I'm repainting a room. I'm removing wallpaper from the walls, and stripping paint from trim around doors, windows and baseboards. There's no crown moulding. I might repaint the ceiling, not sure yet.

What is a good order for stripping and repainting the parts? For example, should I do ceiling, walls, then trim? Or should I do trim first? Should I strip the trim, then repaint everything? Or should I wait until after painting the walls before I try stripping the trim (will likely use chemical stripper-- I guess a risk is accidentally getting some stripper on the newly painted walls.)

I've read conflicting advice.

I'm not in a big hurry so can, for example, paint the trim and let it dry for a few days, then come back to do the walls.

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    From the replies below, it seems like it's just personal preference. It will take me a long time to get all the trim stripped (though I'm now thinking of renting or buying one of those IR heaters to strip rather than use chemical) so I might try doing the walls first then trim and see how that goes in one room, and maybe try doing it differently if it doesn't work for me. I'll try to get good brushes too! :) – Reed Hedges Oct 25 '10 at 10:29
  • ...Since all three answers are "correct" I can't just pick one, but upvotes for all three. – Reed Hedges Oct 25 '10 at 10:32
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    Seeing as your question was answered I wanted to share a quick tip with you. If you decide to paint the ceiling ensure to start at the opposite side of a window. This will ensure you see the wet edge of the paint on the ceiling as you roll and help to ensure full coverage without misses. – user4965 Jan 19 '12 at 3:56
  • @CapeBretonPainters that is a great tip, thanks! – Mike Powell Jun 1 '12 at 17:43
  1. Ceiling first, if you're going to do it.
  2. Strip the trim: it's a messy job and you will get stripper in places you don't want it. Actually, if you could remove the trim without damaging it, I would do that.
  3. Paint the walls.
  4. Paint the trim: you'll likely be using a small paintbrush on the trim, so it'll be easier to get sharp lines where it meets the walls.
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    If you can remove the trim, do it, and paint it separately. You'll need some touch-up after you re-install it, but it's a lot easier. – Chris Cudmore Nov 11 '11 at 20:04
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    If the trim is original/old/custom, definitely keep it, but if it's nothing out of the ordinary (stock profile from the past 20 years or so) probably easiest/safest/cheapest to just get new trim. Also, if you are just going to repaint it...you probably don't need to strip it. – DA01 Jan 19 '12 at 5:11

I find it easier to paint the trim first, then the walls. When you're cutting the wall in to meet the trim edge, you're brushing onto a nice flat surface so all you have to worry about is your line. If you paint the wall first, then when you paint the trim edges you're often contending with trying to paint a narrow edge (say on base or crown) and cutting a clean line at the same time.


You'll probably get a variety of answers but when I paint I do the walls first and then the trim. I did the trim first once and then when I did the walls I got roller splatter flecks on the trim and it looked splotchy. That may be just my painting style but I had to go over the trim again.


If the trim is in gloss and the walls are in water based paint, then it is often easy to wipe “errors” of the trim. Therefore I tend to do the trim first.

My painting skills are not good enough to allow me to “cut in” without having one or two errors to correct. I rather have to wipe the “roller splatter” from the trim than try to wipe gloss from the walls.

This depends on letting the trim dry very well before doing the walls.

I do all prep in a room before any painting so to control dust etc.

  • This is an excellent point. – Mike Powell Feb 8 '12 at 16:15

Texture over the wall paper then paint. It will take a long time to get the paper off. You will put dings in the wall. Ive tried every method.I do this for a living. Trust me, Ive seperated my shoulder doing this. Pull any piece off that may be peelng. Rent a hooper. Texture over it and use paint with primer.

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    Do this only if you want to really piss of the next owners. :) Paper will peel eventually and now the next owners have to deal with paper + texture. – DA01 Apr 28 '15 at 7:23
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    As an owner who inherited a house with not one but two layers of painted-over wallpaper, I think painting over wallpaper should be a criminal offense. – Carey Gregory Jun 4 '15 at 0:20

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