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Tips for Handling Baseboards During an Interior Renovation

calander May 14 , 2021 user-icon Nash Painting

Interior renovations range in size and scope, but they all involve some level of disruption inside your home or business. Even if you exercise plenty of caution, certain interior areas and features can easily get scuffed, scratched, and otherwise damaged in the process. Baseboards are among the most at-risk interior features in this regard because they’re right by our feet and often out of sight. Moreover, tasks like drywall repair, removing painted over wallpaper, and interior painting can all do direct harm to your baseboards if they lack proper protection. You might not think that roughing up your baseboards is a big deal (after all, they’re meant to block your walls from getting scuffed), but even a small amount of damage can hurt your interior’s overall appearance and make your interior more prone to further problems (i.e., pests, moisture, etc.). With that in mind, here are some tips for carefully handling your baseboards during an interior renovation.

How to Handle Baseboards During Renovation

Watch Your Step

This first piece of advice is perhaps the most obvious but also important to keep in mind. While it’s easy to get tunnel vision during a home interior painting or repair project, always pay attention to where you’re standing. Maintaining awareness of your position and surroundings (especially if you’re up high and/or on a ladder) is essential for staying safe, but it’s also key in preventing scuff marks and cracks in your baseboards as you work. No matter how many other preventative measures you have in place to shield your baseboards, always try to keep your feet from contacting them directly, if possible.

Invest in Temporary Baseboard Guards

Because baseboards jut out a bit, keeping your shoes away from them isn’t always so simple, however. Sure, using a paint roller and extension pole to cover large swaths of your wall allows you to step back from the baseboards, but finer brush touches and tight repairs require you to get up close and personal. If you know you’re going to step close to your baseboards, then, install some sort of temporary barrier between them and your shoes. You can purchase a surface protection sheet material for this or simply cut out cardboard and secure it to the proper places with tape. If you have the time, money, and ambition, you might even place foam between the baseboards and cardboard to keep potential friction at bay. However you choose to go about it, you’ll now have a buffer that prevents your shoes from marking up, dirtying, or damaging your baseboards while you perform your renovations.

Drop Cloths Are Your Friend

Drop cloths are essential items for any interior painting project. Not only do these coverings protect your floors from paint droplets and falling objects -- they can also be extended a bit further to cover up your baseboards. This approach is a solid alternative or addition to the aforementioned baseboard guards. Even if your drop cloths don’t go over your baseboards, they should at least completely cover the gap between them and your floors.

Bring Plenty of Painter’s Tape

Another crucial tool for interior house painters, painter’s tape can protect your baseboards from excess paint and help you create clean lines when painting your interior spaces. Without painter’s tape, your brush is bound to at least partially land on the upper lip of your baseboards as you go. If you plan on painting your walls and trim the same color, this might not be a big deal. However, many painters use different finishes for baseboards and walls for aesthetic and practical reasons -- glossier finishes are often chosen for trim because they’re more durable, while flatter finishes (i.e., satin, eggshell, or matte) are best for walls because they’re better at hiding surface imperfections. Proper painter’s tape application will make it much easier to separate the different finishes and/or colors between your baseboards and walls, reducing the need for future touch-ups.

Remove Baseboards Ahead of Time

Another way to handle your baseboards during interior renovations is to remove them entirely. This approach might only be worth the effort if you’re planning to replace your baseboards, repairing the surface behind them, and/or adjusting any wiring that may be hidden beneath them. Regardless, carefully removing your baseboards and placing them in a safe location can put your mind at ease as you take care of whatever renovations are in store. It’s worth noting, however, that taking out your baseboards can damage your walls and flooring, so make sure you or your contractor has the experience and tools to tackle this project properly.

Install New Baseboards at the End

If baseboard replacement is just one component of your entire interior renovation project, it’s a good idea to save this task for the very end. Everything from painting your walls to changing your flooring can take a toll on your baseboards. Starting with baseboard repair or replacement simply puts your brand new baseboards at unnecessary risk. By waiting until after you’ve completed your other renovations to install new baseboards, you avoid these potential threats and will end up with a fresh-looking interior.

Don’t Forget to Caulk

Finally, no matter the nature of your residential interior painting or renovation project, it’s a good idea to assess the condition of all your trim’s caulking and, if necessary, apply new caulking before wrapping things up -- this goes for window and door frames, crown molding, baseboards, and everything else. The importance of proper sealing cannot be overstated. Your baseboards and other types of trim aren’t merely cosmetic additions (though they can certainly improve an interior’s appearance), but also barriers that prevent external forces from entering the various gaps in your structure. Fresh caulk fills whatever tiny seams may remain in your interior, keeping pests, moisture, and drafts out of your home.

Getting the Baseboard Basics Down

Every interior renovation runs the risk of defacing or damaging some of the features surrounding the project, and baseboards happen to be in the way most times. Therefore, it’s worth doing whatever you can do to shield these important interior features from harm, whether or not they’re the main focus of your project. At Nash Painting, we take great care to maintain the integrity of all interior surfaces before, during, and after any project, whether our clients across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, hire us to repair and paint their trim, remove their wallpaper, prep and paint their walls and ceilings, or anything else we do.

To learn more about us, our hassle free painting services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!