My Baseboard Painting Experience

jaidogDecember 5, 2013

Prior to installation, I painted my primed pine baseboards with BM Regal Semi-Gloss. As an experiment, I used a brush for half of the baseboards and a roller for the other half. The roller was 4" long with a 3/8" nap and made of microfiber.

Applying the paint with a brush was more time-consuming than using a roller, and I was surprised that the results were better with the roller. The brushed baseboards show minor brush marks (as expected) which are only noticeable upon close inspection. The rolled baseboards have a very slight 'orange-peel' look, again only noticeable if one is looking closely.

I did not expect the results from the roller to be as good as they are. This is my first time using a microfiber roller which may have made the difference. In the future, I will use the roller method. The only downside I foresee is that post-installation touch-ups will need to be done with a roller.

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sombreuil_mongrel

Hi,
as often is the case, it's not an either/or; rather, roll on the paint for efficiency, and brush it out for a smooth finish. Because you are working faster, the paint is wetter, and brush marks are fewer.
Casey

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 6:42PM
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paintguy22

You can touch up with a brush but dab the paint on instead of actually brushing it out. The idea is to simulate the roller stipple. Anyway, since baseboards are near the ground, touch ups won't really show down there.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 7:49AM
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jaidog

I have a followup question regarding touch-ups of the baseboard following installation. I can do either:

First method:

1 - Caulk the gap between baseboard and wall.
2 - Paint caulk which will result in baseboard paint on wall.
3 - Tape top of baseboard.
4 - Touch up wall just above baseboard.

Second method:

1 - Tape wall just above baseboard.
2 - Caulk the gap between baseboard and wall.
3 - Paint caulk with tape protecting wall.

The second method sounds like less work, but I've always done it the first way in the past. Any problems with method #2? Any better methods besides those I've listed above?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:00PM
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jaidog

Casey:

I have read advice about rolling and then using a brush, but based on my results, the brushing does not seem necessary. Now that the paint is fully dry, I see almost no trace of roller marks or stipple. Seems a lot simpler just to use a roller on its own.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:12PM
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paintguy22

Method #1 every time for me. I know there are guys that do it, but for me, taping and caulking doesn't work. In my mind, the concept of caulking is to bridge a gap. Now, we know that when you build a bridge, you need to hit land on both sides. So, when you caulk a gap between baseboard and wall, your caulk touches the baseboard on one side and the wall on the other. How is this supposed to happen when there is tape in the way? And, when you pull the tape, it just doesn't always go that well. Also, I try to avoid taping walls whenever I can. I will always choose to tape the wood instead of the wall if I am given the choice.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:57PM
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jaidog

paintguy:

You raise some interesting and valid points, so I will stick with method #1. Two more questions:

1 - How long after I paint the baseboard can I tape it?

2 - Can I use regular masking tape rather than low-tack blue painters tape since I'm taping wood rather than a wall?

I really appreciate your advice, and have read many of yours and Casey's posts.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:13AM
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paintguy22

It depends on the paint. Over night is probably best, but don't tell anyone that I actually paint baseboard with Aura and tape it off 3 hours later to paint the walls. We always use the blue tape when taping painted trim (or green or whatever you may use for semi-sensitive surfaces) The only time I use regular yellow masking tape is when I'm taping off stained trim that has been varnished or lacquered.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 12:44AM
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