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Painting baseboards, along with all painting, begins with proper preparation. If you want to know how to paint baseboards and how to do it correctly, you will need to know how to clean them correctly. After cleaning, comes baseboard repair. When thinking about painting your baseboards, you will have to
know the correct method for painting baseboards above carpet. You can pick many different colors for
your baseboards, including painting them the same color as your wall. You’ll also have to know what to
paint first: wall or baseboards. After all of this, you will tape them off and begin painting.

 

Painting Baseboards Summary

  • Baseboard prep
  • Cleaning baseboards
  • Repairing baseboards
  • Painting baseboards above carpet
  • Baseboard colors
  • What to paint first: wall or baseboards
  • Taping off baseboards
  • Painting the baseboards

How to Prepare Baseboards for Painting

As mentioned previously, painting baseboards begins with proper preparation. You will first have to
clean and sand the baseboards. After, comes repairing the baseboards.

 

Cleaning the Baseboards

If you want to be extra carful, you can tape off the area around the baseboards before the cleaning
begins. First, use a dry clean cloth and wipe the baseboards. After, you can use a 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.

Sanding the Baseboards

After you are done cleaning the baseboards, give them a good wipe down with another clean cloth.
Then use a very fine grit sandpaper and give them a light sanding. When you are done sanding, wipe the baseboards off again. 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.

 

Painting Baseboards with Carpet

The one big issue with painting baseboards above carpet is that carpet is cushioned and sicks a little
above the baseboard line. You can counter the cushion of the carpet extending into the baseboards with masking tape. Place masking tape on the carpet along the baseboards. After you have done this, press down along the tape with a flat hard object. This will flatten the carpet along the baseboards. A good quality masking tape will hold the carpet down during your baseboard painting job.

 

Painting Baseboards the Same Color as Your Walls

Yes, you can paint baseboards the same color as your walls. However, your walls and baseboards should still be painted separately. This ensures that you have a clean definition between the walls and
baseboards, even though they will be the same color.

 

Do you Paint the Baseboard or Wall First?

The method of what to paint first in regards to walls and baseboards is a highly debated practice in the
painting community. The strongest argument for painting the baseboards last is that the baseboards
make up a very small amount of surface area. Painting interior walls is a big job, so this increases the
chances of getting paint on the baseboards and as we mentioned, this is a small easy fix.

 

How to 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.

 

Painting the Baseboards

Now that all your prep work is complete, you can begin painting your baseboards. The baseboards will
most likely be narrow, so use a narrow brush.

  • A brush around two inches wide works well for baseboards.
  • A good quality brush will give you a good quality paint job

Because the baseboards are narrow and small, begin painting by putting only a little paint on your brush. After you got a good first coat of paint on your baseboards, let it dry and then give the baseboards a second coat of paint. Your home and how it looks is important. If you want a great paint job, you should always use a painting professional.