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paint a baseboard

Is your room’s baseboard suffering from neglect and filled with chips and holes? Or do you just want a low effort, low cost way to reinvigorate your home? Either way, a fresh coat of paint will fix that once-pretty baseboard right up. It’s a great time to switch it up – try making it the same color as the wall for a clean, open feeling, or give it a contrast color to help emphasize and outline your room. Learn how to DIY below!


  • Walls with same color as intended baseboard color
  • Room with no furniture against the walls
  • Baseboards in good repair


  • Furniture to move out of the way
  • Baseboards have small holes or chipping


  • Baseboard in need of repair or replacement
  • Heavy furniture along a lot of the wall
  • Outlets and other wall fixtures interrupting baseboard

Step-by-step guide to paint a baseboard

Recommended Preparation

  1. Clean Baseboard

    If you’re not already in the habit of scrubbing down your baseboards, you likely have a film of grime over it. No judgement, but you can’t paint over dirt, so make sure to use a damp sponge to wipe and scrub the entirety of the baseboard, especially where it was behind furniture. Make sure to dry it completely before starting the project.
  2. Protect walls

    Use masking tape to outline the area above your baseboard along the entire length of the baseboard in your room to catch any unintended paint from overenthusiastic brushing.
  3. Lay down plastic sheeting

    Just like the walls, you want to keep your floor safe. Tape some plastic sheeting on the floor along your walls, keeping as much of the tape off the baseboard as possible so you don’t miss a line while working. You can get away with using just a few feet out from the wall, since you’ll just be on the ground and the paint won’t have very far to fall.
  4. Mix your paint

    You never want to dip straight into your paint bucket – this could introduce all sorts of unwanted dust or colors to your main supply. Instead, pour the needed amount in a plastic bucket, leaving plenty of room above the line to prevent spilling. Use a mixing stick to give your paint an even consistency and remove any air bubbles that could cause an unintended splatter.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting a Room

  1. Repair any cracks and holes in the baseboard

    Use spackle and a putty knife to fix up blemishes in the baseboard. Holes that developed over time, cracks near edges, and unevenness from chipping. Make sure to remove any excess.
  2. Apply a coat of primer

    Lay down a coat of primer along the entirety of the baseboard. It will improve the paint’s ability to hold to the wall, and generally ensure a more esthetically pleasing job.
  3. Paint the baseboard

    With adequate protection on both the walls and the floor, you can use a wide flat brush to make quick work of your paint job. It will cover most of your board as you move from side to side with a smooth arm movement. This gives your baseboard the cleanest, smoothest look.
  4. Go for a second coat

    You’ve already made it this far, don’t quit now. It’s usually worth the effort to apply a second coat of paint after the first has dried, ensuring a richer color, less danger of cracks or chips exposing a bad color, and less chance for holes or signs of a thin coat to reveal themselves.
  5. Remove the masking tape

    You should remove the masking tape before everything has completely dried, to ensure no paint cracks on your baseboard as a result.

Estimated Time

4 hours

Required Tools

  • Spackle

  • Putty knife

  • Primer

  • Paint

  • Wide flat brush

  • Masking tape

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Plastic bucket

  • Mixing stick

Common projects and their price

At, we’ve helped thousands of people complete their painting projects. We’ve got a pretty good idea of how much certain parts of the project should cost. Check out the most common projects we’ve seen people do, and the average cost to complete them nationwide.
Painting a room’s baseboard
$139 - $175
Painting an entire house’s baseboards
$2,893 - $3,642
Painting all interior walls
$2,520 - $3,380

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