You don’t have to be a DIY professional to learn how to paint your baseboards with a carpet. It’s important to make sure your carpet is safe from paint splatters before you begin. You can lay down masking tape and slide it underneath your baseboard with a putty knife to protect your carpet.
You can also use a metal sheet or a paint guard to add an extra layer of protection.
Using painter’s tape above your baseboard will protect the wall above it if it’s already been painted. Make sure to keep a steady hand and take your time painting carefully!
Below we’ll go through the steps needed to paint your baseboards perfectly.
Step 1: Place Your Drop Cloth Down
Put down a drop cloth along the wall you plan to paint. Spread the drop cloth and pull it out until it covers the section of the room you want to protect from paint. If you don’t have a drop cloth, you can use a plastic sheet.
If you’re painting multiple sections of a room, move the drop cloth or sheet around the room with you as you paint different sections.
Step 2: Tape Off Your Walls
Attach painter’s tape to the bottom of your wall to protect the bottom part of your wall near the top of the baseboard. Put 2-3 inches of tape against the end of your wall and pull it out so it sits along the baseboard.
Run your hand along the tape to flatten it tightly against the wall. Continue taping off every wall in the room. Try to avoid hitting your paintbrush against the painter’s tape while you work.
Step 3: Clean Your Baseboards
Clean your baseboards using a damp cloth, scrubbing to remove dirt. Let it dry out for 1-2 hours.
Step 4: Sand Your Baseboards
Take a sheet of sandpaper and sand the wood down using back and forth strokes until it becomes smooth. Wipe down with a dry cloth after you’ve finished sanding.
Make sure to watch where you’re sanding as you could accidentally scuff the walls. Leave the baseboards to dry for around an hour before you start painting.
Step 4: Put Down Some Masking Tape
Put down a layer of masking tape along your baseboard. Get a roll of masking tape with a width of 2–4 inches Pull out a 2–3 feet long section of 2-4 inch width masking tape and put it sticky side down on your carpet with half an inch hanging on the bottom of your baseboard.
Continue until you’ve covered the entire carpet along your baseboards.
Step 5: Tuck Your Tape Under Your Baseboards
Tuck the tape under the baseboard with a putty knife. Then, put your knife at a 15-degree angle to the ground and place it in between the baseboard and the carpet.
Press it into the wall to pull the tape that was under the baseboard, then run the putty knife in between the carpet and the wall for every part of the room.
Press your tape down lightly when you’re done. The tape should be now tucked under the baseboard to prevent paint drips from leaking under the tape and onto your carpet.
Step 6: Mix The Paint
Use a screwdriver to open your paint can and pour a quarter to half a gallon into your paint tray, mixing well to mix the colors. Then wipe away any paint drips from the can with your paintbrush.
Step 7: Begin Painting The Baseboard
Use an angle brush (2-3 inches in size) and dip it into the paint tray. Tap the brush into the dry part of your paint tray to remove any excess paint. Starting in the middle of the baseboard, use back and forth brush strokes to cover each section of your baseboard. Go over this 2-3 times to get a nice even coat.
When you’ve run out of paint on your brush, start to paint the part directly above it near the tape.
Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle while painting, and painting in the direction of the brush’s angle will help you keep an accurate cut. Make sure to paint slowly and in 30 cm increments to improve your painting accuracy.
Step 8: Work Your Way Around The Room
Paint the middle, top, and bottom of your baseboard, in that order. Make sure your brush is positioned at a 45-degree angle with the long end facing the carpet, and keep your painting slow and controlled.
Keep working your way around the different sections of the room in 30cm increments. Move your drop cloth or sheet with you as you work, making sure that the carpet is covered properly. Always paint from the middle to the top before painting the bottom of the baseboard.
You can further prevent paint drips by covering each middle section of the baseboard 2-3 times before moving to the next section.
Step 9: Remove The Tape
Slowly remove the tape once your paint has finished drying, which should normally take around 2-3 hours. Then, remove the drop cloth or plastic sheet and all other painting materials from the room.
Pull at the long side of the masking tape and slide it out from beneath your baseboards. Make sure to carefully pull the masking tape out in sections to prevent rubbing any dry paint onto your carpet.
Painting Safety Tips
It’s a good idea to open some windows while you paint and get a good level of airflow coming into the room, as this will prevent the paint fumes from overwhelming you while you work. Also, it can be helpful to wear a dust mask, especially if you are using oil-based paint.
Finally, make sure to be aware and keep trip hazards out of the way while you paint. There’s nothing worse than forgetting there’s a full paint can right behind you before you step backward!