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  • Writer's pictureRealtor Annie

Hump Day Home Hacks: How to Repaint Your Trim and Baseboards Like a Pro


Repaint your trim and baseboards

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means: time for another hump day home hack. Today, we're going to talk about how to repaint your trim and baseboards like a pro, without breaking the bank or your back. Whether you want to touch up some scuffs and scratches, or give your walls a whole new look, repainting your trim and baseboards can make a big difference in your home's appearance. And the best part is, you can do it yourself with some basic tools and materials. Here's how:


What You'll Need


Before you start, make sure you have the following items:

- Paint: Choose a high-quality paint that matches your wall color or contrasts with it, depending on your preference. For trim and baseboards, you'll want a semi-gloss or gloss finish, as they are easier to clean and more durable than flat or matte finishes. You can use latex or oil-based paint, but keep in mind that oil-based paint takes longer to dry and has a stronger odor. You'll need about a quart of paint for every 100 square feet of trim and baseboard. If you're not sure what color to pick, check out some of the beautiful properties in Salt Lake City for inspiration.

- Primer: Primer is a special type of paint that prepares the surface for the topcoat. It helps the paint adhere better, covers any stains or imperfections, and improves the durability of the paint. You'll need a primer that is compatible with your paint type and your trim and baseboard material. For example, if you have wood trim and baseboards, you'll need a wood primer. If you have metal or plastic trim and baseboards, you'll need a metal or plastic primer. You'll need about a quart of primer for every 100 square feet of trim and baseboard.

- Brushes: You'll need a good quality brush that is suitable for your paint type and your trim and baseboard size. For latex paint, use a synthetic brush, such as nylon or polyester. For oil-based paint, use a natural bristle brush, such as hog or ox hair. For trim and baseboards, use a 2-inch or 2.5-inch angled brush, as it allows you to cut in neatly and reach into corners and edges. Avoid cheap brushes, as they tend to shed bristles and leave streaks and marks on your paint job.

- Painter's tape: Painter's tape is a special type of tape that protects the areas you don't want to paint, such as the wall, the floor, or the furniture. It also helps you create crisp and clean lines and edges. You'll need a roll of painter's tape that is at least 1.5 inches wide, and preferably blue or green, as they are easier to remove than other colors. Avoid masking tape, as it can damage the surface or leave a sticky residue.

- Drop cloth: A drop cloth is a large piece of fabric or plastic that covers the floor and protects it from paint drips and spills. You'll need a drop cloth that is big enough to cover the entire area where you'll be working, and preferably one that is waterproof and slip-resistant. You can also use old sheets, newspapers, or cardboard, but they may not be as effective or safe as a drop cloth.

- Sandpaper: Sandpaper is a coarse paper that smooths and roughens the surface of the trim and baseboard. It helps the primer and paint adhere better, removes any dirt or dust, and evens out any bumps or cracks. You'll need a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit or 240-grit, and a sanding block or sponge to hold it. You can also use an electric sander, but be careful not to damage the trim and baseboard or create too much dust.

- Putty knife and wood filler: A putty knife is a flat metal tool that applies and smooths the wood filler. Wood filler is a paste-like substance that fills any holes, gaps, or dents in the trim and baseboard. It helps create a smooth and uniform surface for the paint. You'll need a putty knife that is about 1 inch wide, and a wood filler that matches the color and texture of your trim and baseboard. You can also use caulk, but it may not be as durable or easy to sand as wood filler.

- Rag and soap: A rag and soap are used to clean the trim and baseboard before and after sanding. They help remove any grease, oil, or dirt that may prevent the primer and paint from sticking. You'll need a clean rag and a mild soap, such as dish soap or laundry detergent. You can also use a sponge or a cloth, but avoid anything that is too abrasive or leaves lint.


What You'll Do


Now that you have everything you need, it's time to get started. Follow these steps to repaint your trim and baseboards like a pro:

1. Prep the room: Before you paint, you'll want to prepare the room for the project. Move any furniture away from the walls, or cover it with a drop cloth. Remove any outlet covers, switch plates, or hardware from the trim and baseboard, or cover them with painter's tape. Lay down a drop cloth on the floor, and tape it to the baseboard to prevent it from moving. Make sure the room is well-ventilated, and wear protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a mask, if needed.

2. Sand the trim and baseboard: Next, you'll want to sand the trim and baseboard to create a smooth and rough surface for the primer and paint. Using a sandpaper and a sanding block, lightly sand the entire surface of the trim and baseboard, following the direction of the wood grain. Don't press too hard, or you may damage the wood or remove too much material. Focus on any areas that are peeling, chipping, or glossy, as they may affect the paint adhesion. Wipe off any dust with a rag and soap, and let the surface dry completely.

3. Fill any holes or cracks: Then, you'll want to fill any holes or cracks in the trim and baseboard to create a uniform and flawless surface for the paint. Using a putty knife and a wood filler, apply a thin layer of filler over any holes, gaps, or dents in the trim and baseboard, pressing it firmly into the voids. Don't overfill, or you may create bumps or ridges. Scrape off any excess filler with the edge of the putty knife, and let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once dry, sand the filler lightly with a sandpaper, and wipe off any dust with a rag and soap.

