Should I Paint Walls Or Woodwork First


An important factor in the successful renovation of any living space is understanding the order in which to paint walls and woodwork. To properly answer this question, it’s important to understand the definitions of each. Walls are the large vertical surfaces that define an area, and woodwork is any trim or small features such as doors, windows, etc. Generally speaking, woodwork should be painted first to ensure everything is put together neatly because it would not be possible to touch up edges and corners on a wall after painting woodwork.

Preparing the Room Before You Paint

When it comes to painting walls and woodwork, it is important to properly prepare the room before starting. Here are the steps you should take in order to successfully prepare for your painting job:

1. Clean the Walls/Woodwork – Make sure to clean any dust, dirt or grime from the surfaces that need to be painted. A damp cloth can be used on non-porous surfaces like vinyl wallpaper and glossy paint, while a slightly stronger cleaning solution may be necessary on other surfaces such as woodwork and bare plaster walls.

2. Fill any Holes – If there are any nail holes or cracks in the wall or woodwork, use a high quality spackling compound or a wood filler (depending on the surface) in order to fill them in and create an even surface before painting.

3. Sanding ” Once all holes have been filled, use a medium grit sandpaper to lightly sand down any rough spots that may cause paint clumping down the road. This will also help create a smooth finish when painting over glossy surfaces such as VOC-free paints and satin finishes; however no sanding is required for flat matte finishes.

4. Tools Required ” In addition to a damp cloth or cleaning solution mentioned above, you will also need some additional tools for prepping the area for painting including; spackling compound/wood filler, medium grade sandpaper, drop cloths/painters’ tape if desired for protection and trim work, primer if needed for certain types of surfaces (masonry, burnished metals), wide angle brushers (for cutting-in edges and corners).

5. Safety Instructions – Finally, while preparing the room make sure that proper safety protocols are followed; wear protective eyewear when using tools, keep open flames away from volatile liquids like solvents or thinners and conduct regular maintenance checks of all tool components including blades and drills etc., throughout your work session..

Pros and Cons of Painting Walls First

Pros of Painting Walls First:

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– When you paint walls first, it allows you to easily tape off and protect any trim or doors against splashes of paint.

– Painting the walls first can make it easier to visualize the completed project.
– It’s generally less time consuming to paint a wall before tackling the woodwork details.

Cons of Painting Walls First:
– If any paint drips onto your previously painted surfaces while painting walls, it can be difficult to remove without repainting all the woodwork.
– It may be hard to reach tight corners and recesses when applying undiluted paint to walls.
– You may need additional supplies such as drop cloths and steamers for problem areas on walls when prepping for painting.

Pros and Cons of Painting Woodwork First

Advantages of Painting Woodwork Before Walls:
Aesthetically, painting the woodwork first can be a more pleasant and aesthetically interesting look. It’s easier to paint around already-painted woodwork than trying to cut in evenly around freshly painted walls. When woodwork is painted first, it allows you to create a border effect between the wood and the walls that you can accommodate when you are painting with colors that clash or need to be blended or softened.

Disadvantages of Painting Woodwork First:
Painting woodwork first is often more labor intensive, as you may have to mask off windows, door frames and baseboards from the walls so that they do not get paint on them during wall painting. If your wall color does not match your ceiling color, you may have an issue with edging onto already-painted crown molding. Additionally, if there is textured wallpaper on one wall, you will have to cautiously cut in against previously-painted wood trim without smudging or seeping outside the line.

Tips for Painting the Walls and Woodwork

When you are deciding whether to paint the walls or woodwork first, here are a few things to consider:

Paint: When using multiple colors for both the walls and woodwork, it’s best to purchase enough of both colors so that you can finish each task without having to stop in between. Additionally, be sure to use a paint intended for each surface – different surfaces often require different types of paints.

Colors: Consider the kind of end result you’re looking for when deciding which color to paint your walls and woodwork. Light colors will typically make a room look larger; dark colors may give it a cozy feel. Be sure to purchase samples first and test them out on small areas before committing to any large purchases of paint.

Finishes: Depending on where each surface is located within your home, you may want to select different finishes. High-traffic areas often require more durable finishes; cabinets and shelving units in kitchens may benefit from easy-to-clean surfaces with matte or eggshell sheens.

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Brush/Roller Technique: Once you have selected your paints, colors, and finishes, it is important to properly apply them using brushes or rollers per their respective instructions for optimal results. Brushes should be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly between applications of various colors in order to avoid any streaks or marks from appearing in the final product.

Other Factors to Consider by Room

When it comes to tackling a painting job, there are many factors to consider when deciding whether you should paint walls or woodwork first. First, you should take into account the size and complexity of the job. A bigger room with more intricate details may require additional time for wallpaper removal and sanding, for example. Thus, it may be best to paint the walls first before moving onto woodwork in order to keep all other work moving towards completion.

In addition to having enough time set aside for each phase of the painting project, budget considerations should also be weighed heavily. Certain products or tools used on woodwork such as primer and sealants can be pricey depending on the type you choose, so this should play a role in determining your order of paint application in those areas especially. For example, when using a water-based sealant on certain types of wood product, extra drying times between applications can add significantly to costs and labor hours over oil-based counterparts. Being aware of these price differences can help you determine whether to begin with walls or woodwork as well as ensure that any additional costs are kept to a minimum.


The order in which you paint walls and woodwork is very important when starting any painting project. It is important to paint the walls first and let it dry before beginning work on the woodwork. This will ensure that any drips or splatters of paint do not make their way onto the woodwork and create a difficult mess to clean up. After the wall paint is applied, it should be left to dry completely before beginning work on woodwork so that it won’t chip away over time due to improper application of primer, sealers, or top coats. Additionally, homeowners may want to consider researching additional resources on proper prep and finish techniques when tackling larger home improvement projects like this one.

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