of that board should be finished as specified. If you’ve ever watched a real pro with a brush he/she can zip that brush down those edges with incredible speed and accuracy. The caulking can be done in any combination....with the trim color....with the siding color or even split down the center of the bead, but consistency in the key word. However you choose to finish it should be done the same around the entire home. If it’s a new home, then the caulking should be finished with either color. Do not leave the caulking uncoated. If the home is new check the model if you have one. How ever the model is finished is what should be expected. If it’s a repaint you should never just expect it to be finished one way or the other. A true professional painter should have specified that in his written proposal.
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Steve

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Old 11-17-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post
I don't understand----if you paint just up to the bead, then you are keeping the bead itself the trim color (because you didn't cover it with the body color), (no?) I don't understand the sentence as written.
Sorry about that - the order of operations in most cases is to complete all your prep work for a job, including caulking - then apply the body color, at which time the caulking gets coated - lastly the trim gets coated, at which time you can paint the returns and make a nice trim line against the body-color-coated caulking bead if you so choose. Basically I was trying to emphasize that while you want the caulking bead to be painted you do not want it painted the trim color. It just doesn't look good like that.
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:44 AM   #6
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Do you paint the sides of exterior trim with house color?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post
When painting the exterior of a house (with clapboards), almost everyone (it seems) paints
  • the sides, top, and underside of the window (and door) trim
  • the sides of the corner boards
  • the under side of the rake boards
...the same color as the house color. So if you have white trim, the only white you see is the face.

I will occasionally see the reverse, but it seems that the zig-zag of the siding would be prohibitively expensive to paint. And never gets quite straight over the caulk.

What do you do?
I offer my customers the choice of having it either way. However because it takes a lot more time painting the edges of the trim the trim color it also costs the customer more. Normally I paint the upper trim (peaks) edges the same as the face of the trim. All the window, door, and corner boards I do the edges with the body of the house.

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