We got new floors installed and made the error of not requesting new baseboard, re-using the existing baseboard, and having stained shoe molding (instead of white painted). Since re-doing the floor is ridiculous, we would at least like to paint the shoe molding to match the baseboard, since that will look better. The current shoe molding is stained brown and has satin poly. What is the best way to go about painting over this? Oil-based or shellac primer, then top coat? Any tricks on how to tape to avoid paint on the wood floor?

  • Can you take the molding off to paint it? You'll get much better results and it will be easier. Jun 4, 2020 at 14:49
  • In theory yes, but its like 200 feet of shoe molding so my preference is to work with it in place. Also avoids risk of damaging the shoe as I pry it out.
    – Chris
    Jun 5, 2020 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


I would use a shellac based primer after roughing up the surface. When doing this kind of work I use a tool that holds a roll of tape and paper 4” to 12” wide paper (hand mask dispenser) this helps to put the tape right at the joint and the additional width of paper really helps to catch drips , sloppy brush marks, I hate painting so I get tools to make it as easy as possible.

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