I'm just about ready to paint my basement project and wanted to get the opinion of the community on what would be the best method of approach for my situation. I'll be using a HVLP spray system and my original thought was to prime everything first (ceilings, walls, trim, casings, doors), then do the ceiling, followed by the trim (in place) and doors, ending with rolling my walls so that touchups are easier down the road.

Any painters out there have some insight? Picture of an example wall below. Unfinished wall

  • I'm not sure what you're asking. What does "do the ceiling" mean? Walls are usually primed and painted before trim. You don't want to have to edge or mask, and you'll get a nicer result.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 17:45
  • @isherwood I've seen it done both ways, with the benefit of painting trim in place being you can cover nail holes first for a more refined finish. 'Do the ceiling' was simply stating that I would spray the ceiling first so that any overspray or particulates in the air wouldn't end up on the freshly painted walls or trim.
    – Jason Reed
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 20:50
  • I just realized that we may be talking about painted trim. Here in the great north woods almost everyone has stained oak. Which is it?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 21:32
  • This is unprimed MDF that I cut and shaped myself. Apologies that was not apparent given my original question and the quality of the image.
    – Jason Reed
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 22:19
  • You lost me when you mentioned spraying. See (the answers to) this question, for instance. diy.stackexchange.com/q/214073/18078 There was an older one I can't find right now, as well. If you are not in the "apartment quick-turn refresh by blasting the whole place with white paint and then replacing the carpet" business, spay guns have little role to play in sane interior painting. The masking is an insane amount of time consuming work...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


I feel that you have the right idea here, but I would save the trim for last; why, you ask? Assuming you will use paint with a gloss on the trim (you should), it is not a problem to use gloss paint over flat paint overspray, but the converse of that is not the case.


  • plaster and your unprimed MDF should have different types of primer (PVA or other water-base primer for plaster/gypsum board vs. solvent-base primer for MDF, water-based primer on raw MDF can cause swelling)
  • prime and paint trim and doors with professional-grade brushes rather than spraying
  • Thank you for the feedback, I will take it to heart.
    – Jason Reed
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 14:04
  • Actually, with a good quality HVLP sprayer, quality paint, and experience the doors could come out very nicely. Really just the trim where it seems the masking required would be too much trouble compared to brushing... Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 15:19

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