how to paint moldings white

I know better, and yet still foolishly entertained the notion of only one coat of paint.

I shouldn’t have been having this conversation with myself this afternoon.  Me, the guy known in the seedy, rough and tumble underworld of molding painters as, “Two-Coat Ken.”

OK, so maybe there’s no seedy underworld of molding painters in which I’m feared for defiantly putting two coats of paint on my moldings, but if there were, I’d certainly be feared there.  I’m sure of it.

But not today.  Today I was tired and had other projects I wanted to get to.  And so I actually debated weather or not to put the second coat of White Dove on the eared architraves that I installed last week.  The argument I had with myself went something like this:

Lazy Ken: It looks great as is.  A little gray-ish, perhaps.  No one will notice but you.

Two Coat Ken: I always put two coats of paint on my moldings — it’s part of my painting doctrine!

Lazy Ken: Yeah, but the difference won’t even show up in the pictures.  So one coat will do just fine.  Besides, I want to get the brick wall painted blue today.

Two Coat Ken: Don’t listen to that lazy guy, just invest a whole ten minutes out of your day and put the second coat on because you already know the difference it makes!

And it really does make a difference, that second coat of paint.  Even though I primed my door trim in a bright white primer and then carefully applied a coat of high-quality Benjamin Moore paint, there was still the slightest gray cast to the white paint.

But when that second coat of paint goes on you can see the difference immediately.  It’s that second coat of paint that nudges your moldings over the fine line between moldings that are nailed to the wall and then painted and moldings that are integral architectural details of your home.

Happy Painting!

Cheers, Two-Coat Ken

[Learn more at our How to Paint Moldings series.]