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raida357 11-10-2009 03:48 PM

Paint walls or install trim?
We are in the process of adding a new bathroom as part of a basement finish. The walls are primed, the ceiling has a finish coat, and the tile floor is installed. I'd like to paint the walls now, while there are no bathroom fixtures and while minimal taping will be required. Will I run into any problems if I paint the walls now, have the plumber do his work second, and then finish by installing the (already painted) trim? The only issue I can think of is that I will have to fill the nail holes and do a bit of touch up painting in those areas. However, I am far from an expert...are there any other problems might I run into doing it this way?

Bob Mariani 11-10-2009 04:28 PM

not the way we would normally do it, but there will be no problem other than the one you mentioned. If using a vanity cabinet, the trim would need to end at the cabinet.

jaros bros. 11-10-2009 08:13 PM

That's actually the way I do it. It cuts down on the painting time drastically and leaves a cleaner looking job without the cutting brush marks. You may have to do some quick touch up at the very end of the job but that's it. You're just thinkin' smarter, not workin' harder.

waynech 11-10-2009 08:17 PM

Are you planning to caulk the trim to the wall?

raida357 11-11-2009 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by waynech (Post 351554)
Are you planning to caulk the trim to the wall?

I am planning on nailing the trim to the wall and only using caulk on the edge if necessary. Is this the preferred method? I am open to any ideas.

raida357 11-11-2009 08:31 AM

Do professionals caulk the edge between the outside edge of trim and the wall? Or is this only necessary if there are gaps?

Also, what is the best method to install the trim?

Bob Mariani 11-11-2009 09:07 AM

anyone trying to do a good job will caulk all the edges. Real pros always do this. It is one reason why we do not paint, trim and paint. The caulking also needs to be primed and painted just as the trim and walls do.

raida357 11-11-2009 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by Bob Mariani (Post 351712)
anyone trying to do a good job will caulk all the edges. Real pros always do this. It is one reason why we do not paint, trim and paint. The caulking also needs to be primed and painted just as the trim and walls do.

OK. I certainly will caulk. Thank you.

jaros bros. 11-11-2009 06:28 PM

Not all "real pros" caulk. The reason for caulk can be several reasons. Uncrowned studs, poor material, poor detail to framing, poor installation of trim, or spraying texture on walls. I have seen walls this week that are 1 1/2" out of plane in less than 2 feet. Unfortunately much framing is done by the lowest bidder with the cheapest material. A piece of trim should sit flat on the sheetrock without any gaps between. I carry a hand plane in my pouch for minor tweaking. Done properly, caulking would be unnecessary in my opinion because there would be no need to cover up open gaps. "Real pros always do this." This is more a matter of opinion and circumstance. If the framing is good and the trim installed precisely it would be unnecessary. I do mostly stain grade trim and I have never caulked it, had a customer ask for it to be caulked, or even seen anyone else caulk stain grade material.

Bob Mariani 11-11-2009 06:37 PM

even good "pros" that do a perfect job as Jaros bros does will not cause the pro painter to not caulk. Wood shrinks. The paint up against the trim does not. Caulk is flexible and is used to address this. Caulking to fix sloppy work is a "whole nutter madder"

jaros bros. 11-11-2009 06:53 PM

You're exactly right Bob, that's why I paint before I install trim.

waynech 11-11-2009 08:01 PM

All trim when it is to be painted should be caulked to wall. All professional painters that I know have always done this no matter how tight the finish carpenter has fitted trim.

raida357 11-11-2009 08:58 PM

Thanks for all the responses. Just to clarify, the only issue that would arise from me painting first is that I will have to do touch up work, correct? I only ask because my access to most of the wall space will be very limited after the bathroom fixtures are in place, and they will be installed before I can get any trim work done. Painting I could do as soon as tomorrow. Just trying not to waste a day that could be used for a project.

fulline 11-12-2009 06:14 AM

True, you don't have to caulk, but I've alway's caulked the trim. The main surface of the wall could be flat, but the inside and outside corners of the drywall is usually never flat because of the drywall mud. Don't get me wrong, I do everything possible to fix the mud at the bottom of the corners, but you'll still see a little seperation between the top of the base and the wall.
I typically prime the walls then apply first coat of paint. Then put the trim on and caulk. Finish everything else, then final coat the walls and your done. That being said, I have also put both coats on and then finish the rest. I do this because I'll be doing the whole job and know to be careful about bumping things into the wall. And if I do, it's usually just a matter of small skim with mud if dented the wall, and touchup with brush. It really depends on how good you caulk. If you do have tight spots on a wall, definitely double coat them first. That way there should be nothing but a little touchup with a brush.

fulline 11-12-2009 06:19 AM

Also, I usually use a light weight spackle for the holes. Just my personnal preference. Not as messy and easier to get off around the holes your patching.

Hope this helps.

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