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How To Paint Baseboards But Not The Carpeting

Painting, in general, is an everyday learning experience, even for professional house painters like ourselves. No matter how long one has been painting, there’s always a certain level of challenge when painting the interior trims, more so a baseboard in a carpeted house. Every house is unique by itself, and apart from spending lots of time in preparation, which is the secret to every painting’s success, skillfulness with a brush is needed. This is not to say that painting can’t be a DIY job; anyone can develop outstanding skills for any handy job provided they have the will, passion, and the time to build their experience.

Following the proper steps in painting baseboards ensure that not only your carpet is free from being stained by paint but you will also be left with a sparkling house. Many people often ignore painting the interior trims, not knowing the vital function in giving a home that final touch of elegance. We are here to guide you on a step-by-step DIY process to paint your baseboard, excluding the carpet, in just the same way our professionals here at Surepaint do it.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Below are materials you’ll require before you begin;

  • Paintbrush or Foam brush or 2 ½ inch sash brush (will depend on your preference)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Masking film
  • Fine sandpaper or sanding sponge
  • Nail hole filler
  • Paint shield
  • Dropcloth or painters cloth
  • Eye protection and gloves
  • Bucket
  • Putty knife
  • Paint and primer
  • Wood putty

Step 1: Clean your baseboards and sand them if necessary

Dirt and grime often accumulate at the baseboard, and cleaning is essential before a painting job. Use a simple, non-toxic cleaning solution with a sponge or a soft towel to dab around the baseboard; you can scrub extremely dirty points. Ensure to include the top part of the baseboard where dust naturally piles up.

As for sanding, it may not be required for relatively new baseboards. For old baseboards that have been repeatedly painted, it’s crucial to sand them lightly with standard sandpaper. After sanding, you should check for nail holes or nicks along the baseboard and fill them up with wood putty. Failure to do this will cause the appearance of dark spots after painting, and if there are many, it will show a visible contrast with your baseboard colour.

Step 2: Mask your carpeting and baseboards top edge

For this, you can use either painter’s tape or masking/packing tape between 2-4 inches. Avoid using duct tape as it can tear your carpet. The recommended tape should not be too sticky, just average. When unrolling the painter’s tape, be careful not to crumple it by unrolling it piece by piece, preferably 2-3 inches at a time, as you target the areas to be covered. After that, tuck the tape gently into the bottom of the baseboard using a broad putty knife.

Do this across all the baseboard carpeting while pressing the tape down gently with your fingers once done. Although tucking may not be mandatory (since if the baseboard bottom is exposed to paint, the carpet will cover it when done), it’s advisable as it will prevent potential drips from sliding under the baseboard into your carpet.

For extra protection, you can concurrently use a paint guard to trap drops of paint that fall off. If you decide to use it, remember to wipe it after you’re done with every section to avoid the paint from accumulating and dripping off as you move along.

To ensure the paint does not spill on the wall, you may mask the baseboard’s top edge. Place the tape on the top edge of the baseboard and run it across all sections in the house. You’ll find this to be easier than masking the carpeting. Masking, in general, might take time and discourages many amateur painters but the advantage is that once you’re done, the painting itself will be seamless.

Step 3: Paint your baseboards

It’s now time to do the painting. But before doing this, you need to select a brush you’re comfortable using. This should be the one that allows you to move your hands with ease; there are many types, we’ve listed the most common on the required tools, but we recommend an angle sash brush for painting all interior trims. This is because it can easily be bent, and you’ll be more in control of the paint as you go along.

Open the paint can and use a mixing stick to stir the paint thoroughly. Ensure to have your gloves, protective eye gear, and mask on, especially if you’re using an oil-based paint type. Also, open up all the windows. Dip a fraction of the brush into the paint pan or cup and shake out excess paint back. Begin by painting the middle of the baseboard by stroking the angle brush horizontally 2-3 times in any direction depending on your inclination. Afterwards, move slowly and carefully towards the top edge. You’ll notice that the angle and the pressure you apply will influence your accuracy level and steadiness. Be careful, mainly when painting along both edges. Since you’ll paint the bottom edge last, ensure the brush has minimal paint by shaking it repeatedly.

After completing each section, remember to move your drop cloth and paint guard with you if you’re using one. Remember also to wipe the paint guard as you progress along until you’re through.

Step 4: Clean up your tools

As you wait for the baseboards to dry up, it’s advisable to wash all your tools thoroughly with a detergent. The paintbrush will last longer if you always keep it clean after a painting job.

Step 5: Disengage the tape

After the paint has dried up in about 4 hours, detach the tape carefully by first sliding it out as you roll it to avoid dry paint debris falling on your carpet.

You’re done! Congratulations on your first paint job!

Feel free to check us out on our website at for professional residential and commercial painting services.

22/47 Park Road Brisbane Queensland 4064,

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