Home Improvement

Tips for Drips, Lead, Trim, and Other Sloppy Paint Challenges

sloppy paint

Sleep expert, Luxury bedding and Professional interior designer Jennifer Adams is back to answer your questions and provide some helpful advice! Today, Jennifer responds to a reader’s question about how to address issues left behind after old, sloppy paint jobs:

Those Pesky Drips and Drops

Thank you so much for reaching out! When you move into a home that’s not new, but is new to you, it’s not all that uncommon to find a few sloppy drips and drops, especially on interior trim pieces. I feel your pain, too – I’ve had to deal with cleaning up sloppy paint lots of times, both as an interior designer and as a homeowner myself.

It also seems that more and more home painting jobs are being done hastily and with less precision these days, for whatever reason. This might explain why many homeowners are now deciding to use painting contractors just for interior walls and ceilings, and then try and tackle the trim on their own after the painters are gone.

How to HandleLead-Based Paint in an Older House

Sometimes I’ve had the budget and time to have the trim completely refinished in older houses. That’s a huge, messy job I don’t recommend (if you can help it) when you’re living in the same house. For one thing, paint and other finishes in older homes may contain lead, which is something you certainly don’t want to expose to your family or pets during lead paint removal.

If your home was built before 1978, there’s a good chance it has lead-based paint. According to the EPA, lead paint isn’t necessarily a problem if it’s still in good shape or has been covered by other layers of paint. However, deteriorating lead-based paint (evidence of peeling, chipping, cracking, etc.) IS a hazard, and should require immediate attention? Talk with the staff at your favorite paint store about ideas of how to handle the situation, or just play it safe and hire a licensed professional who is experienced with lead paint removal.

What If I Want to Update the ceilings, but Preserve the Existing Painted Trim?

Repainting or refinishing trim is a much more involved process than painting walls and ceilings. Walls and ceilings can be rolled and/or sprayed, while trim pretty much has to be brushed by hand. And if you screw up while painting the trim, chances are very good that your screw-up can also impact other areas that you’ve already finished painting! Very frustrating!

If you’re planning to do some ceiling paint updating but your ceiling trim still looks basically fine, here’s a little hack to help you preserve your existing trim. It’s not a time saver per se, but it is a much easier option than having to sand all that trim down and repaint it! It’s a little something I like to call “masking tape.” Just mask off all the trim you want to keep as-is. Painting ceilings can cause a lot of splatters that’s hard to clean. Just be sure to paint neatly when you’re next to the trim because paint can seep under the tape if you’re not careful. You want as little mess to fix as possible!

And When You’re Repainting Walls and Ceilings, Follow This Strategy

It’s really pretty simple. Just start at the top, and then work your way down. In other words, paint the ceiling first, and then the walls (if you’re actually going to paint the trim too, be sure and save that for LAST). As you go along, clean your own drips with a damp cloth as soon as you notice them.

No matter how good of a painter you are, you’re bound to get a little on the trim that you may miss before it dries. If so, no worries. Just pick up a quart of paint that’s matched to your existing trim color, and you can do a little touch-up and blending over the old paint as needed. Test in a small spot first; in some cases, you may need to apply a little primer first.

A Few More Home Décor Tips

See how easy that was! Ok, maybe “easy” is a strong term, but hopefully, these tips will make things a little more doable for you, anyway. I’d love to hear how everything goes for you, and it would be great to see some pictures, too!

And if you’re looking for some ways to make the rest of your home feel a little more like home, be sure and check out our home Décor and luxury sheet sets collection by Jennifer Adams!