DIY, home renovation

How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim

How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim

Maintenance is key to any home staying in good shape. As a relator and designer I get asked all the time if painting woodwork is a good decision and if it holds up well. This is the honest truth…YES but it is NOT maintenance free! Painted cabinets and trim work require touch up and anyone else that tells you differently is LYING 🙂

The initial prep work and painting process is so important so whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone please make sure it is done right the first time! We have lived with all of our 80’s golden oak PAINTED cabinets and trim work for 5 years now and it still looks great! That being said I usually touch up our wood work about 2 times a year. I aim for the Spring and Fall. This process does NOT take long at all and usually our entire kitchen I can get done in about 20 minutes if you stay up on the maintenance and do not let it get out of control.

I didn’t get to my normal maintenance this Fall or Spring because of baby Tripp being born so I tackled the project while we were adding our base shoe on our first floor new floors this weekend. Since I already had the paint out I knew it was time to do the semi-annual touch up session. I figured I would give you the steps I do for those who have painted or looking at painting your woodwork!


I will start by saying I am no painting or wood expert – but this is my tried and true techniques that have kept are painted cabinets and wood looking like new for the last 5 years!


How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim















Step 1. CLEAN your cabinets/trim area you are wanting to touch up well. You can do this with regular rag and soapy water. I like to use Clorox wipes for the ease and amount of dirt these things get off. But be careful though because on some paint the wipes will take the finish off. I use Sherwin Williams Pro Classic in Semi-Gloss which is made for trim and holds up SO WELL that in my opinion no woodwork should be painted with any other paint 🙂 so the Clorox Wipes do great on it.


Step. 2. Look for any holes and nics in the wood. Fill these in with wood filler. I like to use Elmers Wood Filler in White for any staple holes that need to be touched up. I also like to use Dap Plastic Wood in White for any nics that I can lightly fill in so they are less noticeable.


Step 3. Caulk any corners or cracks that need to be caulked. I like to use DAP in the small tube for these small projects because it is a lot easier than using a caulk gun for small spaces.


Step 4. Use your paint to go over the imperfect areas. I love to use the Wooster Short Cut brush for these products…it literally is the best! I cannot recommend enough Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Paint in Semi-Gloss for cabinets and trim work. You can get this tinted to any color you want. For our white I use the paint in the pure white. The important thing when you are doing this step is taking a TINY amount of paint on your brush and going with the grain of the wood. I will do two light coats on bad spots if need be. I should say that we did spray and or rolled most of the surfaces of our home when we originally painted it. However, if you use these products and these steps you won’t see any brush strokes.


So would I have people paint their woodwork if you want a light and bright house? ABSOLUTELY! But does it come with maintenance? YES! Do not think you will be able to live in a home with white painted woodwork without touch ups! But it really is an easy process so do not feel intimidated!


How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim


How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim


I hope this helped! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out! Check us out on Instagram & Pinterest for more tips!





How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim How to Maintain Painted Cabinets & Trim


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