Making the Decision to Stain or Paint Wood Trim

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Making the Decision to Stain or Paint Wood Trim

Paint Wood Trim

There are so many design choices to consider when painting any room in your home. One of the easiest ways to create a dramatic look is to choose to stain or paint wood trim and doors. With so many options available, how does one decide which way to go?


Depending on your budget and the style of your room, paint can be a great option for your doors and trim. Wall paint is typically used to set the tone of the room design, but painting your trim a boldly different color can offer a bit of dramatic contrast and bring more character into the space.

There are so many techniques that can be used to paint doors and trim. Painting the trim a stark white color in a room with dark furniture produces a very clean and bright look. If the wall paint is light, choosing a darker accent color for the trim can create a warmer, cozier feel.

Remember to consider the size of your room when making the decision to paint wood trim. When you begin to strategize with your professional painter or designer, you must think about where one style will stop and the next starts.


Choosing to stain the trim in a room requires more in-depth knowledge of the type of wood you’re staining. The species of wood matters because each species has a different grain and the stain will adhere differently to each type of grain. Each wood species will take to the stain alternatively – so even when using the same stain color, it will end up looking different.

For example, to stain oak trim, you must first determine the way the trim is cut – either regular cut, or quarter sawn. Cutting the oak in different ways will result in a different grain pattern, which means an alternative look every time. A wood like maple has no visible grain and may look blotchy if it’s not stained evenly and carefully.

It may be overwhelming to make the decision to paint or stain – if that’s the case, when you hire a professional painter or designer, it’s wise to get paint and stain sample cans to test with.

J Canabe color experts are professional painters in North Jersey and can help you make smart decisions on finishing your trim – whether it’s painted or stained. Contact us today for help on your next interior or exterior painting project.

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