How to paint baseboard trim white

My friend just bought a new house. And let’s just say the previous owner didn’t take very good care of it. One of the problems he noticed, once he fixed other problems, was beat up baseboard trim. The easiest thing for him to do is paint it. Here’s how to paint baseboard trim white.

how to paint baseboard trim white
Sometimes your best option for dealing with beat-up baseboard is to just paint it white. Sand it with some coarse steel wool or a scouring pad, then prime and paint it.

Of course, I’m assuming the baseboard is stained and varnished. If it was already white, the job is easy. Mask off the wall and the floor, then slap another coat of white paint on it.

And replacement is always an option, but at the time he moved, lumber prices were sky high. Which meant anything else made of wood was also crazy expensive. Painting the existing baseboards was his quickest, cheapest option. Especially considering he was already painting the room, and was dealing with loud colors. And he’d already had to get the floor refinished.

How to paint stained baseboard trim white

Modern paint will stick to wood varnish, but not as readily as you’d like. You really need to rough it up a bit first. Sandpaper works, but most baseboard has curved surfaces to make it look more decorative. Use a coarse kitchen scouring pad or some steel wool to get into those fine areas. You don’t have to go crazy and remove all the finish, but you do want to rough it up so the paint has something to grab onto. Sand down the trim a bit, then vacuum up the dust.

Next, mask off the floor and the wall, assuming you’re not going to follow up and paint the wall right after. If you have carpet, get a drywall taping knife to stick between the carpet and the baseboard and slide it along as you brush. That will keep the paint off the carpet.

Apply some primer first to make the paint go on better. Let the primer dry according to the instructions. Then follow up with a good quality white paint. When you’re sure you won’t need another coat, peel off the masking tape. Then you can get on with the rest of the project.

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