So hereís a quick tip that will help you keep your carpet clean. Take some wide masking tape and tear off a usable length. Take the length of the tape and put it as close to the baseboard as you can. Put it on top of the carpet so that you cover the little threads. Then tuck the tape down under the baseboard. To do this, use a putty knife, which will help you get the tape under the baseboard. You want to keep the tape on the carpet but not on the baseboard. Now once you have it all tucked in, attach some old newspaper to the other end of your tape. Now this will protect your carpet even further. Do this around the entire area room before you begin painting. Once you are through you will be able to paint your baseboards without having to worry about your carpet.
Use small amounts of paint for a thin coat, and brush back into the wet paint to blend it well. Brush lightly on the last strokes to minimize brush marks.
After the final coat is completely dry, take the protective masking tape off the trim. Avoid smearing any wet globs that have fallen on the newspaper while doing this, and have a garbage bag handy. Immediately put the messy tape into it. As an added bonus, when you tear up the tape and paper, the tape will have all the dirt and dust attached to it that your vacuum cleaner couldnít reach.
Whenever you are painting a room or several rooms for that matter, paint the wall large surfaces first. You will need to protect the walls, windows, and ceiling surrounding the trim. Plastic shields with handles are handy to quickly protect windows and walls from the trim paint. While it's not a big deal to get wall paint on the trim, you definitely donít want to get glossy trim paint on the walls. Glossy paint will stand out and be very visible on a flat, latex base. Be sure to wipe the shields clean after every few brushstrokes. Once again, you can use wide masking tape to protect the walls, windows, and ceiling. The tape method takes a little more time, but it is worth it in the long run.
When you have painted all the large surface areas you can move on to the trim and woodwork. In order to paint these areas successfully, you really need to get into another mind set. Up until now most of your work has been on large surfaces, and detailing was not important. Attention to detail and care at this stage is very important, it will mean the difference between a professional looking job and a sloppy one.
To paint the trim and woodwork you want to use smaller angled brushes. A 1 1/2" angled sash brush is often used for narrow molding and a 2" trim brush on wider trim. As you apply the paint to the trim and woodwork, keep a supply of clean rags nearby; you will need these to immediately wipe off any excess paint that gets on the previously painted surfaces. With oil-based paints, use a little mineral spirits or paint thinner. With water-based paints, a mild detergent and water will work well. Oil-based paints are most often used on trim because they have a more durable finish. With the enamel paints, fingerprints are more easily removed. On trim that has been previously stained, bleeding may occur so two coats of shellac will be needed first.
Always paint horizontal surfaces first and then vertical surfaces. Begin with the trim closest to the ceiling and work down. Do baseboards last. When doing baseboards, paint the top edge first, then the floor edge, and finally the large center area last with a larger brush.
Be sure to paint the inner sections of doors and windows before the outer portions. Because windows have so many small areas, you need to be patient and paint these areas with great care. Apply the paint right down to the glass. The paint will thereby create a seal between the wood and the glass. You can either tape the glass or coat it by putting wet newspaper scraps on the glass. If you are applying masking tape to the panes, leave a hairline crack of glass exposed between the tape and the wood to be sure you have a good paint seal between the wood and glass. As soon as the paint is dry remove the tape or peal of the wet newspaper.
Be sure to raise and lower the sashes a few times while the paint is drying to be sure they do not dry stuck. Think twice before painting the jambs (the area where the window slides) unless you feel it is absolutely necessary. After the window is dry, rub a candle over any wood jamb so that the window will open more easily.
If at all possible, remove the doors from their hinges then remove all hardware and set them on sawhorses before you paint. You can paint flat doors easily with a roller. Panel doors are a different story. With panel doors, paint the molding first and then the inside edges of the panel cavities, followed by the panels. Finally, paint all the horizontal and vertical pieces around the panels. If the door opens into the room, paint the door's latch edge, the jamb, and the door side of the doorstop as well. Once the door is dry, replace the hardware and re-hang the door.