Interior Wood Trim: Paint or Stain?

Posted By Volterra Jan 13, 2020

interior wood trim

To paint or to stain? That is the question that many homeowners ask when deciding what to do with their interior wood trim. Both paint and stain are popular for different reasons, so the end decision will really depend on what you want the finished product to look like and what type of materials you are working with. Here’s an overview of what you need to know before you decide on paint or stain for your wood trim.


What Kind of Wood Trim Do You Have?


To the novice eye, discerning the quality of wood trim in your home might be difficult, but there are a few things you should consider. Wood trim that is made for stain is usually of much higher quality than other trim products. This means that it is free of knots and defects that might ruin the look, and it has a strong grain pattern that will be enhanced once the stain color is added. If your trim is already painted, and you want to switch to stain, you may need to sand down a section of the trim to determine whether the wood underneath is a good fit for stain in the first place.


What Is Your Desired Outcome?


Dark stained wood trim has long been the look of classic grandeur. The dark stain adds a warm feel to any room, and helps call out the authenticity of the wood work that went into building your home. By contrast, more modern homes tend to rely on plain white or cream painted trim because it is clean and bright, adding a bit of contrast to colorful walls. We can’t say that one is better than the other, but when you see the two options side by side, it should become clear which one will be a good fit for your home.


Mix and Match?


For those who are inclined to take a walk on the wild side, mixing stained and painted trim in the same home, and even the same room, is an option. For instance, applying painted trim along the ceilings while leaving the stained trim along the baseboards, especially in rooms with matching hardwood. Or you can always update your baseboards and crown moulding with paint, while leaving accent trim around your windows and doors stained to match the original look of the doors. Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to make sure that you are working with quality wood trim that can handle the paint or stain you choose. To learn more, visit Volterra’s online gallery and see some of our beautiful finished trim products today.