What Is The Best Paint For Baseboards? [4 Actionable Suggestions]

Are you planning on painting your baseboards? Wondering which paint brands and sheens are the best? Well, you’ve come to the right post, as we’ve researched baseboard paint options to answer these questions for you.

Here are the best paint sheens to use on baseboards:

  • High Glosses
  • Semi-Glosses
  • Satin Paints

As far as the best paints to use on baseboards, our best picks are:

  • Benjamin Moore Impervex Latex Enamel High Gloss
  • Sherwin Williams Emerald Semi-Gloss
  • PPG Diamond Satin Paint
  • BEHR Alkyd Enamel Satin

Now, we’ll cover each of these sheens and paint brands in more detail. Please keep reading because we’ll also provide tips on how to paint baseboards (using the right tools and efficient methods) and how to coordinate baseboard color with the room.  

A blue walled room with a white colored baseboard and a wooden floor, What Is The Best Paint For Baseboards? [4 Actionable Suggestions]

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The Best Paint For Baseboards

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Pre-fabricated baseboards lined up for choosing

Baseboards and trim typically collect a lot of dings, dirt, and scuff marks during their lifetime. Depending on the amount of traffic in your home, they may require a touch-up every two to four years, especially if you have pets or children. High-sheen paints work best on baseboards, as they are more durable and can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Because of this, they also tend to last longer and chip less often than flat paint.

The best paints for baseboards will usually be ones that have a bit of gloss on them, which makes them easier to clean. Baseboards typically receive a considerable amount of traffic, especially if they are located in areas such as foyers, entertainment rooms, and children’s rooms–so this is a huge benefit.


High-gloss paint is the easiest paint to clean and is very durable. It’s an ultra-shiny, hard, and light-reflecting paint that can add polish and gleam to any surface. High-gloss paint is great for areas that will be frequented by small children, as it’s more resistant to fingerprints, scuff marks, as well as dirt smears. It’s important to prep your paint area well before applying high-gloss paint, as it’s highly-reflective surface will show every roll and bump.

Check out this high-gloss paint on Amazon.


Semi-gloss paint is also a commonly used paint sheen for baseboards. It works well in rooms that may endure a bit of abuse and accumulate dirt and grease stains, excess moisture, and handprints. Homeowners commonly use it on baseboards and crown molding. And being that it’s a bit thinner than high gloss paint (though just as durable), it’s more forgiving when it comes to visible surface bumps and dents. Semi-gloss is commonly used in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, trim, and stair railings.

Check out this semi-gloss paint on Amazon.


Satin Sheen paint is known for having a velvety luster that can work well in various decor options. It can be used in high-traffic areas, and it’s pretty easy to keep clean. One of the biggest setbacks with satin sheen paint is that unlike semi-gloss paint, it’s not as forgiving when it comes to surface flaws, easily revealing brush strokes and surface imperfections. Saint sheen paint works well on trim, especially if you are looking for a durable paint that doesn’t visually stand out as much. It can help create a very contemporary look and can even be used for rustic-style decor as well. Good places to apply satin sheen paint include foyers, family rooms, children’s rooms, and hallways/entryways.

Check out this satin paint on Amazon.

Now let’s cover some of the most popular brands for each sheen.

Best High-Gloss Paint for Trim

Benjamin Moore Impervex Latex Enamel High Gloss

Benjamin Moore has been around for over 100-years and is one of the most reliable paint brands you can purchase. The Impervex High Gloss is made of 100% acrylic and provides an excellent gloss and a fast drying time. It can be used on both interior or exterior surfaces. It’s also great for color retention and has excellent adhesion capability, meaning that you may only need to apply one coat for decent coverage. Cleanup can be as simple as applying soap and water with a wet cloth.

Best Semi-gloss Paint for Trim

Sherwin Williams Emerald Semi-Gloss

The Emerald semi-glass by Sherwin Williams is the best in its class for quite a few reasons. Not only is Sherwin-Williams one of the most renowned paint brands in the industry, but this specific paint really upholds its reputation for providing quality paints that have amazing adhesion properties. You will find this paint can stick to almost any surface.

Even if you slack on the cleaning and sanding prep work for your project, you can expect pretty good staying power with this paint. This semi-gloss works well on trim, as it’s highly durable and can often be used as a single coat. However, be prepared to cough up a few dollars as it is considered a more higher-end paint product.

Best Satin Paints for Trim

PPG Diamond Satin Paint

This satin sheen paint is one of the most popular 2-in-1 paint/primer combos on the market. It’s also a customer favorite at Home Depot and Lowe’s. It’s a water-based satin paint with amazing stain-resistant qualities, can be easily washed or scrubbed, and works well in high or low traffic areas.

