How to Paint Decorative Trim on Furniture

I've had a few people ask me about how to paint decorative trim on furniture. So today I am sharing with you how I painted the Oval Mirror with Bow on which the trim is white and the base is Paris Grey.

It's important to understand that each project is different. Some projects will be easier while others will have unique challenges. So the first step is to evaluate the project and develop a plan. I will walk you through the steps I used for the oval mirror.

Many times I will paint the base first and then paint the trim, but depending on the project a different approach is sometimes necessary. One of the challenges on this project is neither the frame nor the bow is a flat surface. The frame has a curved edged as well as having a slightly bumpy surface. Also the bow has some tight angles in some of the spots where it meets the frame. One of the positives to this project is that it is a small piece that I can easily move about to get a better angle when painting.

In order to decide on what the best approach is, I "air painted" with a dry brush (no paint) and practiced in this manner until I felt comfortable. Because of the tight spots where the bow and the frame meet, I determined it would be best to paint the bow first and then add the grey to the frame.

I painted the bow white and allowed some of the paint to overlap slightly onto the frame.

After the white paint was thoroughly dry, I once again used dry brushes (no paint) to evaluate which brush would work best. For this project I used flat artist brushes. I like to use the largest brush possible, but for some of the tighter areas I switched to a smaller brush.

To save yourself time, tape off areas whenever possible. In this case, I used Frog Tape for Delicate Surfaces (yellow) since I was placing it over freshly dried paint. Due to the angles I was unable to tape off the entire bow, but I did want to cover as much as possible to avoid "oops" and touch-ups later. 

All supplies are ready.
Snip off thin pieces of tape.
I couldn't tape off exactly where I needed to,
 so I taped off as much as possible
 in order to avoid as many "oops" as possible.
For areas without tape, load the tip of the paint brush with a very small amount of paint. Then place the brush flat just below where your edge line will be. Push the brush carefully towards the edge line and then brush backwards away from the edge line. Reload the brush with a small amount of paint and brush across the area to feather and smooth out any vertical brush strokes.

Push brush carefully towards the edge line.
Then brush the paint backwards away from the edge line.

Brush across to smooth out paint strokes.
The tape allows a little more room for error, but you run the risk of paint seeping under the tape, so continue to carefully apply the paint around the taped off edges.This was especially true for the mirror as the surface was slightly bumpy.

For areas that aren't as "clean" as you would like, simply dab paint on with a fine tip brush to clean up the edge lines. 
The edge line wasn't as crisp as I would like on some areas as shown in this photo.
 So I went back and dabbed paint with a fine tip brush to clean up the line.

And here is a close up of the bow after it was distressed and slightly aged:

Remember that each project will present its own challenges and require a different approach. But I find that with each project my skills improve and yours will, too! So I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you've made it this far, please leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have any tips of your own to share. I absolutely LOVE making new friends and connecting with others and I would love to hear from YOU either on the blog, my Facebook page at The Black Sheep Shoppe, or find me on Google+!


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