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biggles99 01-23-2009 07:56 PM

How Best to Paint Baseboards in Carpeted Rooms?
Hello Everyone,

I have wooden baseboards which are currently painted white in a room which is carpeted. I want to repaint the baseboards white. The carpeting is tucked under the baseboards enough that to paint them would either make it difficult to get low enough without painting the carpet, unless I hold a putty knif down as I go or something, or make it that I would stop about 1/8" away which does not seem right.

Is the proper way to remove baseboards to paint them in a carpeted room? If there a good way of taping in the vicinity of the carpet instead?

Thanks for any assistance you would have

Nestor_Kelebay 01-24-2009 01:12 AM

I find that 2 inch wide painter's masking tape works well for this. Just have the edge of the masking tape a little too close to the baseboard, and when you press it down onto the carpet, it will slip under the baseboard so the carpet is competely protected. Then paint with a brush.

It takes a bit of practice to get the masking tape under the baseboard, but even if you don't, and the bottom of the baseboard isn't painted cuz the pile wouldn't compress far enough, the unpainted bottom of the baseboard will still be hidden by the carpet pile once you remove the masking tape.

Chemist1961 01-24-2009 06:35 AM

You can also buy a 5 pack of 2' flexible edge protectors at HD to tuck under the baseboard but the beauty of tape is that you can peel it later when the paint is dry. With the edgers you need to move them along as you go so put your paint on thin or just paint 10' at a time.

biggles99 01-24-2009 07:44 AM

Thanks...I will look for the edgers as well as try the thick tape...thanks for your advice!

biggles99 01-31-2009 08:05 PM

Edging not found yet
I tried finding the flexible edging at both Home Depot and Lowe's. Both places said they used to carry them, but don't now. I might try paint stores, but anyone else know where they might be found? Or who makes them?

slickshift 02-01-2009 02:27 PM

They are made by many companies including Hyde

And, as always, your best source for painting products, tools, and information, is your local Paint Store

They will have a few different styles so I'm sure you'll find one that suits your needs

(images courtesy Hyde Tools)

onlinehandyman 02-01-2009 02:53 PM

lifting the carpet
the flexible edging is great and I use it a lot, but another thing that I often do is roll back the carpeting. This takes a little skill with carpeting, but it really is not very difficult to lift by inserting an awl about about 6 to 8 inches from the end. Then once the carpet is lifted the painting is clear sailing. Reinstalling is just as easy. This way you can paint the molding all the way to the bottom and not get any paint on the carpet.

ccarlisle 02-02-2009 06:43 AM

We use the metal shields; you get 6 three-foot long shields in a pack for about $6, so we do about 18' at a time. We have also pulled the carpet back- but then again we carry a carpet stretcher in the van and can put the carpet back the way it was intended to be installed, at least partially, -with a knee-pad stretcher.

Otherwise eventually, you'll get ripples in the carpet.

sirwired 02-02-2009 08:49 AM

The carpet in my house is berber that was inexplicably not installed underneath the baseboard, so the usual methods of wedging a shield underneath simply do not work. I have had decent luck using a masking/paper dispenser (well worth the $20 I paid, for this, and other uses) and just running the masking tape as close as I can to the wall, and then push down with my fingers to set the tape. A couple of carpet fibers still get paint on them, but it does a good enough job that you would have to get on your hands and knees to see any paint.


Willie T 02-02-2009 11:30 AM

I do it the way Nestor said, if it's possible. It's really not hard to slip that tape edge under the baseboard... and it is still there for a second coat, with no more additional work.

bjbatlanta 02-02-2009 06:21 PM

Get a roll of paper drywall tape and slip under the baseboard. Waaaaaay cheaper than blue painter's tape. A 250' roll is about $2.00. Don't have to keep moving shields (and wiping them off).

biggles99 02-07-2009 01:33 PM

Thanks again everyone for your help so far...

One more thing, because they are already painted white, any need to sand the baseboards to rough up the surface a bit?

Any need to prime again, or go go with 1 or two coats of white latex? I am not sure but I think that the original paint is while oil based paint


sirwired 02-07-2009 04:05 PM

If you are topcoating with water-base paint (and there is little reason not to), it is a good idea to rough up the surface in order to give your new coatings some "tooth" to grip on.

You will need to prime. Either an oil-base primer or a water-base bonding primer. (I use SW PrepRite ProBlock Latex.)


biggles99 02-07-2009 08:19 PM


Originally Posted by sirwired (Post 226742)
If you are topcoating with water-base paint (and there is little reason not to), it is a good idea to rough up the surface in order to give your new coatings some "tooth" to grip on.

You will need to prime. Either an oil-base primer or a water-base bonding primer. (I use SW PrepRite ProBlock Latex.)



BioHazard 02-07-2009 10:04 PM

Last time I painted baseboards, I had 3 large cases of manila folders. Instead of wasting tape, or spending money on edgers, I opened the folders one by one and wedged them under the base boards. Once I was done I took them out and folded them up. I still have my cheapo baseboard/carpet protectors.

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