How to Paint Trim, Moldings, and Baseboards

Content Table

    How to paint trim and baseboards is an important skill to acquire; using the right method coupled with the right paints can breathe fresh life into your home. Painting baseboards and trims give your rooms an appearance of freshness and cleanliness that will transform every room. This type of aesthetic improvement is essential for all homes, professional interior painters offer this service to maintain the structural integrity of your property.

    What Is the Best Baseboard Paint?

    Baseboard paint selection is a critical part when embarking on this type of DIY project. Beyond the color, the type of paint used is important to ensure the best results. The two types of paints you can choose are either oil-based or water-based paint. Oil-based paints tend to be more durable and require one coat of paint.

    On the other hand, a more popular option, especially for DIY painters, is water-based paints such as latex paints; these are less toxic and dry at a much faster rate than their oil-based counterparts. When painting baseboards, it is recommended to use semi gloss paint as it is more durable, damage-resistant, and easier to maintain.

    Paint Brushes and Other Materials Needed

    painting baseboards

    Gathering the right paint brushes and materials is a crucial step in preparing baseboards for painting.


    • Bucket
    • Paint tray
    • Sponge
    • Protective equipment such as eye protection, a mask, and gloves
    • Sandpaper or sanding sponge
    • Drop cloth
    • Putty knife
    • 2-inch sash brush


    • Primer paint
    • Semi-gloss latex paint or oil-based paint
    • Painter’s tape
    • Caulk and caulk gun
    • Spackle

    It is important to note that if you opt to use a latex or water-based paint you equip yourself with a poly-nylon brush whereas if you choose an oil-based paint, it is best to choose a natural-bristle brush.

    Do I Need to Remove Baseboards or Leave them in Place When Painting?

    Among the many tips for painting baseboards, it is recommended to leave the baseboards in place when painting them. However, in some situations, it can be more convenient to remove the baseboards to paint them separately.

    When to Remove Baseboards

    baseboard paint

    In new homes where the baseboards have not yet been installed, it is recommended to paint the baseboards separately before putting them up. In recently remodeled homes or relatively new homes, the baseboards should also be removed when painting, as this will improve the quality of the final product. In newer homes, baseboards are easily removed without causing damage; so, for the best results, it is optimal to remove them and paint them apart, and once fully dry, put them back up. In this case, you must also be ready for minor touch-ups post installation which is perfectly normal.

    When to Leave Baseboards in Place

    In older homes, removing baseboards before painting them can have unintended consequences, ripping the baseboard out could cause damage to the wall that may be hard to repair. It also looks better and is easier in older homes to just keep the baseboards in place when painting them. It is less time-consuming and may not affect the result.

    9 Steps for Painting Baseboards and Trims

    Following basic steps on how to prep baseboards for painting will dramatically improve the project interior painting and the result thereof.

    Step 1: Clean Previously Painted Baseboards

    This step is critical, once the room is properly prepared it will make painting baseboards and trims a lot easier.

    • Start by laying down a drop cloth onto the floor to protect it from drips of paint.
    • Take a few moments to inspect the baseboards and trims to see if any imperfections need to be fixed.
    • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the baseboards and trims before painting them.
    • Make sure to give them ample time to dry fully.

    Please note that the floor beneath the baseboards must also be vacuumed and dust free.

    how to paint baseboards

    Step 2: Patch Gouges and Nail Depressions

    It is important to not skip this step because this will directly affect the quality of the result.

    Once you have found any imperfections, holes, dings, or nail depressions; push them into the baseboards or remove them. This will leave you with holes that then can be filled. This is a key step on how to paint baseboards and trims.

    how to clean baseboards before painting

    Step 3: Fill Holes with Spackle

    Once the nails have been recessed into the wood, it is time to use a spackle compound and putty knife to fill the holes. Large holes or nail depressions must be filled whereas smaller holes that are barely noticeable can be left untouched. (They will be filled with the paint once the baseboard or trim is painted). It is okay to use more because they can shrink into the baseboard and the trim.

    how to clean painted baseboards

    The Perfect Finish Starts With You

    Breathe new life into your space. Entrust Oahu Pro Painters with your property and expect results of the highest quality.

    Get Help Painting Your Baseboards

    Paint trim and baseboards can be a daunting project but still a necessary way to maintain your home. Following these steps will help you get through this. Our Oahu Pro Painters professionals will help you achieve the desired result, just contact us! Do your trim and baseboards need a new look?


    No items found.

    Our Recent Posts

    Can You Paint in High Humidity in Hawaii?

    Get the facts about exterior house painting in high humidity of Hawaii from local experts who know. Find out how to tackle this challenge with our tips.

    Updated 04/04/2023

    How to Repair Rotted Wood: a Step-by-Step Guide

    In the case of rotted wood repair, it is urgent to take care of it before the problem spreads or affects the structural integrity of a property. This kind of repair can be done by DIYers but hiring a carpentry company may be the best option depending on the size of the project.

    Updated 04/04/2023

    How to Repair Drywall: a Step-by-Step Guide

    Repairing drywall is an important first step when doing home renovations; cracks and holes can easily ruin the aesthetics of your drywall. In this article, we will offer you a step-by-step guide on how to fix your drywall imperfections.

    Updated 04/04/2023