Wood Trim: To Paint Or Not To Paint?

Paint is renowned for its ability to transform a room or object with just a couple of coats. But are there things in your house — wood trim, for example — that shouldn’t be painted?
One of my favorite bloggers, Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely, made what some called a controversial decision when she decided to paint all of the wood trim in her home white. She received several comments from readers who were shocked at her decision, and warned her that the original wood would never be the same after it was painted.

Yet if the wood is in poor condition, a coat of paint can go a long way at refreshing and reviving the wood without the expense of a complete replacement.
As someone who has both exposed brick and wood beams in my home, I can’t say that I would be in favor of painting either. Sure, they’ve both seen better days, but to me, the slightly worn look is filled with a historic character that would be lost under a coat of paint.
I have noticed that other people in my building have opted to paint the hardwood floors. They’re a particularly pesky surface — the wood is uneven in some places and not sealed, so food and debris can easily fall within the cracks, making for an arduous clean-up job. I can see how a coat of paint would refresh the interior and make the floors a little easier to maintain.
Now it’s your turn to weigh-in. Are you in favor of painting wood trim or brick? Or are there parts of your home that are off-limits to paint?
Photo courtesy of Making It Lovely

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  • Laurie March, EvangelistaLA

    Wow. what a great job! Pretty cabinetry too. clever use of the smallest space ever!

  • That was an incredible kitchen remodel! You really have to go through all the pictures to understand how difficult it was to accomplish. Makes me think I can get my remodels done!- Nate

  • Katie also has an interesting post about the mandatory quiet hours in Germany. No power sanders allowed! http://is.gd/vHXd

  • Allison

    Incredible. The before picture looked like a bathroom. Kudos to them!

  • beth

    that’s incredible! excellent job, Katie!!

  • Thanks for sharing our kitchen! It’s so nice to see those before/after shots next to each other and take a deep breath now that we’re done. I appreciate the comments everyone has left, too. Like Wisconsin Pest mentioned, it was quite the process. We only had the 35 sq ft beside the kitchen to build in.
    Thanks again all!