What is your strategy for painting baseboards and trim?
The Pink Guy Painting
Sherman Oaks, California
Previously painted surfaces need to be scuff sanded to ensure proper adhesion, especially when applying latex paints to a surface previously painted with oil. Our tool of choice is the Surf Prep Sander 3x4, as this creates a dustless experience while contouring the moldings’ shape and depth. In some cases, you can use liquid TSP, but nothing substitutes the quality finish that sanding provides.
Caulk all gaps. We use Top Gun 200.
Fill all dents and imperfections with a putty or wood filler. We love 3M Bondo glazing putty for woodwork, or if we are in a pinch, we use Ready Patch as a good universal patching agent.
We prefer, when possible, to spray all our trim and molding to create a perfect finish. We use a Titan 440 with a 310 or 210 tip depending on trim size. We mask the floor and the walls (if walls are previously painted) using masking paper and FrogTape.
For production-grade projects, we love styrene acrylic products such as Advantage 900 by PPG, as it dries incredibly fast.
For residential, we use Sherwin- Williams Emerald urethane, but are soon going to experiment with the Centurion 1K series as well.
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So a few tips and tricks when painting trim and baseboards would be to apply FrogTape because of its paint bleed technology, then use a damp cloth to activate the powder in the tape. That helps lock in that tape and stops bleed through. For a crispy straight line, follow up by using a paintable acrylic caulk (clear for dark colors and white for whites or lighter colors). Run a very thin bead of caulk over the tape and wipe off the excess caulk. Then while the caulk is still wet, gently brush your trim or baseboards with your topcoat, overlapping onto the tape.
While the paint is still wet, peel the tape at a 45-degree angle — allowing the paint to dry can cause it to bridge and pull the paint off the wall! Also, when painting baseboards and trim, always lay off your paint with a quality brush (we prefer an angle sash brush) for a smooth finish. Last but not least, always use a quality paint; we personally like Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel and Pro Classic Alkyd Enamel.