4. Tape the edges: Next, you'll want to tape the edges of the trim and baseboard to protect the adjacent surfaces from the paint. Using a painter's tape, apply a strip of tape along the edge of the trim and baseboard, pressing it firmly to create a tight seal. Make sure the tape is straight and even, and covers the entire edge. If the tape overlaps, cut it with a utility knife or scissors. If the tape is too wide, fold it over the edge. If the tape is too narrow, apply another strip next to it. Repeat this process for all the edges of the trim and baseboard, including the corners and curves.

5. Prime the trim and baseboard: Then, you'll want to prime the trim and baseboard to prepare it for the paint. Using a brush and a primer, apply a thin and even coat of primer over the entire surface of the trim and baseboard, following the direction of the wood grain. Don't overload the brush, or you may create drips or runs. Don't underload the brush, or you may create streaks or patches. Start from the top and work your way down, covering one section at a time. Cut in along the edges with the tip of the brush, and fill in the rest with the side of the brush. Smooth out any brush marks or bubbles with a light stroke of the brush. Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply a second coat if needed.

6. Paint the trim and baseboard: Finally, you'll want to paint the trim and baseboard to give it a fresh and new look. Using a brush and a paint, apply a thin and even coat of paint over the entire surface of the trim and baseboard, following the direction of the wood grain. Use the same technique as the primer, but be more careful and precise, as the paint is more visible and harder to fix. Let the paint dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply a second coat if needed. For best results, use a high-quality paint that is specially formulated for trim and baseboards, as it will provide better coverage, durability, and finish.

7. Remove the tape and clean up: Once the paint is dry, you'll want to remove the tape and clean up the room. Using a utility knife or your fingernail, score the edge of the tape where it meets the paint, and peel it off slowly and gently. If the tape is stuck or tears the paint, use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive, and try again. If the paint bleeds under the tape, use a small brush and a matching paint to touch up the mistakes. Dispose of the tape, the drop cloth, and any other waste properly. Clean your brushes, rollers, and trays with water and soap, or a solvent, depending on the paint type. Store them in a cool and dry place for future use. Put back any outlet covers, switch plates, or hardware that you removed. Move or uncover any furniture that you moved or covered. Admire your work and enjoy your newly painted trim and baseboards.


Tips and Tricks

To make your repainting project easier and better, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

- Choose a color that complements your wall color and your home style. You can go for a classic white, a bold contrast, or a subtle accent. You can also use different colors for different rooms, or different parts of the trim and baseboard, such as the door frames, the window frames, or the crown molding.

- Use a good quality paint that is specially formulated for trim and baseboards, as it will provide better coverage, durability, and finish. You can also use a paint that has a built-in primer, which will save you time and money. However, if your trim and baseboard are stained, dark, or glossy, you may still need a separate primer to ensure a smooth and even paint job.

- Use a good quality brush that is suitable for your paint type and your trim and baseboard size. A 2-inch or 2.5-inch angled brush is ideal for most trim and baseboard projects, as it allows you to cut in neatly and reach into corners and edges. Avoid cheap brushes, as they tend to shed bristles and leave streaks and marks on your paint job.

- Use painter's tape to protect the areas you don't want to paint, such as the wall, the floor, or the furniture. Apply the tape carefully and firmly, and remove it slowly and gently. If the tape is stuck or tears the paint, use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive, and try again. If the paint bleeds under the tape, use a small brush and a matching paint to touch up the mistakes.

- Sand the trim and baseboard lightly and evenly, using a fine-grit sandpaper and a sanding block. Don't press too hard, or you may damage the wood or remove too much material. Focus on any areas that are peeling, chipping, or glossy, as they may affect the paint adhesion. Wipe off any dust with a rag and soap, and let the surface dry completely.

- Fill any holes or cracks in the trim and baseboard with a wood filler that matches the color and texture of your trim and baseboard. Apply a thin layer of filler over any holes, gaps, or dents in the trim and baseboard, pressing it firmly into the voids. Don't overfill, or you may create bumps or ridges. Scrape off any excess filler with the edge of the putty knife, and let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once dry, sand the filler lightly with a sandpaper, and wipe off any dust with a rag and soap.

- Apply a thin and even coat of primer over the entire surface of the trim and baseboard, following the direction of the wood grain. Don't overload the brush, or you may create drips or runs. Don't underload the brush, or you may create streaks or patches. Start from the top and work your way down, covering one section at a time. Cut in along the edges with the tip of the brush, and fill in the rest with the side of the brush. Smooth out any brush marks or bubbles with a light stroke of the brush. Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply a second coat if needed.

- Apply a thin and even coat of paint over the entire surface of the trim and baseboard, following the direction of the wood grain. Use the same technique as the primer, but be more careful and precise, as the paint is more visible and harder to fix. Let the paint dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply a second coat if needed. For best results, use a high-quality paint that is specially formulated for trim and baseboards, as it will provide better coverage, durability, and finish.

- Clean up the room and dispose of any waste properly. Clean your brushes, rollers, and trays with water and soap, or a solvent, depending on the paint type. Store them in a cool and dry place for future use. Put back any outlet covers, switch plates, or hardware that you removed. Move or uncover any furniture that you moved or covered. Admire your work and enjoy your newly painted trim and baseboards.


Conclusion

Repainting your trim and baseboards is a simple and affordable way to give your home a fresh and new look. With some basic tools and materials, and some tips and tricks, you can do it yourself like a pro, without breaking the bank or your back. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your brush and your paint, and get ready to transform your home with some hump day home hacks. Happy painting! 🎨




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