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What is the keyword to use when looking for paint for baseboards. I am assuming that regardless of the color of the wall and the floor, the baseboard is always painted a pure "snow" white. (I am not sure why, but I'm happy with that.) In any case, is this the same kind of ultra-white paint I'd use for (interior) doors, door frames, and closets?

While I'm asking about baseboards, I find it a bit wasteful to use such lengths of masking tape on both sides of the baseboard and not have a chance to reuse them. Is there any solution I'm missing? I tried in the past to paint ever so slowly without a masking tape, but no matter how careful I am and how steady my hand gets, I'm simply unable to get a perfectly straight line.

  • It helps for me to actually hold the brush sideways when doing trim around things, then I just paint it normally once it's trimmed in. And this is just a preference, but I usually use exterior semigloss paint on trim, – cutrightjm May 31 '16 at 3:47
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    The reuse of the masking tape is probably not a smart idea. Two reasons for this. The adhesive will just not hold the tape down as well on 2nd iteration making it more likely that paint will wick under the tape. The second thing is that dried paint on the top side of the tape makes it thicker and stiffer such that it will not be possible to press the tape down onto textured surface underneath on the 2nd go leaving gaps for paint wicking. Bite the bullet and use the tape. It generally works better than all the other painting gadgets that they try to sell you. – Michael Karas May 31 '16 at 4:20
  • @MichaelKaras So the masking tape is unavoidable. The strange part is that even just shifting it by an inch or so (first to mask the baseboard, and then to mask the wall) is not possible. – Calaf May 31 '16 at 5:06
  • Masking tape is not unavoidable, but both practice and good technique are required to get away from it. – Ecnerwal May 31 '16 at 14:49
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Just go the paint store or home improvement store and tell them you want white interior trim paint. It is usually a little more glossy. Painting is not my favorite thing to do so I always take the easy way out and go Porter and ask for their trim white. I usually judge the quality of the paint by the price. As for eliminating masking tape, you can buy a guide that has a steel blade and a handle to hold up against the edge to get a clean line. You just have to wipe it with a rag frequently. Happy painting!

  • If a shiny finish or satin finish is desirable you need to ask for that enamels work great as they can withstand bumping from vacuums, or mops. – Ed Beal May 31 '16 at 3:31
  • Okay, so "white interior trim paint" and "enamel" are my starting points. Is this really so specific? Could I just get "white interior door and closet paint" (or whatever keywords they use for door paint) and get double-use for doors/closets as well as trim? – Calaf May 31 '16 at 5:08
  • Semi-gloss is easier to clean, similar to what Ed noted for enamel; I would avoid flat or satin finish. Gloss is too shiny for anywhere but the kitchen or bathroom. So I would say Semi-gloss latex enamel (water cleanup of brushes), or if you want something even more durable Semi-gloss enamel, but that is a pain to clean up, unless you buy a cheap brush and throw it away instead of try to clean it. As far as color, yes white is usual, but in my house I have a mauve on the walls, and a dark mauve on the baseboards/trim – Mark Stewart May 31 '16 at 15:25
  • There is "trim" paint that is more durable than normal paint. The stuff we buy is upwards of 35% more expensive than expensive wall paint. – Damon Jun 8 '16 at 13:21

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