Everything You Need to Know About Interior Trim

calander Nov 29 , 2023 user-iconAnderson Painting
Staircase with interior trim.

Interior trim is one of the elements you need to consider, whether you’re remodeling your property or constructing one from scratch. Despite their seemingly insignificant size, trim can have a huge impact on the functionality and aesthetic of your Raleigh or Wilmington, NC, home. Learning more about this element will make it easier to choose and communicate your preferences to your service provider.

What Is Interior Trim and How Does It Enhance Your Home's Look and Feel?

Let’s start by defining interior trim. Interior trim is a piece of building material, like wood, used to cover gaps between transitions, like the space between the drywall and floorboards. By covering up ragged and unfinished edges and other spaces that would be eyesores, a trim makes interiors look neat and appealing.

But trim is more than just a decorative piece. Trim also serves important purposes, like protecting fragile structures from damage. For example, many kitchens and dining rooms have chair rails to prevent a chair back from causing damage when it strikes the wall.

Trim comes in many different types, and you can paint most materials in whatever color you like. Trim can add richness, detail, and depth to a room. But the effect will depend on what kind of decorative trim and color you want in your home.

What Is the Best Material for Interior Trim?

The best option will largely depend on your budget, interior décor, and preferences.

Most trim is made using different types of wood, but you can also buy trim made of polyurethane, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). MDF and PVC tend to cost less than wood. But if you are looking for a material with high moisture resistance and durability, polyurethane can be a good choice.

Different Types of Interior Trim

From crown molding to baseboard, the option for interior trim is quite vast. What we’ll list in this article are the most common.


A baseboard is installed where the floor and wall come together. Traditionally, it’s composed of three separate parts, including a small, curved piece that transitions from the base to the floor, the baseboard itself, and an ornamental piece sitting atop the baseboard. But nowadays, bases are usually made of just a single piece for a more modern look.

The baseboard's primary purpose is to conceal unfinished edges and gaps between the wall finishes and the floor. But they also protect the wall finish from damage caused by jostled furniture, swinging feet, etc.

Chair Rail

Like baseboards, the chair rail moves up the wall from the floor. But unlike baseboards, this trim item is higher up on the interior wall, although it can be installed at just about any height. As the name implies, chair rail protects the wall finish from chairs or any furniture placed against the wall. It can also be a decorative piece.

Window Casing

Window casings are the finishing touch to a window installation, bringing visual flair to windows in your home. And like other types of trim, the casing also helps conceal unfinished edges between material transitions, which, in this case, are the window frame and drywall. A casing can surround all four sides of a window, sit as a pediment above the window, or just lay flat against the interior wall.

Door Casing

Door casing is the trim piece you find around a door opening. Like other trim pieces, door casing can be both decorative and functional. It can enhance a door’s appearance while concealing the transition between the jamb and the wall. In terms of styles, you have a wide array of options, from simple and clean to ornate and elegant. You can paint the casing with the best paint for interior doors and trim to protect it from damage due to constant door opening and closing.

Crown Molding

This piece is installed where the top of your interior wall meets the ceiling. Many residential properties don’t have this because of the added cost, but it can be a great finishing touch. It can soften the transition between the ceiling and the wall, making it easier for the eyes to move from one point to another.


Wainscoting is a common feature in traditional and historic homes, but you are less likely to see them in modern residential properties nowadays. Wainscoting refers to any decorative paneling used on an interior wall. It usually covers the lower third of the interior wall, but you can have it cover two-thirds of the wall height.

Wainscoting can serve many purposes, like preventing or covering up damages and providing extra insulation. It comes in many styles, like board and batten, flat-panel, and beadboard, so builders typically use this as a decorative accent in homes.

Design Ideas for Installing Interior Trim

Are you ready to take advantage of trim to amp up your home’s interior design? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

  • Focus on details. Trim can turn a plain, boring square room into a showpiece. When planning how to add a trim to a room, consider the details. Do you want a chunky or wide trim or a narrow one? Should you get a paintable material or plastic so it does not require finishing?

  • Simple is often the best. For rooms with an existing striking detail, such as an exposed brick, a plain trim will work best.

  • Don’t be afraid to use multiple styles in a single room. Different styles can add charm and character to a space. If you are unsure what works, you can always ask an expert or research online.

  • Use thin trim for a cleaner look. A thin trim along the ceiling and baseboard can help establish an airy feel in a room. It’s also a great option if you are aiming for a more contemporary look.

  • Choose an interior trim paint color that coordinates with the wall paint and the overall theme of the room.

Interior Trim Installation: Tools, Materials, and Guide

Interior trim installation requires tools like a power miter saw, screwdriver, and nails. You’ll also need a coping saw, combination square, a drill bit set, hammer, etc. Of course, you must purchase trim material. You can often get them out of your local hardware store.

Installing interior trim isn’t too complex, so anyone with some carpentry skills, tools, and a bit of patience may be able to do it. But before considering installing the trim yourself, remember that an improperly installed trim may decrease your home value and detract from the overall look of your room.

A professional trim installer can guarantee quality results at all times. In addition to having the right tools and materials for the job, they also carry the knowledge, experience, and skills to do it well. Aside from that, hiring a professional comes with the added benefits of faster completion times and a warranty.

Tips on Maintaining and Cleaning Interior Trim

Just like the rest of your home, trim and moldings also need proper care and maintenance after installation to stay in tip-top shape. While it does not cost much to replace interior window trim or any other type of trim, you will still spend some money.

To keep the trim in good condition, keep them clean by vacuuming dirt and dust from their surfaces and wiping stuck-on dirt with a clean rug. Check crevices, and use a cotton swab dipped in a mild cleaning solution to remove built-up grime. If there are stubborn stains and grime, consider painting the baseboard instead.

Trim will eventually get damaged; make sure to fix any issue, no matter how small. Proactive interior trim repair will help prevent issues from worsening and extend the lifespan of the trim.

Amp Up Your Home’s Interior With Quality Trim

Anderson Painting does not only paint residential and commercial properties. We also have skilled and experienced carpenters who can handle siding and trim repairs. We’ll ensure the new trim made of quality materials transforms your home or business, meeting your preferences.

Contact Anderson Painting to learn more about how we can elevate your home’s interior with trim.

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