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Can You Use Ceiling Paint on Trim? (Explained)

Since both the ceiling paint and wall paint that is used for trim are basically just paints irrespective of where the paints are being used, you can think of using ceiling paint on trim as an alternative.

But if you don’t have much idea whether or not ceiling paint can be used on trim, you surely would want to learn can you actually use ceiling paint on trim or not. Thence, let’s just read further and out the precise explanations.

Can You Use Ceiling Paint On Trim?

Ceiling paint is usually not recommended for painting the trims because trims require high-quality glossy paint so that they can be cleaned easily. However, ceiling paint can be used on trims only if it’s used as a primer and a top coating with a semi-gloss finish is applied on the ceiling paint.

Basically, ceiling paints are mainly designed to be used on ceilings only because it’s a flat paint that gives a flat sheen finish rather than a glossy finish to hide any imperfection or small dents on the ceiling’s surface.

Therefore, ceiling paint is not really recommended for using on trims as trim paint.

Also, it’s known that trims require paint with a glossy finish so that trims can be cleaned easily by using water and suds, and scrubbing while cleaning can’t harm the trim paint. And trim paint is also accessible in many finishes.

But ceiling paint doesn’t offer any of these facilities as ceiling paint is not cleanable which makes ceiling paint very unsuitable for use on trims.

However, still, ceiling paint can be used on trims but only as a primer as ceiling paint makes an acceptable primer for trims. And if ceiling paint is used on trims, a top coating with a semi-gloss finish has to be applied over the ceiling paint primer on the trim.

4 Reasons Why You Cannot Use Ceiling Paint On Trim?

The major 4 reasons that restrict ceiling paint to be used as trim paint on trims have been explained in detail and listed below.

Doesn’t Offer A Durable Finish:

Ceiling paint is surely viscous but it’s not as durable as trim paints. Because ceiling paint is imperfect for trims or any other high-touch grounds.

As a result, if you paint trims with ceiling paint, it will not be able to stand up against the hardest wears and tears, blemishes, stains, and fingerprints. Moreover, ceiling paint is not capable of resisting mildew, filth, and dirt on the edges.

Not Cleanable:

Trim paint is supposed to be susceptible to cleaning but ceiling paint doesn’t offer the facility of cleaning. As soap and water can’t be used on ceiling paints on trims, neither you will be able to scrub and trims while cleaning.

Because if you scrub, ceiling paint is most likely to get damaged.

Doesn’t Offer Many Finishes:

Generally, trim paints come in a variety of finishes such as velvet, semi-gloss, satin, etc. But ceiling paint doesn’t offer a huge range of finishes, it typically is found in a flat finish. And trims don’t require paint with a flat finish at all.

Have A Flat Sheen Finish:

Semi-glossy paint is required for painting trims to draw attention to it. But the ceiling paint comes in a flat sheen finish which is perfect for covering up all the debts and flaws in ceilings but not the trims.

Thence, it makes clear sense that you can’t use ceiling paints on the trims.

Can You Use Flat Plaint On Trim?

You can’t and you should not use flat paint on trims. It’s because flat paint is not formulated to be used on trims as the texture of flat paint can’t withstand wear and tear.

Also, it’s hard to remove dirt, stains, and fingerprint from flat paints because you cannot use suds and water on flat paint, neither can scrub it as the paint will get damaged. Besides, flat paint gives a porous and not so smoother appearance on the surface which looks bad.

Nevertheless, if you decide to use flat paint on trims, remember that you have to use a top coating of semi-gloss finish over the flat paint.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Trim?

This section has comprised the main three kinds of paints with precise information that you should use on the trim to paint it.

Acrylic Latex/Water-Based:

Acrylic latex paint is basically water-based trim paint. These water-based acrylic latex paints take very little time to dry and are super easy to clean up using water and suds. Acrylic latex paints also give off a quite promising finish with fewer brush marks.

Acrylic latex paints make a great option to paint interior trims.

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The second best type of trim paint is alkyd or oil-based trim paint and it’s the most classic one.

Hence, oil-based trim paints have oil, these paints give off an exceptional glass-like texture and glaze with minimal to absolutely zero brush stroke marks. These paints have a thick consistency so it’s suitable to fill minor gaps in trims.

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Acrylic-Alkyd Hybrid:

The most newer type of trim paint that is being vastly used by homeowners now is acrylic-alkyd hybrid trim paint. This newer acrylic-alkyd hybrid trim paint is developed by combining the advantages of both the oil-based and water-based trim paints.

These paints have the goodness of alkyd paints such as fast drying, toughness, leveling while offering the good qualities of water-based paints like easy clean with soap and water and resistance of being yellowish over time.

How To Paint Trim?

To make the process of painting trims without any complications at home, here an easy step-by-step instruction has been elucidated.

Clean The Trim:

The very first step of painting trims is cleaning up the trim thoroughly so that paint can stick to it nicely. So to clean the trims, take a damp sponge and clean up all filth and grime from the trims.

Sand The Trim’s Surface:

The next step is sanding the surfaces of trims. First, try to sand lightly with 120-grit sandpaper. But if the trims are worn out and rough then use more coarse sandpaper which is 80-grit sandpaper.

After that take a less course of 100 or 120-grit sandpaper to smooth out the trim’s surface.

Fill Dents, Gaps, and Cracks:

After that use a lighter spackling mixture to fill the dents, tears, and gaps in the trim. Let it dry fully and then sand lightly with 120-grit sandpaper to make the surface smooth. And clean any sanding dust by using a tack cloth.

Tape The Trim:

Now take painter’s tape and stick take carefully, to the walls encircling the trims. You should choose 3-4 inches thick painter’s tape and press the take firmly on the walls. But don’t stick tape on the trims.

Apply Primer:

Apply your preferred primer to the trims to cover up any bare wood/spackled spots and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coating of primer if there is any bare wooden or spackled area is seen.

Smooth Out The Trim:

Use 120-grit sandpaper to sand down the trims’ surface after the primer is dried fully. And remove sanding dust with a damp sponge.

Apply Paint:

Lastly, take your favorite trim paint and use an angled paintbrush to paint the trims. Use short and straight brush strokes to paint a few feet of the trims. And then drag the paintbrush in a long stroke over the series of short strokes to smooth out the paint.

Is Ceiling Paint Same As Trim?

The ceiling paint is not the same as trim paint at all. Ceiling paint gives off a flat sheen finish, is cheaper, and is not so easily cleanable.

On the contrary, trim paint comes with a variety of finishes and the most popular one is a semi-gloss finish, which is expensive, and very easy to clean. Also can bear wear and tear.

Should You Use High-Gloss For Trim?

High-gloss paint for trim is not usually suggested to use as it reflects highly when light falls upon the paint and the imperfections become more visible.

But you surely should use paint with a high-gloss finish if you have a plant to use strategically and if the surfaces of trims are absolutely smooth with no apparent dents.

Do You Paint The Ceiling First Or Last?

You should always paint the ceiling first. Because painting the ceiling first will allow you to cover up the surface effectively with a minimum of two coats of paint without worry about over-spraying using a roller.

Final Thoughts

Ceiling paint shouldn’t be used on trims paint trims. Because ceiling paint is flat paint with a flat sheen finish and not so easily cleanable, neither can withstand wear and tear strongly. However, ceiling paint can be applied on trims as a primer and a top coating of semi-gloss finish over it.