I didn’t know how to paint baseboards or how to paint trim until this past weekend. As I write this article, my legs are still cramped from squatting down painting baseboards and painting trim. A rental unit that my husband and I were fixing up was so dirty from the tenants that the only way to give baseboards a clean appearance was to re-paint them. It is important to know how to paint baseboards so that you don’t mess up the paint job on the walls. In addition, you might want to know how to paint baseboards in a way that won’t take you all day.
Why Paint Baseboards?
One of the bedrooms in the rental home I was painting did not have painted baseboards. Wood finished baseboards were very popular during the 70’s and 80’s, but are currently dated. I did not touch the wood finished trim in the house, as time was a major constraint. If you want to update a home that has lots of wood finished trim and paneling, painting baseboards white is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to do so.
The living area and two remaining bedrooms featured white baseboards. The tenants smoked and had pets, therefore I wanted to paint baseboards because I could not scrub the dirt and smoke stains off from the baseboards with straight bleach. Painting the baseboards was the only way that I could make the trim look clean again.
The Key to Painting Baseboards and Painting Trim Without Wasting Time
When my husband paints baseboards, it takes him hours and hours to complete a small house. He does not like messing with blue painters tape, and therefore free-hands the trim, wiping off any drips he might get on the flooring or walls. This is not a time-efficient way to paint baseboards or paint trim.
When I painted baseboards and painted trim, it took me three hours to do a living room, two bedrooms, a utility room, and a bathroom. What did I do differently than my husband when he is painting baseboards or painting trim?
I used blue painter’s tape.
The key to not wasting time while painting baseboards and painting trim is to place two inch blue painter’s tape above the trim on the wall and on the floor below the trim. After applying the blue tape, you can literally slap on white paint as quickly as possible. You still have to be careful while painting baseboards and painting trim to not splatter white paint on to your walls. This is easy to do if you get slap-happy so try not to hurry too much while painting.
Allow paint to dry. If necessary, apply another coat of white paint.
Why Use White Paint on Baseboards?
I love to use white paint when painting baseboards and painting trim. Why? Because touch-up is a snap. If you scuff or gouge the baseboards or trim, simply take a little white spray paint and spritz the area to touch up the blemish. What could be simpler than that? In my home, I have a custom colored trim so I must manually paint the blemished areas on my trim. I cannot quickly spritz spray paint.
Recap: 5 Easy Steps of How to Paint Baseboards:
Step 1: Wash your baseboards. Make sure all dust, debris, and hair is off the trim before you begin to paint.
Step 2: Lay out two inch blue painter’s tape above the trim on the wall and on the floor. For doorways, put blue painter’s tape around the outside and top edges of the door.
Step 3: Slap paint on the trim or baseboards, taking care not to splatter the walls
Step 4: Allow the first coat to dry, then apply a second coat where needed.
Step 5: Allow paint to dry completely, then peel the blue painter’s tape off. Voila! Newly painted trim.
Painting baseboards and painting trim isn’t as hard as you may think. If you work quickly you can complete a 1,000 square foot home in about five hours. You will be amazed at how clean and polished your home will look with newly painted trim.