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Salvaging bad baseboard paint job

I had a not-so-professional painter do all the walls in the house. There is baseboard and quarter-round in all the rooms. The baseboard had been painted previously; the q-r was stained and finished with something glossy when I had new floors put in 3 years ago.

Fast-forward to last week: the painter covered the baseboards and q-r with latex semigloss. He got plenty of white latex under the q-r too. I spent hours trying to sc**** it out and couldn't get it all. Worse, the now-dry latex on the q-r chipped in many places as I sc****d. It will be difficult to touch up the q-r with latex as I think (too late) that the q-r should have been primed or sanded.

I don't have the tools or expertise to rip out all the q-r, clean the remaining latex off the floors, and reinstall the q-r, which is what I believe would be best. I want to try to touch up the q-r with latex using an artist's watercolor brush.

Any ideas? Thanks much in advance!

Re: Salvaging bad baseboard paint job

You certainly can touch up the quarter round, however, it will be a never ending effort. Conventional latex paint sticks very poorly to slick varnished surfaces. It will continue to chip badly when sc****d or hit.

I think the best result would be to pull up the quarter round and replace it with pre-primed and painted quarter round.

You might try popping the paint off the existing quarter round by dragging a single edged razor blade over the surface. Bare down on the blade and drag it across the popping paint. Often badly adhered paint will pop off from the downward pressure. After you are back down to the varnish, scuff sand it and prime it with a good enamel undercoater, either oil or water based. Then "face off" the baseboard and quarter round with a new coat of paint.

Re: Salvaging bad baseboard paint job

To remove a quarter panel the easy way, follow ordjen suggestion and also:

Get yourself a small wrecking bar (it's about 8" long, available at HD) and a hammer and just pull it out by the nails/brads.

Once it's out, you can sand it down, working on a work bench, not the floor. OR, replace it with a new one you already primed, painted and cut to size.

Re: Salvaging bad baseboard paint job

There might be a better way than pulling up all the QR...

Get a 5-in-one tool sold in any paint dept. Gently force the edge under the QR where the floor meets (and the excess paint is) and pry it up so that it's slightly off the surface of the floor.Now you should be able to remove the excess paint off the floor by wrapping a wet rag around the flat end of the tool and force over the paint until it comes up.

After all the excess paint is removed - either slip a piece of hard stock paper or blue painters tape just inside the gap (between the QR and the floor). You can now touch-up the paint on the QR without getting back on the floor. If you want to "pop" the QR back down - use a the rubber end of a hammer wrapped with a cloth.

This still doesn't solve the problem of future chipping of the paint, but most of the time as long as something does't bump into it you should be OK.
If it does happen from time to time - just repeat the touch-up process again.

Hope this helped.:)

Re: Salvaging bad baseboard paint job

Thanks so much, everyone!

I figured that touching up would be the least desirable solution from the technical viewpoint, and also suspected that the paint won't adhere well. But from another viewpoint, it's worth trying. He's a neighbor and this has already been unpleasant enough due to overruns, etc., - won't tire you with details.

However, I don't have the ability to do the replacement myself (56, smallish woman, no power tools), or the money (fixed income, project budget gone) to have someone come in and do it right. And removing the q-r means probably retouching the baseboard as there will be a seam where q-r meets bb. I've already spent 8-10 hrs scr*ping the floors and 3-5 hrs researching how to fix this, and everyone's giving me the same advice: pull up, clean up, replace with work done correctly.

I wouldn't be so particular but I'm trying to sell the house and this botch really makes the job look cheap and amateurish. So if the touching up (and several other fixes that he didn't do right but are within my ability to fix) doesn't fix it, I'll ask him to pay for a pro to come in and fix. Does that sound fair?

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