How To Paint Baseboards Without Brush Marks, Lines, Or Streaks

No More Baseboard Brush Marks

Having the know how painting baseboards with no more brush marks, lines or streaks, leaving a deep, smooth, professional finish. This article will guide you with the right tools and techniques having a paint finish you'll be very proud, without any marks whatsoever.


Most paints in the can today is smooth, and lustrous, which if applied correctly, will not leave any markings once dried. Understanding baseboard painting science, how paint is applied, along with it's viscosity, and drying times will insure the most professional paint coating. Below are painting tips and techniques used by the most professional painters in our industry.

Baseboard Painting Tips Not Having Marks, Lines, or Streaks

Cleaning Baseboards First

First paint tip painting baseboards, limiting a huge amount of unsightly marks once paint has dried, is cleaning first. I'm sure you are a very clean homeowner, constantly cleaning, wiping, and vacuuming on an ongoing regular basis. However, one of the most dust collecting places in a home or business is the baseboards.

Top of baseboards is a dust collector, just as top of curtains, top sides of ceiling fan blades. Taking a damp wiping cloth, cleaning off your baseboards first, will give your new paint a clean canvas or surface to start off. Removing any dust, dried spills, or foreign matter off your baseboards first, will allow new paint finishes to dry as level and smooth as ultimately possible.

Using a mild soap, warm water, and a clean sponge or wiping cloth is your best defense cleaning baseboards first. We normally use Dawn® dish soap, that cuts any grease, dried liquids, and dust to a renewed cleaned surface. Another good idea to speed up the drying time, is using another cloth, wiping the surface dry, once cleaned.

Painting over dust, debris, and matter will trap under the paint surface. As you brush over this matter, some will get trapped in the brush's bristles, thereby causing lines & streaks before the paint cures and dries. Therefore, if you are seeing marks, lines or streaks on your baseboards, need to ask yourself if you properly cleaned the baseboards first.

The Quality of Paint Brush

Having the best quality paint brush is your second suggestion, not allowing marks, lines, or streaks. Just as most everything has a good, better, or best level of quality, paint brushes are no different. You can clean baseboards till your heart's content, but not having a quality paint brush, your baseboard paint coating will certainly demonstrate that final result on your wood trim.

The two best paint brushes, with the highest quality sold in most stores across the USA is Wooster™ and Purdy™. Both manufactures have spend millions on R&D, using today's paint technology, improving the infamous paint brush to leave the most professional paint finish possible.

If you were wondering, it is in your best interest spending that extra few dollars for either one of these brushes, as if you take care of them, they will last a very long time for you. Understanding the brush will be like your best friend, holding it in your hand many hours, so taking care before, during, and after painting is a great idea.

Paint Brush Care

Decided giving you some insight on caring for your paint brush, as this directly impacts the paint finish also. Whereas not caring for it properly can leave marks the next time you use it. The worst you care for your brush, the more lines and streaks you could potentially get, even with the Wooster™ or Purdy™, so correctly caring for it is highly regarded.

As soon as you unwrap the brush from the cardboard sheath, place it in a good spot, to reuse, placing it back in after you are done, similar to a knife's sheath. This will keep your brush bristles straight and sharp. Worst thing is leaving in the bottom of your paint bucket, drying bent like a curly cue fry from Arby's™.

Before sticking in your paint, best idea is to soak it under water, wetting it down. Shaking off excess water before dipping it in paint will allow you to clean it much better, once you are done painting, cleaning afterwards. A wet brush cleans better than a dry one. Most painters who have been around a while, having the trade secrets passed down from painter elders who also knows this little trick.

While painting your trim and/or baseboards, limiting any marks, it is a good idea to clean your brush after every few hours of work, removing dried paint on the sides of the brush. This dried paint can give you fits, mixing with new paint, causing you guessed it, marks, lines, or streaks too! A Clean Paint Brush is another best line of defense from unsightly marks, taking proper care.

Properly Loading The Paint Brush

To properly use your paint brush does not require dunking it all the way up to the metal shank. To correctly load the brush only needs to dip the brush no more than half way up the length of bristles. If you submerge it all the way up, you will have too much paint on it, making it harder to use on your first brush stroke, leaving more lines, and streaks.

Knocking off excess is best by tapping the brush on both sides of paint bucket, not needing to slide it across the top edge. This technique also helps keeping the paint clean not drying out in your container.

The Paint Brush Stroke

The longer continuous stroke you guide your brush, the smoother, more even it will be. Stay away from short, multiple stops with your brush. Great idea starting at corners of baseboards, working out, than working towards the corners. This will allow the same amount of paint on a continuous and even amount over the entire baseboard surface. Having a professional painting experience, knowing how to paint baseboards like a pro, will not have any marks, lines, or streaks either.

Points Limiting Paint Marks, Lines, and Streaks

  • Clean baseboards first
  • Paint brush quality
  • Caring for paint brush
  • Proper paint brush loading
  • Your professional brush stroke

Using these tips will ensure having a smooth, uniform baseboard paint finish, reducing the amount of any marks once your paint coating has dried.

If you are getting ready to paint the baseboards professionally, but also painting walls too, you might want to check this article below giving some more valuable information.

Should I Paint Walls Or Trim First?

Hope you have enjoyed reading, helping you on your next interior paint job. Painters and homeowners alike, your comments welcomed below!

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