Painting interior trim such as window or door casing and crown molding nearly always guarantees that your room will look fresh and clean. The same idea works for baseboards. Painting your baseboards is one of the best cosmetic improvements you can make in a room, and it only takes a day or two. Painted baseboards will help the space sparkle like nothing else.
While you can use either latex or oil-based paint for baseboards, latex (water-based) paints are much easier to clean up. You can choose from several different gloss levels for either latex or oil-based paints, but a slightly glossy finish is generally recommended for baseboards since it is more resistant to scuffing and is more washable than a flat finish paint. A semi-gloss or high-gloss paint is usually the best choice for baseboards.
Removing Baseboards vs. Leaving Them in Place
Generally, baseboards are painted in place on the walls. In some instances, it makes more sense to remove the baseboards so that you can paint them in a separate location.
When to Remove Baseboards
With new homes or homes that have not been extensively remodeled over the years, removal can be as easy as prying the baseboards off with a thin pry bar and your fingers. In fact, companies that sand wood flooring usually will remove and replace baseboards as a matter of course. In many cases, it’s an easy job and has a better-looking result.
If the baseboards have not yet been installed, you should always paint the baseboards before installation. Minor damage to the paint finish will occur during installation, but this is expected. With most of the painting already done, you’ll only need to do a small amount of touch-up after installing the baseboards.
When to Leave Baseboards in Place
With older homes that have many layers of paint covering the wall-to-baseboard joint, removing the baseboards may cause damage to the wall that is difficult to repair. The baseboard paint will rip upward, taking with it wall paint and possibly drywall paper or plaster. If you do choose to remove old baseboards, scoring along the seams with a utility knife can reduce damage as you pry the baseboards free.
Watch Now: How to Paint Baseboards
Source: The Spruce