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August 24, 2022

How to Paint Trim, Moldings, and Baseboards

How to Paint Trim, Moldings, and Baseboards

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.

Tools:

  • 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

Materials:

  • 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.

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?

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

Step 4: Lightly Sand

Sanding baseboards and trims before painting them is the best way to ensure that your project yields a successful result.

  • When sanding your baseboards start with 80-grit sandpaper then move onto 120-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.
  • If the baseboard or trim is relatively new, it is best to just use 120-grit paper to not damage the surface of the baseboard.
  • Folding sandpaper can be a nifty little trick to reach the hard-to-reach places of the baseboard.
  • Once your baseboards and trims have been sanded, use a damp cloth to wipe down any residual dust or debris.
how to paint trim

Step 5: Tape Off the Floor and Wall

How to tape baseboards for painting is a step that will ensure that the walls above the baseboards and the floor beneath the baseboards and trims don’t get damaged by splashes of runaway paint.

  • Use painter’s tape along the wall that meets the baseboard or the trim.
  • Apply additional painter’s tape onto the floor where the wall meets the baseboard. If your floor is carpeted, use packing tape to compress the fibers that are next to the baseboard.
  • When applying the painter’s tape make sure you get it as close to the baseboard or the trim as possible.
  • You can also use wider painter’s tape or add another layer of it to give yourself more wiggle room when taping your baseboard.
how to prep baseboards for painting

Step 6: Prime the Baseboards

A primer coat is essential when painting any surface, but it is a significant step on how to paint trims or baseboards.

  • Take a painting stick and thoroughly mix the primer paint to make sure there are no clumps.
  • Gently dip the brush into the paint without overloading it, otherwise much of the paint will run and drip and this will make clean-up more challenging.
  • It is important to paint horizontally in uniform strokes when painting baseboards and trims.
  • Avoid lap marks by constantly painting over previously painted areas before they dry.
  • Let the primer dry thoroughly, it is important to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer before continuing on the next step.
how to tape baseboards for painting

Step 7: Start Painting

The following steps are tips for painting baseboards and trims that are useful and ensure that your painting project is a success.

  • It is important to stir your paint before use and if it has been sitting for a while then it is recommended to return it to the store so they can either replace it or shake it so the paint will be smooth and fresh.
  • Make sure to put the lid of the paint can far away from your workstation so you don’t accidentally step on it or splash paint around.
  • Keep in mind when painting to not overload your paintbrush and only dip it into the paint less than halfway in as to not cause unnecessary drips or spillage.
  • When applying the first coat of paint, use less paint since applying the second layer will give your baseboards and trims that shine.
  • Paint horizontally in long and even strokes.
  • Same as with the primer make sure to avoid lap marks by keeping the area of the baseboard you have just painted wet.
  • Let the paint fully dry for at least a day or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply a second richer coat.
  • Let the paint dry thoroughly.

Make sure in between coats that you store your paintbrush in a dry and cool place and that your paint is sealed off properly so as to not dry out.

tips for painting baseboards

Step 8: Remove the Tape

Paint will take a full day to dry, it is always the best option to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the paint is dry, you can slowly remove the tape. At this stage, it is crucial to remove it carefully to not damage the painted baseboards or trims.

how to paint trim and baseboards

Step 9: Clean Your Tools

When cleaning brushes, containers, and buckets that you want to keep, it is important to use soap and water to wash all the paint out while it is still fresh.

Clean Your Tools

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Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

Sign Up For A Free Estimate Online Today, Or Call Us At 808-468-5604

How to Paint Trim, Moldings, and Baseboards
Written By:
Karina Van Zandt

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