How to Paint Baseboards
Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint can lend a room new life, and giving the baseboards a new coat takes this fresh feeling to a whole new level. Painting baseboards can be a tricky endeavor, so follow these steps for a clean and efficient paint job.
Baseboard Paint Options
Don’t slap just any type of paint on your baseboards. Choose your paint wisely to get the look you want. For a subtle sheen, choose latex paint in a satin finish, which is shinier than eggshell finish and is reasonably easy to clean. For even more shine, opt for semi-gloss paint, which resists stains and grime and couldn’t be easier to clean.
Tools & Materials
In order to paint your baseboards, you’ll need the tools listed below:
- Spackling paste: This putty fills holes and cracks in baseboards, making them look as good as new.
- Putty knife: Use this to press the spackling paste into holes and spread it evenly.
- Painter’s tape: This protects the walls from brush marks.
- Painter’s plastic: Use this to protect the floor from drips and spills.
- Paint: Do the math to make sure you purchase enough without going overboard.
- Paintbrush: Be sure to purchase a two-inch angled paintbrush. A smaller brush will create more work, while a larger one will make a mess.
How to Paint Baseboards Efficiently
Painting baseboards and trim is slightly more complicated than just applying a coat or two of paint. Follow these steps to get the best results from your paint job.
Step One: Fill Holes and Repair Scratches
It should come as no surprise that baseboards receive significant wear, given their position where the wall meets the floor. Inspect the baseboards for damage like scratches, dents, and small holes. Use the putty knife to repair any blemishes with spackling paste. Allow to dry for about an hour, and then sand away any excess spackling paste from the baseboards. Remove any stains or grime, and wipe or vacuum the baseboards clean.
Step Two: Prepare the Space
Apply painter’s tape along the top edge of the baseboards and trim, all the way around the room. Use your hand to press the tape into place, or use a straight, dull tool to create a crisp line.
Use long strips of painter’s tape to adhere lengths of painter’s plastic along the bottom edge of the baseboards. The tape creates a lower edge, while the plastic protects the floor from inevitable spills and drips.
Step Three: Apply the Paint
Once you’ve repaired the baseboards and prepared the space, it’s time to paint. Like most interior paint jobs, baseboards look best with two fresh coats of paint. Use the angled paintbrush to apply the paint, and use a small tray to hold the paint. Wipe excess paint off the brush and onto the tray to avoid drips. Allow the first coat to dry, and then repeat.
When it’s time to revamp your walls, don’t neglect the baseboards. Follow these tips for a quick and easy paint job that looks great, too.