How to Paint Trim Near Carpet 2021 (Guide)

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Have you ever wanted to give your home an easy facelift with a new interior paint color or an accent wall, but worried about how to make it happen without creating a mess? How do you ensure that the carpet doesn’t get stained anyway? Believe me, I understand; home improvement projects are exciting but stressful if you aren’t sure how to manage the details like how to paint trim next to carpet.

I put this article together to help answer this question so you can save money and take the reins with confidence on your next painting project.

Challenges: Painting Trim Near Carpet

The concerns that many people have when they think about painting trim near carpet are understandable. One challenge is ensuring that the trim actually gets fully painted, while keeping paint off the carpet. Another is properly painting the edges of the trim so that it looks clean and sharp.

If these concerns sound familiar, keep reading because I’m about to show you how to paint trim next to carpet as well as the pros.

Required Supplies For Painting Trim Near Carpet

Although this process is straightforward, it does require quite a few tools. Here is a list of things that you will need before getting started:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Paintbrush
  • Foam brush
  • Plastic or cloth drop cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Painter’s tape (preferably one that is at least 2-3 inches wide)
  • Painter’s roller pad (one with wheels is great)
  • Putty knife
  • Painters’ rags
  • Latex paint
  • Fine grit sandpaper (for sanding your baseboards)
  • Paint shield
  • Nail hole filler
  • Trim painting tool

Alternatives to Consider

Instead of painter’s tape, you can save some time by using a paint trim guard, which can help you to paint inside the lines on your project. However, the guard can sometimes move and result in splattered paint.

I recommend using the painter’s tape, despite the fact that it takes a little longer to use.

Read More >> How to use a paint edger

How to Paint Trim Near Carpet in 5 Steps

Now you’re ready to get started! You’ll be walked step-by-step through all the details on how to prepare your baseboards, protect your carpeting, mix the paint you want to use, clean and use your brush and ensure the paint job comes out to your satisfaction. Let’s get started!

1. Clean and prepare your baseboards

For this step, have your painter’s rags, sandpaper and vacuum cleaner close at hand. Your painting surface needs to be clean and smooth or the paint will be lumpy when it dries. Clean your baseboards using a simple, non-toxic home cleaning solution. Even soapy water will do the job. Wipe the baseboards thoroughly and allow them to dry.

Your baseboards may be made of PVC plastic or wood. If they are wood, you may wish to use the fine-grit sandpaper to ensure they are smooth for painting. I’d recommend something in the 280-320 grit range for the best results.

This is the point where you may also wish to use the vacuum cleaner to pick up any lingering dirt or dust. Dirt and dust gets an electrostatic charge and attracts to your paint job like a moth to a flame, which can make it look messy when it dries.

2. Tape your baseboards and protect your carpeting

Grab your painter’s tape and putty knife. Peel off a few feet of the painter’s tape so you can easily handle it without it getting twisted upon itself. No more than 2 or 3 feet at a time is ideal.

Align the tape with the edge of the baseboard and use the wide putty knife edge to press the tape down firmly, pushing the carpet down and covering it right up to the baseboard. You may be able to get the edge of the tape under the baseboard in some cases.

Repeat this process until the entire edge of the baseboard is done. If the bottom of the baseboard is slightly covered by the tape, don’t worry. Your carpet will cover that tiny edge.

3. Mix Your Paint

Mixing paint ensures that the colour and consistency is stable, so make sure you don’t skip this step. Grab your bucket of paint that you have selected and crack the lid with the putty knife.

Mix the paint well with a painter’s stir stick until the colour and consistency are the same throughout (about one to two minutes), then pour it into your painter’s pan to fill the pan about a quarter of the way.

4. Clean and load your brush

For this step, select from between your foam brush, paintbrush, or roller pad. A dry brush doesn’t take paint very well, so having a bucket of water handy to clean your brush is a must. It also serves double duty so that you have a place to put the brush at the end of the job. Choose the tool you feel most comfortable with for this step. Inexperienced painters often like the foam brush best.

Dip your brush straight down into the paint to cover about half the brush surface, then wipe one side off by dragging it up the edge of the paint pan to wipe off any excess paint so that the brush does not drip.

5. Apply paint to your baseboard in careful, even strokes

Gently brush the paint onto the baseboard in long, smooth, even strokes and move slowly with control. Paint coverage will depend on the amount of pressure you exert on the brush, and it may take a few strokes to discover what works best.

You may wish to start at the point where the wall meets the baseboard to control the edges of your paint job. Keep a slow, steady rhythm of long strokes to create a clean, sharp line between the wall and the trim. You can always wipe any excess paint off if you make a mistake, so don’t worry too much!

Next, paint where the painter’s tape meets the baseboard. Once you are done, paint the middle section in as long and smooth of strokes as you can. You may need to apply several coats of paint for good coverage. Let the paint dry and that’s it!

Read More >> How to Apply Epoxy Paint to Metal

Tips and Trips

A few tips and tricks that might make your work easier as you are learning how to paint trim near carpet include:

Using Canvas Drop Cloths to protect the carpet: You might want to use canvas drop cloths or painter’s rags to cover the carpet where the painter’s tape leaves off, just for good measure to prevent any splattering.

Using a paint edger to make a sharp line: In addition to painter’s tape, you may want to consider using a paint edger to get a nice, straight line where the baseboard meets the wall.


Did you enjoy this tutorial? Now you know how simple it is for you to pain trim next to carpet like the pros. I love how easy it can be to save money, impress my family and friends with my DIY skills and confidently take charge of painting projects, and with this skill in your toolbox, you will too. Let me know what you think in the comments below and share this how-to guide with anyone who might enjoy it.



Ryan is a writer for He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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