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All painting, begins with proper preparation. If you want to know how to prepare baseboards for
painting and how to do it correctly, you will need to know how to clean the baseboards correctly. After
cleaning, comes baseboard repair and sanding. Finally, you will tape them off and begin painting.

Painting Prep for Baseboards Summary

  1. Cleaning baseboards
  2. Repairing baseboards
  3. Sand the baseboards
  4. Taping off baseboards

Cleaning the Baseboards

If you want to be very carful, you can tape off the area around the baseboards before your cleaning job
begins. First, use a dry rag or cloth and wipe the baseboards. After, you can use a degreaser product to
get off any strong build-up, such as grease. An example of a product you can use is Trisodium
phosphate:

  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a heavy-duty cleaner. Follow the directions on the container to use
    TSP correctly.

After you use a degreaser, give the baseboards another wipe down with another clean rag.

Sanding the Baseboards

After you are done cleaning the baseboards with a good wipe down with another clean cloth you can
begin sanding. Use a very fine grit sandpaper and give them a light sanding. When you are done sanding,
wipe the baseboards off again with yet another clean rag. You can also use a vacuum.

Repairing the Baseboards

The most common repair you will probably need to do is fill gaps between the baseboards and walls.
You can use caulking for doing this repair. Caulk the gaps and then use a soft 90-degree object to scrap
off the excess caulking. You can also use other products such as a wood filler. Wood filler works great for
small dents and holes in the baseboards.

Tape Baseboards for Painting

First and foremost, when taping off anything to do with painting, use a good quality roll of painter’s
tape. High quality painter’s tape will not leave residue and will also not increase the chance of damage
when being removed from walls. To begin, place tape around the baseboards. For difficult areas such as
corners, use a flat edge and place it on the tape when tearing. This gives the end of the tape a nice clean
straight edge. When your paint job is complete, slowly remove the tape by pulling it flat against the
walls. This will prevent damage to your walls.