How we Made the Decision to Paint Wood Trim:
When we moved into our current house, which was full of stained and varnished hardwood trim and baseboards, I was torn: should I paint my wood trim, or should I try to retain the original wood finish?
In our previous homes, our original baseboards were small and the trim was painted using low quality paint. My husband replaced the builder-grade baseboards with taller ones, and it was an easy decision for me to paint them using Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White in their premium oil base. It made a big different and I loved the look.
I am a big fan of the designer Candace Olsen, and have been following her advice since her days providing decorating guidance on the City Line TV show in Toronto. More often than not, glossy white painted baseboards featured in her ‘after’ rooms.
I am also the daughter of a carpenter, so I definitely appreciate the finer qualities of allowing the natural wood grain to take center stage. The wood trim also goes well with my appreciation of a room that is styled like a ski chalet – but Kansas does not get a lot of snow and is pretty far away from any mountain!
One final factor we considered is re-sale. Compared to Toronto, a lot more houses in Kansas have wood baseboards and trim, so we wondered if painting would have a negative impact on resale values in this area.
I asked a decorator friend who had lived in Kansas for several years whether we should paint wood trim, and I am not sure she just told me what I wanted to hear, but she said we should go for it! That was the push we needed to make the decision: remove all the wood baseboards, install taller baseboards (we used MDF), and paint the baseboards and all of the trim white!
One final factor was the more modern, fresh look of the white painted trim. Andy and I are definitely moving towards more modern furniture and accessories, and the white paint goes nicely with the furniture.
For us, the decision needed to apply to the whole house. We did not want some rooms with white trim and other with wood trim. At the time of writing this article, we have finished 80% of the main floor and have not started on the basement, but the plan is to carry on replacing the baseboards and painting the trim in the whole house.
It was a difficult, long considered question but Andy and I are so happy with the results and are sure we made the right decision for us!