Do You Paint the Walls or Woodwork First?

Painting your walls is an essential aspect of home improvement. Choosing the perfect colour for aesthetics, perception, and overall feel is a great way to make your home fit your personal style. However, when it comes to painting, choosing which parts of the walls to paint first can be a tough decision. So, do you paint the walls or the woodwork first?

Painting woodwork first is the most efficient way to paint. It’s efficient for saving time, but it also helps cut back on unnecessary labour. Painting the woodwork before the walls also allows more room for error.

In this article, you will learn about the benefits of painting the woodwork of your home before the walls. Following the guidelines in this article will aid you in completing your home improvement job in the easiest and most successful way possible.


Why You Should Paint Your Woodwork First

When we say “woodwork,” the typical reference is to the woodwork trim around the tops and bottoms of the walls in your home such as skirting and ceiling features. Of course, some people have woodwork along entire walls, but that is a different circumstance. There are a number of reasons that painting woodwork trim before walls is beneficial when completing this part of your home improvement.

In order to follow our guidelines, we assume now is the part where you start looking for the facts. Below are a few of the main reasons that make painting your woodwork before your walls better in the long run.

Painting woodwork before walls is the more time-efficient option… As said above, it is better to paint small areas first. Why? Well, for one thing, when you are taping off the area in which you plan to paint, marking the barriers is one of the most time-consuming parts of a painting job. With an area like the wood trim of your walls or any other general woodwork, you will be working with much less surface area than the entire wall. With walls, you will have to tape around electrical sockets, windows, and more. With woodwork, the taping process is much simpler, allowing you to make your barriers, paint the small area, and quickly complete small segments that you need to paint.
Painting woodwork before walls makes it easier to be neat and tidy… Another benefit of painting your woodwork first is the factor mentioned above about decreasing your chance of mistakes. If you paint your walls first and then go to your wood trim or other woodwork, one wrong slip of your brush can cause large streaks of paint to carry over onto your wall. Paint your woodwork first so that if these mishaps do occur, they can be easily fixed when you actually paint the wall later.
Painting woodwork before walls leaves a little more wiggle room in case you run into any hiccups… One more aspect that is somewhat related to neatness in painting is that with woodwork, you do not have to worry about making perfect finishing touches. In fact, you can be much less neat and careful in the process. One reason for this is because of the fact that you will fix any mistakes when you actually paint over the wall; another reason is that, because of the positioning and small surface area of trim and woodwork, you do not have to worry as much about over or under-coating, small streaks, and more, as these problems will not be noticeable on such small areas.
Painting woodwork before walls eliminates any extra labour that you might otherwise do… If you paint your woodwork and wood trim first, you can easily tape those areas off once they dry, and painting the rest of your wall will be very easy. Some people go through the laborious task of completely detaching their baseboards and woodwork in order to paint their walls without messing up. This technique is extremely unnecessary. As long as you protect the already painted areas with tape, you will not have to worry about painting over the lines if you are careful. Plus, when you reinstall the woodwork, you run the risk of chipping and damaging the wall you decided to paint first.
Painting woodwork before walls means you get to do the easy part first while you “brush up” on your painting skills… Painting woodwork is definitely less gruelling work than painting an entire set of walls. Once you finish painting all your walls, the last thing you are going to want to do is to go back and finish off the woodwork. Painting your woodwork first gets the small, simple areas out of the way so that you do not have to worry about them later.


The Struggles of Incorrect Painting Order

It is all too often that beginner-level DIYers have trouble with tasks such as painting their walls, which is completely understandable. Those DIY shows make the painting look so easy! But in real life, painting really can be a gruelling task. And, there’s a science behind doing it right.

If you do not know how to execute the process properly, you might cause accidents that take even more time to fix. And, even worse, some of these mistakes aren’t apparent until the paint has been on the wall awhile, and you’ve already put away all of your painting gear.

There are a number of problems that can stem from inexperience with painting. From the lack of enough paint application to uneven layers, if you are unfamiliar with the correct approach to take, you might not be satisfied with your attempts. Below are a few things that could go wrong if you try to paint your walls without any prior knowledge or experience.

Painting Outside the Lines

If you start painting the wrong area, you can make it more difficult to apply a neat coat of paint. This can be especially problematic if you do not use tape to mark a barrier between different parts of your walls or ceiling.

Taping off the edges of the area you want to paint is the best way to ensure a straight-line finish. Trying to freehand straight lines is not a great suggestion, especially for beginners.

Tasking Yourself with More Work

If you do not paint the correct area first, you can cause more work for yourself. For example, if you paint a large area first when you get to a smaller area that is near the large area, you risk going over the lines and messing up the area you have already painted.

To avoid this problem, paint small sections first so that if you accidentally go over the lines while painting the following areas, you have less of a chance of causing major problems in a large space.

Going Back and Forth Between Different Areas

This is something you must absolutely avoid. You need to pace your painting speed and restrict yourself to small sections at a time. If you move back and forth between sections, you will likely have many spots of uneven coats of paint, streaks from wetter spots, etc.



As you can see, the best way to go about home improvement in terms of painting is by getting your woodwork out of the way first. Doing so saves you time, labour, mishaps, frustration, and more.

Painting does not have to be as stressful of a project as some people make it. Even if you are a beginner in the field of home improvement, these tips will help you become an expert in at least one category of your DIY list.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *