Painting the baseboards gives your room the final touch. When you are painting a room that already has carpet in place painting the baseboards can be tedious. You want your baseboard completely covered with paint and you want your carpet to stay untouched by the paint.
There are a few things you can do to help you keep the paint off the carpet and on the trim board.
Method 1: Pull Board, Paint and Reinstall
The only sure fire way to paint your baseboards and not get any paint on your carpeting is to remove the baseboards.
You can use a small pry-bar to pull the boards away from the wall. You must be very gentle when you are doing this, because if you pull too hard you could break the board.
Once the board has been removed you will use a small hammer to back the nails out of the board. Then you are ready to paint your board outside of the room with the carpet.
Place the baseboards across saw horses to hold them off of the ground while you paint. When you paint the long flat edge run your brush along the narrow edge to make sure that you had no drips or runs while you were painting. In doing this you can paint the narrow edge at the same time as the long edge.
You must allow the board to dry completely before you try to replace it in the room. Hammer the board back into place using a trim nail.
Method 2: Use Painters Tape
The first method requires you to use clear packing tape, or blue painters tape and a putty knife.
To start you run a length of packing tape along the baseboard, and make sure that some packing tape laps over so that it sticks up against the board. You are going to take the putty knife and use it to press that extra packing tape under the baseboard so there is a protective layer of tape between the carpet and the board.
Baseboards always have a slight gap between them and the carpet. You are going to force that tape into that gap with a slow and steady pressure. You do not want the tape to get bunched up. It is better to try and put down shorter lengths of tape that overlap than it is to try and put a long length of tape down. Make sure and overlap the tape by at least one half of an inch.
Your next step will be to run another length of the tape on the outer edge of the first one. This second section of tape is a security measure to make sure the carpet is completely covered.
You will also want to cover the rest of your carpet with a drop cloth or tarp. This tarp is going to allow you to set your paint container down without worrying about transferring even a minute spec of paint onto your carpet.
Once the board is painted you must allow the paint to properly dry and cure before you remove the tape. If the pain is not totally dry you can transfer paint onto the carpet.
Pull away the tarp you have in place. Then carefully pull up the second strip of tape that you put down. Then gently pull the tape that is between the carpet and baseboard free. Do not get in a big hurry and try to pull everything free at once. This could result in damages to the freshly painted baseboard.
Pros Tips for Paint Your Baseboards with Carpet
Do not overload your paint brush. It is better to use several light coats than try to apply one thick coating. While applying several light coats the paint is going to dry faster, and there is less chance that any paint will drip from your brush onto the carpet.
Use a paint brush that is not as wide as your baseboard. You want your paint brush to be ½” to 1” narrower than the board you are painting. You also want the paint brush to have a tapered edge. This tapered edge helps you to create cleaner lines and transfer less paint away from where you intended.
Use a small container with a handle when you are painting trim. You will have better control over the small container, and you will be less likely to spill a smaller container. It is better to have to go refill your container than it is to have to try and get paint out of carpet.
Use tarps to cover carpet instead of using the thinner plastic covers. Thin plastic covers are easy to tear and once they tear your carpet is in danger.
Use tape to secure the tarp to the carpet so you know that the tarp will stay in place when you have to move in and out of the room.