Paint baseboards quick & easy. You don't have to be a pro in order to paint baseboards. Do you have good knees? Then you can paint baseboards. Do you have a steady hand? Then you can paint baseboards. Do you know how to attach masking tape? Then you can paint baseboards. Do you know how to use a caulk gun or can you use a putty knife?....well learn! (just kidding).....then you can paint baseboards. Keep the money in your pocket & do it yourself. Here's what you need to "know":
* Before you paint the baseboards, check to see if they need to be caulked. Make sure your caulk tube has a "small" tip on it as you don't want to apply too much caulking or you will have a mess on your hands.....literally. Caulk all visible "lines". Run a continuous thin bead of caulk at the top of the baseboard & all inside corners then wipe off excess. Check outside corners & apply caulking where needed. Painting your baseboards will come out looking top notch if you have all baseboards caulked & ready to go "before" you apply the paint.
* Before you paint the baseboards, check for any visible nail holes. Run your hand along the base & "feel" for any raised nail heads.....countersink these as needed. Here's where you need to make a decision: do you want to "caulk" the nail holes or do you want to "putty" the nail heads. What's the difference? I'm glad you asked.
* Caulking the nail holes is quicker but the "holes" have a slight tendency to "pucker in" ever so slightly because when you wipe off the caulking with your finger, without knowing it, your finger will have a natural "pushing in effect" on the caulking thus leaving a slight dimple in the nail hole. It's not very drastic so you will need to decide if this will bother you.
* Filling the nail holes with caulking & wiping off the excess with a "putty knife" will increase the amount of excess caulking, no matter how flat it is, and the caulking around the nail hole (on the face of the baseboard) will show once you apply the paint.....the nail hole may have disappeared but the amount of caulking around the nail hole on the face of the baseboard just got bigger. Putting a dab of caulking in the nail hole & wiping off the excess with your finger, is the better way, if you want to caulk the holes.
* The best way to fill the nail holes (but the longest way) is to apply putty over the holes. You will need to let this putty dry, then sand it, before you paint your baseboards. You will then be assured of not seeing any dimpled areas in your baseboard.
* Masking tape (I prefer 2" masking tape)....do you need it? I would only use masking tape at the bottom of the baseboard (if you are painting over hardwood floor, carpet, tile, linoleum, etc.). I would not tape off the top edge of the base where it returns to the wall...this is where "steady hands" come into play as it's much easier to "free-hand" the top edge.
* In some cases, you can paint the top edge of the baseboard the same color as your wall, making it that much easier to repaint your baseboards in the future. Take a look & see if that will work for your project.
* Painting the body of the baseboard requires a "smallish" tapered angled paint brush. Be careful not to apply too much initial paint towards the bottom of the baseboard as you do not want any excess paint to seep/push under the masking tape edge. Apply the paint to the middle section of the baseboard then spread toward the top & bottom of the baseboard with your paint brush. This will help you "cutin" the baseboard at the top & bottom accordingly. When painting the bottom portion of the baseboard, keep your paint brush at a flat "side to side" action rather than angled toward the bottom edge of your baseboards as this will keep excess paint from getting under the masking tape.
* It's good to invest $5 or so for a rubber knee pad (you know the ones used for gardening). This will come in handy & save those knees. I use one all the time. I couldn't live without it.....you'll see!
* Let the paint dry on the masking tape before pulling up the masking tape. Carefully pull the tape up at a 45 degree angle watching to make sure there is no excess paint built up on the tape edge, which may want to pull up some of the paint on the base towards the bottom of the baseboard. Score any of these visible areas before pulling up the masking tape. Roll the tape over itself, creating a ball, so you don't have any wet paint areas showing on the tape (as to prevent getting on your finished floors,etc.).
* Painting new baseboards require 1 coat of primer & 2 coats of finish paint. If the baseboards were purchased pre-primed (this is a good way) then 2 coats of finish paint (spot prime putty areas at nail holes....if you used putty). Repainting baseboards require 1 coat of finish paint (unless you are changing colors...then 2 coats would be preferable).
* Painting baseboards....you can do it. Why not save some money & do it yourself? You always wished you could. Now you can!
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