You’ve chosen the perfect wall paint color. Now what about sprucing-up the trim, like crown molding, wainscoting, baseboards, and around the doors? Just go for basic white, right?

Not exactly.

Consider these four tips for choosing a white trim color and finish, and applying the paint.

Choose a white trim color that complements your walls

White is an ideal color for wall and door trim, but even it has its own spectrum of hues—ranging from warm to cool. A warm white goes well with walls that are painted in warm colors, like reds and oranges, as well as those painted in warm neutrals. Walls that are painted in blue or green pigments are best complemented with a cool white trim color.

The same way you would test wall paint before you commit to one or more gallons, do the same with the color of your trim to make sure it complements your walls.

If you don’t want to give the warm/cool thing much thought, a neutral white will go well with just about any wall color and give your trim a modern look.

Use a semi-gloss finish

A semi-gloss finish can reflect light in your space and create a subtle contrast against the walls, allowing the trim to stand out. Semi-gloss finishes are especially ideal for baseboards, particularly in heavy traffic areas like kitchens and baths, as well as form door trim, because the durable nature of the finish can withstand vigorous wiping without leaving a blemish—making it easier to keep clean.

Paint the trim first

Which should you paint first—the walls or the trim? It’s debatable. But when painting a room consider starting with the trim before the walls, since painting crown molding, wainscoting, door trim, and baseboards can be more detail-oriented—and if you get any paint on the walls fixing it with a roller can be easy.

Maintain consistency

Although your trim color doesn’t have to match throughout your whole house try to keep it consistent in common areas to achieve a cohesive look, especially if you’ve got an open floorplan. Let loose with trim color in individual rooms.

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