Another great benefit of this paint is that it is available in over eight hundred colors and contains zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds)–not to mention it’s a low-fume paint as well. The diamond satin by PPG dries in about 30 to 60-minutes and completely cures in 13-days. You can find it in most home improvement stores for about $26 per gallon.

BEHR Alkyd Enamel Satin

The Alkyd satin by BEHR is an excellent satin paint for baseboards. It’s also a great option for high-traffic spaces such as kitchen cabinets, foyers, and bathrooms. This satin paint emits little VOCs (especially when compared to other oil-based paints in its class) and is also a low-fume interior paint. It offers a stain-resistant finish and dries in two to four hours. This paint’s viscosity allows for smooth, even curing and the fact that it is pretty much odorless makes it a top pick for interior satins. You can find it in most home improvement stores for about $36 per gallon.

What kind of brush do you use for baseboards?

Professional painters typically use varnish or high-quality enamel brushes to paint baseboards and trim. These brushes work great as they apply the paint fairly easily without leaving visible brush strokes. Paintbrushes with tapered or angled edges and flag tips are the usual go-to brushes for most baseboard, molding, and door frame jobs.

Check out Pro Grade angled brushes on Amazon.

The reason is that their design makes it easy to paint in between small gaps, corners, and crevices without accidentally painting other surfaces. It’s recommended that you use synthetic brushes when working with water-based or latex paints, as they are fairly stiff and hold their shapes well (which is needed in water-based paints). If you’re using oil-based paints, natural bristle paintbrushes will work fine.

Should I remove baseboards to paint them?

It’s unnecessary to remove baseboards to paint them, and they are typically left attached to the wall while being painted. It can be a pretty cumbersome task to remove baseboards, so unless they are old, significantly damaged, warped in some way, or do not fit with the new home renovation decor, it’s easier to leave them attached. To avoid painting areas such as the wall and the flooring while painting baseboards, you’ll simply need to apply painter’s tape to their edges.

Check out Scotch painter’s tape on Amazon.

What is the fastest way to paint baseboards?

The fastest way to paint baseboards is to have your plan in place to prep the area and go about painting the room or space. To make things easier, we’ve outlined one of the most common ways that baseboards are painted. Take a look.

Steps to painting baseboards quickly:

1. Gather your materials

Before you paint your baseboard, you’ll need to make a list of all of the supplies you’ll need, including paint brushes, masking tape, drop cloths, and the actual paint/primer you plan to use.

2. Clean the baseboards

Baseboards are known for accumulating dirt and dust, so washing them beforehand is strongly recommended. This can easily be done with soap, water, and a rag. Lightly sanding baseboards, and wiping away dust before you paint, is also recommended.

3. Apply masking tape

The use of masking tape is a crucial step when it comes to painting baseboards. The reason is that it allows you to create straight lines and avoid accidentally painting the ceiling and the flooring while you’re going across the baseboards with your brush. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting on your floor, you also need a putty knife to press the paint down between the carpet where it meets the bottom of the baseboard. This will help you to avoid getting paint on the carpet, which can be a headache to remove.

Check out this masking tape on Amazon.

4. Paint the baseboards

Once your baseboards have been clean and properly property with masking tape, you can begin painting them. It’s best to start on one side of the door entry and work your way around the room, painting just a few feet at a time to ensure full coverage.

Can I use ceiling paint for baseboards?

Yes, you can apply ceiling paint to baseboards. However, if you do this, it’s best to apply a topcoat, as the ceiling paint will quickly and easily show signs of wear and tear such as dirt, kick and scuff marks, and dings. It will also be way more difficult to clean once these marks appear on the baseboards.

This is why stains, semi-gloss, and high-gloss paints are better suited for baseboards and trim.

Check out this ceiling paint on Amazon.

Should baseboard color match wall color?

Different colors of pain and color palettes on a white background

It depends on the type of look that you’re going for. Sometimes baseboards are painted white to work as an accent for a darker-colored wall. You can also paint the baseboards a color that’s in the same family as that of the wall to allow for a cohesive look in the room or space.

Do baseboards have to match door trim?

It’s common for baseboards and trim to match to provide consistency within a room or a space in your home, but there are no set rules when it comes to interior decorating. If you are looking to add a more contemporary element to your rooms, painting the baseboards and trim two different colors may work well, especially if the baseboard is a light-colored shade (it helps to make a room look more open and bigger). For example, off-white baseboards may go well with light brown door trim.

Wrapping Things Up

As you can see, you have quite a few options when it comes to painting your baseboards.

Be sure to check out our other posts before you go:

How Much Floor Space Do Stairs Typically Take?

Should Wood Floors Match Throughout House?

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