Refreshing Your Old Wooden Trim – Paint or Stain?

Posted By Volterra Jun 10, 2015

stained moulding, such as base floor moulding, ceiling crown moulding, window and entry door casings, and chair railings, would be the difference between a box simply covered in wrapping paper and one sleekly finished with ribbon and adorned with a bow. When homeowners have been living in a house for awhile, there generally comes a time when they begin to think about updating or simply freshening up parts or all of their living space. This task can usually be achieved, by some or all of the following techniques: replacing or recovering furniture, modifying lighting, and changing floor and wall coverings. But to truly revitalize any room, refreshing the room’s various carpentry elements, including its mouldings, gives it that ‘icing on the cake’, finishing touch. In some rooms, depending on the condition of the mouldings, it may be time to replace or even add some millworked embellishments to a couple of tired looking rooms. If existing mouldings are still in good shape, though, here, the question of whether to paint or to keep stained moulding as is, is one that surfaces all the time. Whether to have painted or stained moulding is a personal preference – there’s certainly no right or wrong way to decorate your home and as expected, there are strong, loyal followers in both camps. When weighing the pros and cons of each choice, keep in mind the style of your house, your budget and your personal taste. In older, vintage homes, stained moulding, and other woodwork, is an integral part of their historic character and charm, so keeping it stained, maintains that classic, antique look. In more contemporary homes, you’ll generally find the fresh look of painted trim throughout. The painted look will usually require a bit more upkeep, however, as it will be more prone to show marks and dings from everyday house traffic and living. So, what do you do if you’re tired of the classic, stained look, but don’t want to paint over and hide all your beautiful woodwork? There are a couple of solutions. One would be to keep your doors and window casings stained, but freshly paint your crown mouldings and baseboards. Another suggestion if you feel you need a break from miles of stained trim around your house, is to paint some of it, in some (not all) of the rooms – like window casings, dado or chair rails, wainscoting and panel mouldings, and then leave the crown and base mouldings stained. The combination of both paint and stain gives a fresh, updated look to any living space.