baseboard bliss

Bliss my a**. Angie titled this post. Had she spent as much time on this project as I did, the title wouldn't sound so pleasant. Anyway, I had an extra gallon of white paint lying around so I decided on a whim to start painting baseboards this past week. Had I known how little fun it would turn out to be I may have never started, however the end result is well worth the trouble when trying to update outdated boards to something more modern. If you're considering taking this on, here's a few pointers that may help.
  • If possible, paint the baseboards BEFORE painting the wall. Save tape and time touching up the top of the boards.
  • Use a semi-gloss or gloss paint. I tend to lean towards the  more matte look. For baseboards you want something easy to clean when it gets scuffed. IT WILL GET SCUFFED, whether it's your shoes or your vacuum cleaner. The problem with using a matte paint for baseboards is that once they get scuffed, the only way to fix it is to apply more stupid paint. Using a semi-gloss or gloss paint provides a better surface finish for cleaning.
  • Use a 3" or smaller roller on the main face of the baseboard to speed up the process, and follow in behind with a 1" or 1.5" brush on the top and bottom.
  • When painting baseboard on carpet use a 3" tape and place the tape so that 1/4" of the tape is on the face of the baseboard. Then use a credit card/drivers license/something else thin and rigid to slide the 1/4" of tape under the baseboard.
  • There's a chance that when the baseboards were initially nailed to the wall no one came in behind and filled the finishing nail holes with wood filler. Instead of filling the holes before your first coat, try putting one coat of paint on first. If you try filling them first, you're bound to find more holes once the baseboards are a lighter color. Then just hit the spots with a light sanding before you apply the next coat. I applied 3 coats total.
Hope this helps. All in all, the project really wasn't that much of a pain. Just some carpet burns on my knees and elbows for a week. Keep the end result in mind and you'll get through it just fine. Sore back and all.

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