When it becomes necessary to paint baseboards, a few things need to be taken into consideration. The best case is to end with a nice, smooth transition between the wall and the baseboard. There should be no discernible break in the point where the wall meets the baseboard. This can be achieved in any one of several ways; all are acceptable and are simply a matter of choice or job requirement.
Priming the material is the first thing you need to think about. If it is available, I suggest purchasing pre-primed baseboard material. This saves time as there is no need to wait for the primer to completely dry before proceeding to paint baseboards. Money is saved as there is no need to purchase primer, which can be costly. Either way, the primer is elementary and needs to be handled prior to painting trim of any kind.
A Clean Work Area
A clean work environment is an absolute necessity to successfully paint baseboards. Paint is very sticky when wet and tacky as it dries. Any dust or floating debris in the air can find its way onto the painted trim and really cause a problem for you. Vacuum the work area thoroughly before you even start painting trim or baseboards. A clean environment is conducive to a quicker job completion and premium results.
Paint and Brush
Paint consistency is the next factor. When painting trim, a consistent, even flow is desired to achieve a smooth finish. Add the appropriate amount of thinner to the paint and test the flow from brush to baseboard to ensure a silky transfer of paint to the baseboard. The brush you use is important as well and I suggest a fine bristle brush for this; an angle sash type brush is optimal.
When To Paint is Criticle
When to paint the baseboard is another critical consideration. If at all possible, this should be done before the baseboard is installed. That way, all the drywall or wall material installation can be done first. Then the painted baseboards are nailed in place giving a sharp line between the wall and baseboard. As optimal as this method is, sometimes it is necessary to paint the baseboard after they are in place. Follow the tips below in these cases.
You will want to use a drop cloth to paint the baseboard after installation. Do not make the mistake of utilizing a large drop cloth. As you move along when painting rim, you will invariably move the cloth. This can cause it to ride up on the baseboard and stick to the wet paint. Then you will have to go back and touch up the errors which can be time consuming and adversely affects the finished product.
Instead, it is suggested to use a small drop cloth that you pull along with you as you go. This will give you more flexibility and keep the edges of the cloth off of the finished work. You dont even have to stand up; just slide the cloth with you and advance along the wall on your knees.
Whatever method you decide to use to paint baseboards, you can make the job easier by thinking it through beforehand. Clean the area, thin the paint accordingly and decide if you will paint the baseboards before or after installed. It all adds up to a happy customer!