How to Paint Millwork

PaintMillwork-ClaffeysPaintingMany homeowners are often confused about what millwork is, let alone how to paint it properly.

Millwork, or as it is often called woodwork, is the finishing touch on the interior of buildings, especially upscale commercial buildings and residential buildings.

The elements that are considered millwork are typically made in a mill and consist of:

  • Baseboards
  • Crown Molding
  • Mantels
  • Window and Door frames
  • Interior Doors
  • Chair Rails
  • Paneling
  • Stair Rails

Depending on your taste and style, millwork can be finished in a couple of different ways: It can be stained, painted or even finished with a clear seal. Most homes come with the millwork already painted or finished, so your job is probably re-painting it, whether it’s because it’s been used and abused or because you’re ready for a change.

The Key to Re-Painting Millwork is in the Preparation

  • Remove cracked, chipped or loose paint…a simple paint job won’t hide those flaws.
  • Fill any holes, cracks or scrapes with putty.
  • Once the putty or spackling compound is dry, sand it lightly with about a 180-grit sand paper.
  • Wipe down the surface to remove all dust and debris.
  • Apply a small bead of caulk (make sure it’s paintable) to every place the millwork meets the wall or ceiling.
  • Prime
  • Choose a quality paint or stain. If you’re in doubt ask a specialist at the paint store. You may want to add a latex additive to help ensure smoothness.
  • Choose a quality brush.
  • Tape off areas surrounding the millwork that you don’t want “painted”.
  • When applying the paint, begin at the top and work your way down. Be sure your brush has a good amount of paint loaded on it in order to make long, smooth strokes. When you see the brush is running out of paint, don’t try to squeeze as much out of it as possible, be generous with the paint, but not so generous that it forms drips on your project.
  • It’s often necessary to apply a 2nd coat. If so, after the 1st coat has dried over night, lightly sand the finish as above and wash off with a damp cloth before applying the 2nd coat.

Painted MillworkFinishing millwork so it looks good, smooth and silky yet rugged and durable, requires an advanced technique and a lot of patience. When you consider all  the steps and details involved in this process, you may want to hire professionals who have the expertise to do it right.

Give us a call for a free estimate – (425) 888-3634

Claffey’s Painting is a full service painting contractor serving Western Washington, Chelan, Douglas and Kittitas Counties. We have painted over 7000 homes and would enjoy the opportunity to help paint yours. We can guide you through all the decision making processes so you get the right paint for the right job, and the professional job you’re looking for.