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How to Paint Baseboards Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

Painting baseboards may seem like a daunting task, but with the right instructions, it can be done quickly and easily. Baseboards are an important part of any interior painting project.

Not only do they protect the walls from scuffs and scratches, but they also help to create a finished look. This is why homeowners should always add a fresh coat of paint to wood baseboards to get the most out of a home improvement project without adding too much time or money to the project.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of how to paint baseboards like a pro by looking at what prep work is needed before painting and how to apply paint in a way to make your home look great.

We will explain how to clean and prepare the baseboards for painting, how to tape off the surrounding areas, and how to apply the paint. With these instructions, you will be able to achieve professional-looking results in no time!

Why Should You Paint Your Baseboards?

Baseboards are often one of the first places that dirt and dust accumulate, and they typically take a beating in most homes as your family hits them with their shoes throughout the day, and furniture rubs against the edge of the baseboard.

By painting your baseboards, you can help to protect them from wear and tear and help your home’s interior look “pop” with a fresh coat of paint on your baseboards.

Not only does a fresh coat of paint on your baseboards help protect your walls, but it can also make the interior of your home look bigger since the baseboards act as a sight angle that captures the attention of your guests as they walk through your home.

What Type Of Paint Should You Use For Baseboards?

When it comes to choosing the best paint for your baseboards, you will want to use semi-gloss paint instead of eggshell or flat paint like you would use on other wall surfaces around your home.

Not only do semi-gloss paints have more sheen and stand out from the rest of the wall, but this type of paint is also more durable and easier to clean than other types of paint. These factors are important since the bottom of the baseboard typically receives lots of scuffs and stains due to the normal wear and tear the baseboards experience throughout the year.

In addition, semi-gloss paints also tend to reflect light better than other types of paint, which can help make your home’s interior appear brighter and more open.

How To Paint Your Baseboards Like A Pro

1. Clean Your Baseboards Before Painting

The first step to painting your baseboards is to dust off and clean the areas as much as possible. Since your baseboards are a natural area for dust and dirt to collect on the floor, you need to clean the baseboards to ensure your paint adheres to the surface as much as possible.

To clean your baseboards, you can use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt or dust. Once you have vacuumed the baseboards, you will want to wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt.

Be sure to let the area dry before you apply the first coat of paint since a wet surface will not allow the paint to stick to the wall evenly and could cause the paint to fall off. For this reason, make sure you let the baseboards dry off for at least 15 minutes before painting trim and baseboards.

2. Tape Off Baseboards Against The Wall And Floor

Once your baseboards are clean, the next step is to tape off the wall and floor around the baseboard to prevent excess paint from touching the floor or carpet near the wall. This will help to protect your surfaces from paint drips, and it will ensure you have a clean-cut between the baseboard and the wall to achieve a professional-looking DIY project.

To do this, you will want to use painters’ tape or frog tape to cover any areas that you do not want to be painted, like the walls or floors near the baseboards. It’s typically best to lay down some painter’s tape on the floor to prevent paint from hitting the floor as you cut between the floor and the baseboards.

You will also want to lay down a drop cloth or newspaper on the floor beneath the area you are painting to further protect your surfaces if you are painting the walls or other areas of your home. Doing this upfront work will reduce the amount of clean-up needed at the end of the project, and this can also protect the carpet and flooring near the baseboards.

If you are working with a large space, you may want to consider taping off sections of the baseboard so that you can paint smaller areas at a time to ensure your paint is applied evenly throughout the project.

This will help to make the project more manageable and prevent any paint from drying before you have a chance to dry before you move on to other areas of the project.

3. Sand Down Rough Spots On The Baseboards

After you have taped off the area with painter’s tape or frog tape, you will want to sand down any rough spots on the baseboards. You may also need to apply spackling compound or caulk to fill in dings and dents around the baseboards before applying the first coat of paint.

Sanding down any knicks or rough areas on the baseboards will help to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to, and it will also help to avoid any visible brush strokes from showing in the final product.

You can use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the baseboards to achieve a smooth look throughout your home. Once you have sanded down the baseboards, you will want to wipe them down with a damp cloth again to remove any dust or residue before painting.

Be sure to let the baseboards dry completely before moving on to painting to ensure the paint adheres to the baseboards as much as possible.

Doing this will keep your home looking good for a longer period and protect your baseboards from the constant wear and tear they experience throughout the day.

4. Paint the baseboards using a paintbrush

Now that your baseboards are clean and sanded, you are ready to start painting! It’s best to use an angled brush to apply paint to the baseboards since this type of paintbrush will allow you to paint the baseboard edges and corners with ease.

You can also use a paint roller to apply paint to the baseboards if you are worried about leaving streaks from the bristles on the brush. Using a paint roller for baseboards is typically the easiest way to apply the paint evenly without any brush strokes, and you can always follow up with an angled paintbrush to spread the paint as needed.

Be sure to use semi-gloss paint for your baseboards so that they are easier to clean in the future. This type of interior paint also helps to prevent dings and scuffs better than flat or eggshell paint.

When painting, you will want to start painting in one corner of the room and work your way around the perimeter of the room until you have painted all of the baseboards in the space.

Once you have finished painting, be sure to remove any painter’s tape or masking tape before the paint dries so that you don’t pull off any dried paint with it.

5. Let Paint Dry And Remove The Painter’s Tape

Now that you have finished painting the baseboards, you will want to let the paint dry completely before applying a second coat or pulling up the painter’s tape from the wall and floor areas.

Once the paint is dry, you can remove any painter’s tape or masking tape from around the baseboards. Pay special attention to the edges of the baseboard to ensure the painter’s tape doesn’t tear the paint from the wall. If you notice this happening, you may need to use a knife to score the space between the painter’s tape and the baseboard sections.

Once you have removed the painter’s tape and applied a second coat of paint (if necessary), your baseboards are complete! You can now enjoy your freshly painted baseboards and the new look they bring to your home.

Prepare Your Baseboards To Keep Your Home Looking Amazing!

Baseboards are an important part of your home’s appearance, and they can be painted to give your interior a high-quality and finished look that will help protect the baseboards from regular wear and tear.

Follow these tips to have clean and smooth baseboards before you start painting.


Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a professional painter with over 10 years of experience. I want to show homeowners tips, guides, and advice to save them time and money when painting their own home. I know it can be daunting to take on a painting project yourself, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and some guidance, you can easily paint your home and save money in the process.


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