An important feature of any room is the millwork. The millwork consists of all the trim around the doors, windows, and openings.  Millwork also includes any base boards, ceiling moldings as well as interior doors.  Making a commitment to paint your millwork over staining is the first decision.  How to narrow down that color choice is the next.

Determining a look or feel for the space can really help in narrowing down the field of choices.  Here are the three simple looks that I use to help determine what to do:

  • A traditional look can be achieved by contrasting the wall color with a lighter millwork color like white or ivory. This gives an emphasis on the details of the molding profiles.
  • A contemporary look can be approached by using the same color for the walls and millwork. The tonal color palette keeps the space calm and clean.
  • A dramatic look is accomplished with high contrast of color between wall and millwork with strong or bright hues. This causes the millwork to pop making it an unexpected detail on its own.

Of course, other ways to build interest in a room involve the sheen of the walls and millwork.  I typically prefer a stain or semigloss finish for millwork with a flat or eggshell finish for walls, but all projects are different.  Testing on site is a must!