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jfklein13 06-29-2012 01:20 PM

Painting base trim next to hardwood floor
What technique do you advise to paint a baseboard with quarter round, next to a wood floor, so that you don't get paint on the floor?

We've tried masking the floor and being careful (we thought) to put only thin coats on the quarter round, but the paint still bleeds under the tape.

I'd rather not be scraping the wood floor with a putty knife to get the paint off. The only thought I have is to squeegee the corner with a damp rag every few feet, to get the paint off the floor while it's still wet.

I have 5 rooms to go, so I'm ready to hear any suggestions on doing this right.

jfklein13 06-29-2012 01:22 PM

I should add, the quarter round is your typical 3/4" size, and with the floor masked, we'd just been using 2" angled brushes. Maybe we should be using a smaller brush for the quarter round part?

jfklein13 06-29-2012 02:12 PM

Ha -- well, now that I read the label on this 3M Scotch-Blue painter's tape, it actually says not to use it on wood floors. Should have read the manual.

Matthewt1970 06-29-2012 03:48 PM

Wrap a wet rag around the edge of your scraper and wipe as you go.

jfklein13 06-29-2012 03:54 PM

That sounds like a great idea.

j.leonard78 06-29-2012 07:51 PM

You stated that if you use masking tape that the paint still bleeds through. If you try masking tape again, you will notice a huge difference with the paint barrier tape as long as you make sure that you seal every edge of the tape. When the tape is placed on the floor, press, press, and press some more. Make sure that there is absolutely no loose edges. I know it sounds stupid, but if you make sure the tape is in place, you will not get any bleed through. It works on rough finished walls too but it takes alot of work trying to seel off every little grain of sand behind the tape, but it is doable. Just not fun.

Bonzai 06-29-2012 08:22 PM

Is there enough space under the 1/4 round to slide a sheet of paper or roll of painter's masking paper (not tape)? Just make sure to remove the paper before the paint completely dries to avoid it sticking.

Brushjockey 06-29-2012 08:25 PM

I will second a good brush, steady hand and a rag wrapped around a putty knife. Tape is a necessary evil. If you do use it- pull soon after paint is set- then clean up any bleed with rag as above. Not to hard actually.

jfklein13 07-08-2012 11:45 AM

Thanks to everybody for the tips. I've now painted the quarter round in 3 rooms, two of them fairly large, using this technique. Wrapping a damp rag around a putty knife has been the key to cleanup. After a while I found I was able to avoid getting paint on the floor most of the time to begin with. And I did end up buying a 1.5" angled Purdy brush, rather than kill the short side of my 2" brush when it gets all bunched up against the baseboard. I was angling my brush so that the long edge wraps around the quarter round and paints the edge by the floor.

I also wanted to share this video where I could see approximately what I should be doing:

That helped a lot to see how much to paint at a time, and how to use the rag/knife.

Brushjockey 07-08-2012 01:17 PM

Good find and glad it worked for you!

chrisn 07-08-2012 04:56 PM

The palm up technique with the brush was interesting ( at the very beginning)

jfklein13 07-08-2012 09:21 PM

I'll also single out that the tip on pressing down the edge of the masking tape was very helpful. The next time I had to do some taping, I scraped along the tape with a putty knife to seal it down well, and the results were perfect.

user1007 07-09-2012 01:11 AM

If you can practice more and learn to paint most of the time without tape it will save you lots of time. I would go crazy with a small brush like you used but you made it work and at least you had a good one. Again, I think with practice, you will find something like a 2.5" angled sash brush works better simply because it holds more paint. I actually like a 3" if I also have wide baseboards. You will learn that you can almost pinstripe with the edge of either with some practice.

jfklein13 07-09-2012 08:06 AM

So with a bigger 2" brush holds more paint, how long a stroke would you paint with each dip for paint? I was doing about 15" long sections with the smaller brush.

user1007 07-09-2012 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by jfklein13 (Post 961374)
So with a bigger 2" brush holds more paint, how long a stroke would you paint with each dip for paint? I was doing about 15" long sections with the smaller brush.

I don't know that I would look at it that way. What is nice with a bigger brush is you can do the baseboard and quarter round without switching brushes. You cannot do tall baseboard with a 1.5" brush without driving yourself crazy.

See you are from Urbana. I lived in Chimpanzee/Banana for a decade before moving here. It had its moments. I got tired really early on of people dressed only in orange and blue though. And the claim the place has everything a big city does? Don't think so.

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