What Kind of Paint to Use on Crown Molding

What Kind of Paint to Use on Crown Molding – Discover the Best Guide

Are you searching for the best guide on what kind of paint to use on crown molding? Painting a room involves coloring the walls, of course, but also cutting out the moldings! For the walls and ceiling, you probably know the steps to follow to paint them.

But what about the best steps to paint the moldings? Often, this step of our painting project requires time and patience. Do you know when and how to paint them efficiently? For a satisfying and long-lasting final result, here are 5 steps to follow to paint your moldings.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Crown Molding?

The greatest finish for crown molding is semi-gloss or high-gloss paint. It coats smoothly and highlights each detail, creating a deep shine that will be noticed in any room.

Paint to Use on Crown Molding

These are some of our favorite paints for crown molding:

  1. Prestige Interior Semi Gloss Paint
  2. Rust-Oleum Gloss White
  3. Montage Signature Interior
  4. Diamond Brite Paint
  5. Majic Paints Interior

Regardless of the color chosen, it is advisable to prioritize a high-end paint that will be more resistant in the long term. You will then be able to clean your moldings without worries.

Furthermore, you will also avoid having to repaint them quickly. That is because the life span of a high-end paint is longer at first. When it comes to finishes, most specialists agree that a semi-gloss finish is best for moldings.

Finally, do not forget to choose a paint that suits the surface to paint. The surface can be wood, pre-finished, previously painted molding, or new molding that has never been painted.

And if you have pets, think about it too, there are many decorating tips for pet owners. For example, choosing an appropriate and easily washable paint for moldings is one of them!

Choose Your Brushes

We suggest having 2 different brushes:

Primer coat = Angled brush like this one (you can check it on Amazon), 3 inches for a wide molding, and 2 inches to 2.5 inches for a small molding.

Coat of paint = angled brush, 2 inches if your molding is wide, and 1 inch to 1.5 inches for a small molding.

Clean, Restore, and Sand Moldings

Clean all paint moldings with a damp sponge or cloth. You can use a specific cleaning product for such surfaces before painting them. Furthermore, you can find these products in hardware stores.

Then, use a pore filler to fill in holes and imperfections in your moldings.  You can use your finger and apply a thin layer to the holes or damaged areas. Even the joint at the ends of 2 moldings can be camouflaged with the filler.

Keep in mind that even if you do not have to restore your moldings, the sanding step remains essential, and ensures better adhesion of your paint. Gently sand your moldings to ensure that they are smooth to the touch.

For new moldings: use 120 grain paper

For rougher or damaged moldings: use a 80 grain paper

At this stage, it is essential to protect your floor even if the moldings to paint are on the ceiling.

What Kind of Paint to Use on Crown Molding

With your primer brush (see step Painting the Moldings), apply a first coat.  If you must also paint your wall, it is not necessary to use masking tape since you will paint your wall with the same primer.

However, protect your floor with plastic film for painting or by applying masking tape. If you simply need to paint your moldings, use masking tape to protect the color on your wall.

It is important to respect the drying time, which is normally between 1 and 1/2 hours and 2 hours.

After this time, if the wood grain is still noticeable, add a second coat of primer. It is preferable to add an additional coat to avoid seeing the details of the wood stand out.

When the primer is completely dry, sand your moldings again gently, to make sure they are smooth before applying the coat of paint.

Painting the Moldings

For the last but not least step, use your narrower brush to paint your moldings. This will allow you to spread the paint evenly and avoid over painting.

There’s no need to use masking tape, just go ahead and make small movements with your brush (3 to 4 strokes). Then, finish with a long movement to smooth the surface.

If Your Moldings Are Not The Same Color As Your Wall

If it is the case, you have to paint the moldings first. That way, it will be easier to camouflage an overhang on it. If necessary, you can use a masking tape.

And don’t forget to respect the drying time of the paint. It is best to let your paint dry for 3 to 4 hours and apply 2 coats to ensure you get the color and finish you have chosen.

Tip: Remove the cutting tape before the paint is completely dry. Go carefully and remove it a few minutes after completing the application. Keep in mind that removing the tape too late is one of the worst paint mistakes to avoid if you want your project to be successful.


These steps may seem long, and take a little more time than simply painting moldings. However, they will save you from having to start all over again in a few years. Moreover, even if you have to change the color of your wall, you won’t have to paint the moldings every time.

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