We just moved into a house that has a lot of oak trim. We’re going to be adding more detailed millwork, and I’m torn between painting all the trim white or going with more oak. What’s the current trend?

Filed in Home Experts by on August 29, 2014

oak and white blend

A: “This is a conundrum for many home owners,” says Betty Ravnik of Ravnik & Co. “I am assuming more detailed millwork might mean crown molding, which looks great painted. You certainly can follow suit and paint everything. Another option is to paint the doors white and keep the trim the stained oak, or vice versa. It gives a quick update and breaks up the impact of oak.”


In addition you could choose lightened wood, which is trendy right now in millwork, she notes.


“Painting everything white will definitely change the feel of the space; it will make the room feel more airy and open,” Ravnik says. But painted wood takes more upkeep because dings are more visible. Use a high-gloss or semi-gloss paint to increase durability and ease of cleaning. The gloss will also set the trim apart from the flat or eggshell veneer of the wall.


Ravnik continues, “The final decision depends on what else is in your home, how much you like or dislike the oak and if you are up to painting everything, which will be tedious.”




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