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Old 10-05-2009, 08:39 PM   #1
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Painting Crown Molding Tips


What is the proper order for painting crown molding? Should I paint the ceiling and walls first? Also, do I need to sand it before and between coats? A friend suggested I use the green scotch brite pads for sanding....any thoughts on using them? Also, I want to use flat for the ceiling, eggshell or something similar on the walls and semi-gloss for the molding. Does that sound right? One more question, I plan on using SW paint, but what grade should I use? This is for a living room, hall & bedrooms. Thanks!!!

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Painting Crown Molding Tips


I was first taught to always paint trim last but in working with mentors and some real masters through the years I learned to paint it first. It is a lot easier to get a crisp edge by cutting in the walls and ceiling to the trim rather than the other way around. I don't like using tape so for me it is also much faster.

For a real finished look, be sure and caulk all the gaps between the crown molding and the walls and ceiling. It is a little extra work but really makes a difference.

If your crown molding is new wood, or if you are painting latex over an existing oil finish (or if you are not sure), I would sand the surface to degloss and then use a quality alkyd primer if you do not mind working with solvent based materials. The SW enamel underlay primer would be a good choice. Otherwise a good bonding latex primer will work.

You should not have to sand between your finish coats but you definitely need to sand or otherwise degloss before painting or priming whatever you have.

As for which level of paint to buy? Consider your budget, how long you plan to live in the house (or are likely to live with the painted color before you tire of it), and how much you think you would ever wash the walls. The top of the line SW paint is great stuff but there is nothing wrong with the contractor grade for most applications either and it will save you $10-15/gallon. It just may not be as durable and colorfast as the 100 percent acrylic as it is an acrylic blend as I remember. It is still a delight to work with though. Note the contractor grades do not usually come in as many sheen options and the smallest you can get them in is gallons.

If you are going to use latex semi-gloss (or gloss) for the trim, add Floetrol and use a good brush and you will really have to look to see any brush marks. If you want a latex high gloss finish by the way, MAB makes one that you can tint to light colors that is great. It is now a SW company so this product may be in the SW stores now?

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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Painting Crown Molding Tips


Thanks for the advise. I have heard of using Floetrol before, but how much should I mix into the paint. Also, if I paint the trim first and it is gloss or semi-gloss do I have to be careful not to get any on the walls or ceiling? Just wondering if the wall and ceiling paint will have problems sticking if there is any glossy paint on it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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Painting Crown Molding Tips


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Originally Posted by vm520 View Post
Thanks for the advise. I have heard of using Floetrol before, but how much should I mix into the paint. Also, if I paint the trim first and it is gloss or semi-gloss do I have to be careful not to get any on the walls or ceiling? Just wondering if the wall and ceiling paint will have problems sticking if there is any glossy paint on it.
Mix the Floetrol in according to the directions.

You don't want to get more trim paint on walls and ceilings than necessary but other finishes will generally cover the small amounts with no problem and you will never notice. You can use tape if you want. Also invest in a good quality 2-1/2" or 3" angled sash brush (expect pay $15-25) and it will make the project go much easier and allow you to be very accurate with a little practice. If you take care of it you will have it for a long time too.

Last edited by user1007; 10-05-2009 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:18 AM   #5
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Painting Crown Molding Tips


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Originally Posted by vm520 View Post
What is the proper order for painting crown molding? Should I paint the ceiling and walls first? Also, do I need to sand it before and between coats? A friend suggested I use the green scotch brite pads for sanding....any thoughts on using them? Also, I want to use flat for the ceiling, eggshell or something similar on the walls and semi-gloss for the molding. Does that sound right? One more question, I plan on using SW paint, but what grade should I use? This is for a living room, hall & bedrooms. Thanks!!!
If you want your molding to be green, go ahead.You're friend is nuts, do NOT use a scotch pad for sanding!

Use the best grade of paint if at all possible and if this is your home you are talking about,would'nt you want what is best? Your sheen choice is good
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