Is it going to be a good idea to spray paint (while off) interior trim? (such as quarter round ) someone mentioned it might create a smoother looking finish and be a little faster, but will it last? I mean canned spray paint is WAYY cheaper then a gallon of paint and a new brush also. From my perspective it seems like a no brainer, but why haven't I ever heard of this then?

I have already primed the sureface I thought I could do 2 finish coats, then nail on the trim and patch paint the nails? Figuring I could spray the paint onto mu finger and just dab it on over the nails?

AM I just an idiot or is this a viable way to do this?

  • You can get pint in smaller than gallon sizes, remember. Heck, for this small a job you might be able to cheat on a store's "try the color before buying more" mini-sample.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 12:50

5 Answers 5


Spray painting is fine and generally gives a smoother finish than brush or roller. But you need to fill nail holes, not just paint over the nailheads. Nails should be recessed. Either wood filler or painters caulk should be used in the nail holes. Once the filler is dry, you can spray a q-tip or a piece of paper towel and dab the surface.

  • 2
    He can also spray some of the paint into a small paper cup and use an artist brush to touch up. Commented May 19, 2014 at 10:48
  • Also, spray paint always results in some overspray and a mist of airborne paint that can stick to surrounding areas. Be sure to either spray outdoors or mask areas around the spraying very well and wide.
    – bib
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 14:16

I see this post is several years old, but I have done this... It was fabulous.

I had a small rental apartment (400 sq ft) with beat up brown stained trim. I really needed to rent it out ASAP. I decided to buy several cans of the "Rust-Oleum spray paint plus primer in one". This was in 2008. I still own that rental and the trim still looks great.

Order of operations was key... I hadn't painted the walls yet or replaced the flooring. I caulked (with white lightening latex caulk) to seal anything that looked like a crack or Gap or even nail hole. After that was dry, I taped off the windows' glass panes. Then I put on my respirator mask and a tyvek suit. I sprayed every inch of trim, not worrying about overspray on the walls because thick beige paint would cover that. It was all sprayed in about 30 min. The enamel spray off gassed for at least 2 days, but that was ok with my schedule. It was a perfect finish around all windows, doors, baseboard... Just beautiful. I plan to do it again. It would have taken me 2 days to paint all that trim with a brush.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 12:02

Make sure you get spray LATEX paint. Regular spray paint over latex primer could be a problem. Test a waste piece first. Be sure to sand your primer coat gently with 220 or finer grit paper before you spray or topcoat.

  • I used Kilz Original Oil Based Primer. DO I still need latex based? Commented May 18, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    Kilz is an oil based primer. most lacquers should work OK on it. Still test a small piece to be sure. Commented May 19, 2014 at 10:45

Where ever you touch up the paint with your finger, will stick out like a sore thumb, nyuk,nyuk, Actually it won't be too bad, it will be noticeable close up but it is shoe mold, you will always be 5" away from it. A matching putty stick would be better. Rub it into the nail hole, wipe off the excess with a rag.


For a small amount of trim (like 10 feet) a can of spray paint will be cheaper but a can of spray paint really doesn't cover much. It is cheaper to get a quart of paint (instead of a gallon) and use a brush. From the distance of standing you will not notice the difference of spraying to brushing.

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