Small detailing for big effects

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

I always have been a details type of person. I have a tendency to hone in on the small stuff, which helped tremendously in my work as an editor. I have found that paying attention to tiny details can add up to a better bigger picture.

The home is no different; small touches make big differences. The details are what make the simplest of rooms feel grand. One small touch that’s easy to implement is painting your baseboards. If you think about the abuse your baseboards take, such as accidental kicks and scuffs, it makes sense to give them a bit of extra care. Cleaning won’t always do the trick, but a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. The best part: You can do it in less than half a day, with a relatively low investment.

• Gather your materials.
For the paint, you may want to opt for a sheen that is a bit glossier than your walls. It’s a small detail that will help the baseboards stand out. For your paintbrush, get an angle sash brush that is 2-2 1/2 inches. The material of your brush will depend on the type of paint you use. For example, a natural bristle brush will work best for alkyd paint, and a nylon brush will work best for latex paint. While you are at the store, purchase wide painter’s tape and a canvas drop cloth.

• Clean your baseboards.
Dirt, dust and grime collect at the bottom of your walls. Remember to pay attention to the tops and bottoms of the baseboards, in addition to the wider surfaces, while using a soft rag with water and mild soap.

• Tape them off.
Some people prefer to remove the baseboards, but this is a judgment call. It can be difficult to remove and replace the baseboards without damaging your walls or the paint job. I like opting for taping instead. Use wide painter’s tape on the top and bottom, and lay the canvas drop cloth on the floor to help guard against accidental spills or splatters.

• Read the paint manufacturer’s instructions before painting.
This will tell you whether you need to take any extra preparation steps, and also how many coats you should use. When you paint, use long, broad strokes, following the length of the baseboards. Refer to instructions for drying times, and allow the paint to dry thoroughly before removing the tape.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at the-fixisinhawaii@gmail.com.