How To Paint Baseboards Without Brush Marks

I have always loved painting ever since I was a kid back at home.

I enjoyed every chance I got to paint with my dad, who also loved repainting anything he set his eyes on.

Now that I have my own home, I carried the DIY spirit with me.

I rarely hire a paid professional to handle any painting job around my house.

I recently relocated into a new home and had a lot of customization to do, including repainting the walls of my entire house.

Everything was going according to plan till it was time to paint the baseboards.

The walls could let someone think I am an experienced painting contractor.

However, the baseboards would confirm otherwise.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not get myself to give my baseboards that smooth, deep, professional finish.

However, I finally got a breakthrough – after many trials and failures, of course.

My experience helped me understand how challenging it can be to paint baseboards without leaving any brush marks.

Now that I know the techniques to give baseboards a finish to be proud of, I have decided to share them with you!

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How to Paint Baseboards without Brush Marks

What you will need!


You can use oil-based or water based-paint to paint your baseboards, depending on your preference.

Oil-Based Paints
It is easier to achieve a more even finish when working with oil-based paints as they have longer drying times, which allows the paint to settle evenly.

If you choose this type of paint, be ready to wait overnight to apply the second coat.

Water-Based Paints
Water-based paints are prone to leaving brush marks on the surface as they dry off faster.

However, they are less expensive and suitable for inexperienced painters as they are easier to clean.


You can choose a paintbrush depending on the type of paint you are planning to use.

For instance, oil-based paints go well with a paintbrush with natural bristles.

On the other hand, you should use a paintbrush with nylon bristles if you plan on using water-based paints.

Here is a complete guide on how to paint your baseboards without leaving brush marks.

Step 1: Prepping the Baseboards

Preparing the baseboards for painting generally involves cleaning.

If your home is new, then you may not have a lot of cleaning to do.

However, I had to do some thorough scrubbing before painting the baseboards, as my house had a previous owner.

If your baseboards are the same as mine were, you should consider sanding with around 180 grit sandpaper.

Once you complete sanding, dust the baseboards to remove loose particles.

Finally, scrub with a brush to further eliminate particles in hidden corners.

For ‘less dirty’ baseboards, ensure you use a damp cloth just to make sure there are no particles that might make the surface unfit for painting.

Step 2: Painting the Baseboards

Once you have properly cleaned the surface, it is now time to apply the paint.

Here are a few key points to remember:

  • Guide your brush through longer continuous strokes
  • Start from corners and work your way out
  • Stroke your brush in the direction of the grain/board, i.e., left to right and not up and down
  • Dunk the tip of the bristles into the paint and tap excess paint of rather than wiping

So, How Can I Paint Baseboards Without Leaving Brush Marks?

Generally, painting your baseboards without brush marks comes down to choosing the right paint & brush, prepping before you start painting and using the correct stroke technique.

Follow the guidelines above to give your baseboards a clean, smooth finish.