The first question to ask is: what went in first, the baseboards or carpet?
Answering the question, or doing some investigative work, helps conclude:
- If the carpet runs all the way to the wall, or under the baseboards, or
- Stops before the baseboards, leaving a gap at the edge of the carpet to work with, and
- If the baseboards were installed directly on top of the floor, without a gap, it will be difficult to paint them entirely with the carpet in place.
Knowing how the carpets and baseboards were installed will help guide the baseboard painting process and decisions involved.
OPTIONS FOR PAINTING BASEBOARDS WITH CARPET
OPTION 1: REMOVE, PAINT, AND REINSTALL
When painting, carpet can be tedious to work with. It has a habit of being in the way. When painting baseboards, more DIY'ers consider removing the baseboards to paint them. This is different than with wood floors.
Removing baseboards can be risky. Detaching the baseboards without any damage to them or the wall is a slow process. Painting baseboards in place requires more attention to detail. If the baseboards run all the way to the floor without a gap, removing and reinstalling may be a better long-term solution.
OPTION 2: PEEL THE CARPET BACK
Carpets are secured next to the wall or baseboards with a tack strip. This strip uses small nails to attach to the backing of the carpet, securing it in place. For more advanced installers, it could be an option to peel back the carpet for painting. This is more advisable when carpets are a small part of the foot print in the home or when experienced professionals are performing the work.
OPTION 3: PAINT IN PLACE
Most DIY’ers are able to update their baseboard paint with a little preparation (don’t all painting projects involve prep?!). If the baseboards are installed without a gap at the bottom of the baseboard, painting in place is more difficult.
Painting in place requires a gap. The gap allows the painter to cover and protect the carpet and access the entire baseboard for painting. Professionals have discovered several ways to do this.
We cover this more in detail below.
HOW TO PAINT BASEBOARD TRIM WITH CARPET IN PLACE
Here is a suggested approach to painting your baseboards in place around carpet.
- Trim Paint
- Paint Brush
- Painters Tape
- Painters blanket
- Soap and Water
STEP 1: PROTECT THE FLOOR
Add painters tape and your preferred form of protection to cover the wall and carpet. When painting along the carpet, block off a small, accessible section to start with (don't try to do it all at once).
STEP 2: PREP THE BRUSH
Following the proper technique, fill the brush to no more than half of the bristles. Gently tap against the bucket (or container holding the paint), to remove loose paint.
STEP 3: ADD COATS OF PAINT
Going length wise (or in direction of the wood grain) run back and forth removing as much paint as possible with each stroke. Wait for paint to dry, add more coats, if needed.
STEP 4: REMOVE MATERIALS AND KEEP MOVING
Use a putty knife or all-in-one tool to remove any painters tape or materials touching the paint and baseboard and continue to a new section.