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mathdan 11-30-2006 09:39 AM

spray or brush baseboards?
We just installed a new wood floor and will be installing 4 inch white baseboard. The baseboard we have picked out is preprimed and I think it is MDF. We will be painting it white (swiss coffee). One guy has said the best way is to spray the paint after the baseboards are installed. He will caulk the boards, fill the nailholes, then spray. Another has said that it is best to brush the boards because if we spray and later (a few years down the road) want to touch up areas because of marks or scratches, the brushed on touchups will not match the original spray. To be honest, I'm not sure how often we would "touch up" the boards as that does not seem to be something that we really notice too much after all of the furniture goes in.

Both guys are going to charge us about $1000 to do about 200 linear feet of caulking, filling, and painting. Does this sound reasonable? We are also considering doing this ourselves (brush) but right now with my work schedule I have almost no time and we would like to get this done and finish our flooring project so that we can get back into our house.

By the way, we installed our own crown molding in a few rooms about two years ago, painted before we put them up, then caulked the holes and touched up those areas and it came out well, but that was a much smaller painting job and I had a lot more time to do it myself. Also, because we did it ourselves, we were probably a lot easier on the "mistakes" then if a professional had done it!


joewho 11-30-2006 04:11 PM

Either method is acceptable. Some painters just don't like using sprayers. Some painters like the sprayer because it's fast and you don't have to know how to use the brush much.

Some customers like the brushed look, it shows craftsmanship.

No opinion on the price.

troubleseeker 12-02-2006 10:07 PM

Seems like a lot of masking for spraying a 4" baseboard. Price sounds a few dollars high, put that really depends on local labor market, and if the painter is buying paint. Either method will get the job done.

slickshift 12-03-2006 08:06 AM

Either way is acceptable
I wouldn't spray trim in an occupied house, but some will

Price sounds a little high for two coats baseboard trim, but there could other factors involved I can't see, and quality labor may be high in your area (you've got two quotes in the same ball park so that's a good indicator)

AAPaint 12-03-2006 04:48 PM

Wow! $1000 for 200 lin. ft. of trim? I'll do it! No, seriously, it does sound a little high.

I would not spray in a finished interior...even an hvlp puts a good bit of mist into the air. We always brush/roll any finished houses.

McCool 12-04-2006 12:08 AM

yeah that is a really high price. I just painted 2000sqft of housing (top to bottom) trim and all for $1200 + paint.

As for spray or brush; Personally being an experienced painter I would brush. Most people don't like to brush because of the texture it leaves, but some people (as mentioned above) like the look. I find the brush work to be less messy, easier and I think it looks great.

as for doing it yourself its just like you said. You will be a lot easier on your mistakes than you will be on his (rightfully so for $1000). If you choose to do it yourself you will want to paint the trim while its off with a brush, put it on, caulk it and touch it up in that order. otherwisely you will make a whole lot of mistakes which you WILL notice and may drive you crazy.

It's like anything else though, if you don't have experience with painting your job WILL NOT look as good as the pros job. Thats why people make a living painting because it does require skill and technique (especially trimming). Keep that in mind.

as a reference: to straight up paint 200 ft of trim (off the wall) I would charge $150 + paint for two coats. if it is on the wall, double that price. If you wanted me to paint it and put it up; I'd roughly say $650 plus supplies (that includes caulking and filling).

KennMacMoragh 01-27-2013 12:00 PM

I know this is a really old thread, but wow, I can't believe how many people are mislead by pricing. I just bid on a job to paint around 200 LF of base for $1,000. If I pay a guy $18 an hour to do the work, include materials, supplies, and business overhead costs, I will be at 5% to 10% profit if all goes well. Which isn't a whole lot.

A shoe company makes 210% profit, furniture is generally 100% or more, doctors and lawyers earn 20% to 50% profit. Yet when a contractor charges 5% to 10% everyone thinks he's a crook?

Brushjockey 01-27-2013 12:11 PM

$5 a lf... your guy is slow. And I always do it on.

KennMacMoragh 01-27-2013 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by Brushjockey (Post 1103159)
$5 a lf... your guy is slow. And I always do it on.

You're not looking at all the details, my guy isn't slow.

jsheridan 01-27-2013 01:03 PM

You didn't give any details. Based on what you said, and what I know I can do, 1,000 seems high for 200 lf. You're a gc, is your painter a pro painter, or a gc in training? Is it 4,6, 12 inch base? Does that include prep? What prep is involved? Is it new needing putty and full caulking, or existing just needing a scuff sand? Is it over sub-floor or hardwoods, carpet? Does it have shoe? Is that painted or stained? Is the base even installed or is it to be painted on sawhorses? It's all moot anyway since this is a DIY forum and we don't discuss prices here.

ToolSeeker 01-27-2013 03:28 PM

How come nobody mentioned spray the first coat, then install fill, light sand, then brush on 2nd coat. With todays paints (good paints) with the levelers they have, and a good brush you can't hardly tell if it's brushed or sprayed. It's baseboard you would have to get down on your hands and knees to tell.

housepaintingny 01-28-2013 03:03 PM

I don't feel $1,000 is. High for that work, as I would charge more than that. You have to take in to consideration liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, indirect job cost, direct job cost, other labor burden cost, misc. material and sundry cost, any state and local taxes, profit, mark up and the quality of work to be performed. Is the contractor offering a written warranty? How's the contractors reputation? There is a lot that goes into pricing a job for a legitimate painting contractor. The price should not be dictated by the local market or by other contractors located all over the country.

jsheridan 01-28-2013 03:28 PM

200 linear feet of base is 5 10' x 10' rooms. I can run each of them once in 45 mins or less which equals 3.75 hours, 1/2 a day. That leaves me four hours for set up, prep, and clean up. More than one thousand a day, I'm moving to NY.

chrisn 01-28-2013 04:12 PM


Originally Posted by jsheridan (Post 1104258)
200 linear feet of base is 5 10' x 10' rooms. I can run each of them once in 45 mins or less which equals 3.75 hours, 1/2 a day. That leaves me four hours for set up, prep, and clean up. More than one thousand a day, I'm moving to NY.

I'll join you, be nice making a grand a day:thumbsup:

jeffnc 01-28-2013 05:33 PM

Spraying indoors requires an incredible amount of prep, so I'm surprised he'd spray them after installing if given the choice. You can spray 200 lf of baseboards in literally 2 minutes outdoors or in a workshop, before installation. Of course you're going to spend an hour cleaning your sprayer so I still don't know if it'd be worth it.

I wouldn't worry about the difference between spraying and brushing for a baseboard. $1,000 seems high to me. Not going to do it yourself? It's not hard to paint baseboards that haven't been installed yet, and then touch them up later.

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