The Inspired Hive

Inspiration for a creative home


Tips for painting almost anything- One Room Challenge Week 4

Five easy steps I use to paint almost anything

We're past the half way point and getting close to the finish line! We have a lot left to do, but I'm feeling pretty good about our progress so far. Over the past week, I finished several painting projects and started working on painting all of the trim. The trim feels never ending, but it's looking so good!!! Before I share the progress shots, today I'm going to share some quick painting tips with you.


Thank you to Loloi Rugs for providing product for this project. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

How I paint trim, furniture, doors, cabinets, etc.

I have been painting since my childhood. My dad taught me to help him when I was in elementary school, and I haven't stopped painting since!

I've learned a lot over the years and have perfected my own techniques and methods. I get tons of questions about painting, so today I'm sharing my method for painting anything wood. 

I will write a more detailed post on this after the ORC is over, but for now, here are the basic steps I use any time I am painting furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, etc. 

1. Clean with TSP substitute. Always, always, always clean. Do not skip this step. The oils from your hands are enough to repel paint or cause the finish to fail quickly. Not to mention whatever else is on the surface that you can't see. TSP is my preference. I've heard others prefer Krud Kutter. On laminate furniture I use rubbing alcohol.

2. Lightly sand. No need to remove paint. You just want to smooth imperfections and make the surface ever so slightly rough so that the paint will stick. Use a tack cloth to wipe off sanding dust when you're done.

3. Prime. I typically use Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 for almost everything. I use Zinnser BIN primer when a tougher primer is needed or for knots that bleed through or areas that repelled the paint (if step one wasn't done well!)

4. Paint. For furniture, trim, doors, etc. I always use either Sherwin Williams ProClassic or Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane. I decide between the two based on my project budget and the usage of the piece. Emerald Urethane is more expensive but much more durable. ProClassic is easier to work with and has a very pretty, smooth finish.

5. Let it cure! Do not touch! Just leave your project alone as long as possible to ensure a durable finish.

This week's ORC progress

Here's what I've been working on...

I shared the entertainment center progress last week, but it's entirely finished now and we are ready to hang the TV on the wall this week!

I've been nervous/excited about sharing our coffee table with you... eventually I will refinish our antique coffee table that my kids destroyed with Hot Wheels, but I don't have the time to do it properly right now, so I decided to find something else for now.

Since this is just temporary, I decided to be bold and fully embrace the eclectic vibe. I looked for a 1980s coffee table and found one for $20!!


Most of you will think I'm crazy. But I was feeling so inspired by the rounded legs!

Unfortunately, it's been super dark and gloomy so I haven't been able to get a great photo of it yet, but I painted it black to give it an updated look and fit our space better. In hindsight, I wish I had gone with a black stain instead of paint, but again, this is temporary. I think it looks really cool and it was fun to push myself creatively a little bit! You can't learn your true decor style if you don't experiment!

Trim is the big thing I've been working on. So much trim. It's not super noticeable in photos, but in person it makes such a difference.

We're going from bright glossy white to creamy satin and I LOVE IT!!!!


I still have both door frames and the floor trim to do, but the windows and stair trim are finished!

Still to left to paint this week- I need to choose a paint color for the French door still. And we need to get started on the stairs treads and risers! Wish us luck!

ORC Task List

Here's what's left on our to do list!
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint the trim (partially complete!)
  • Paint the built ins
  • Change hardware on the built ins
  • Paint the stairs
  • Paint the balusters
  • Paint French door
  • Remove surround sound wiring and patch walls
  • Paint the entertainment center
  • Buy new TV and mount it on the wall
  • Change feet on the sofa (decided against this)
  • Paint coffee table
  • Build end table (in progress!)
  • Find desk or cabinet for below stairs/behind sofa
  • Purchase seating 
  • Install sconces
  • Layer new rug over old one
  • Art and accessories

Don't forget to check out all of the other One Room Challenge spaces!

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