Find out my step by step process for painting interior baseboards. Take your home into the 21st century with this DIY project to brighten up your home.
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As you can see from my picture, all the trim in my house when I purchased it was a very very dark stain. It made the place feel very outdated and closed in. I knew the moment we got our offer accepted that this was going to be my first project.
We started prepping the night we bought the house. So you can see how eager I was to change this. With the help of our family we were able to finish the entire downstairs and part of the upstairs in that weekend. It was a lot of work, but the result was absolutely incredible. It looked even better than I imagined.
Now, if you are thinking, I am not a DIYer, I have never painted anything in my life, trust me, I hadn’t either. My extent of home remodeling knowledge came from watching HGTV, but I did my research and just tried it out, it’s just paint, you can always cover it up!
And let me tell you, it really wasn’t that bad! It was a good bit of work, but it wasn’t difficult. You just set your mind to it and get it done. Then you get to enjoy the results for years to come! If you want to try this out in your home, I have outlined the exact process I followed below. Make sure if you do try this out to leave a comment and let me know how it goes! I would love to see your transformation!
Let me say it again, prep, prep, prep, prep, prep, prep, prep. Do not waste your time painting a dirty surface. It will look terrible.
First, you want to scuff up the baseboards. It is not necessary (in my experience), to fully sand down the baseboards. When you are painting interior baseboards, you just want to scuff them up a bit to help the paint adhere. These Scotch-Brite hand pads work perfectly and will last you for all your house projects!
You will also want to tape off the baseboards. You can do that before or after you sand!
Here is my best cleaning tip for painting interior baseboards, use TSP. This is a great cleaner for painting. Mix this powder with hot water, dip a rag in it, ring it out, and just lightly scrub the baseboards.
After you have scuffed up the baseboards you can wipe them down with TSP to remove any excess dust and they will be nice and clean and de-greased. Make sure you give it at least an hour to dry so you aren’t painting wet wood. If you are doing all your baseboards, it works really well to start at one end of the house, scruff everything, then go back to where you started and wipe down with TSP. By the time you have wiped everything down where you started should be dry.
Now, you have made it to the painting stage! I recommend priming, especially since primer is much cheaper than paint. Do a couple coats of primer and then you may only need one coat of paint. It will depend how dark your current baseboards are. As you can see mine were a VERY dark wood so it took a lot to get them to white. I personally used 3 coats of primer and 1 coat of paint.
That sounds like a lot, I know, and it was a lot of work, but it was SOO worth it! I absolutely love how the house looks with the white trim. It brightens it up so much and gives it a much more modern look. Bonus, we have definitely increased the value of the home just by painting!
So, if I have not scared you away yet, I hope not because I really think you will love how this looks at the end, here is the primer I recommend. This primer is amazing and is not very expensive. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1,2,3 primer is where it’s at.
The best part about this primer is that it can be used for any project you are doing so there is no waste! Just dip your brush into the primer and apply an even generous coat to the wood.
3. Painting Interior Baseboards!
Woo hoo! We are at the last step! You have cleaned and prepped your baseboards like a pro, they are primed and already looking a hundred times better, and now you are ready for the final coat! Again, depending on the color wood you are painting, you may need more or less coats than I am outlining.
Once all your primer coats have dried, make sure to give them 30-60 minutes to dry between coats of primer. Then you are ready to add your paint. Feel free to choose whatever white (or any other color) you want. I personally used Sherwin Williams Extra White and I used the specific door and trim paint as it dries a little harder since these are areas more prone to scuffs.
This last coat should really go on smooth and easy. It will likely be the easiest part of your process. I was able to finish the last coat on my whole bottom floor in a little over an hour. Make sure you are using a good brush, I recommend this one. And keeping your brushstrokes going in the same direction.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this. I hope it helps you improve and love your home even more. Make sure to subscribe below and leave some comments if you try it out, let me know how it goes! I can’t wait to hear about your experience. As always, happy penny-pinching, friends!