How To Sand Trim & Baseboards to Get Smooth Finish

Well, we use wooden trim for decorative purposes in our home. People use it as a bordering material to make a bare wall or a simple window look more presentable.

Now, you might be wondering why we are talking about all these and not talking about how to sand trim? The answer is the first step of staining or painting a wooden trip to make it eye-pleasing is sanding.

Usually, people seek professional help in this matter, but you can gain pretty similar results by yourself with the proper knowledge and tools.

So don’t go anywhere and stay with us to know more about it in detail!

“Winter is here, “and your windows are probably exhausted from all tireless service it has been providing you by keeping moisture and cold air away from your beautiful home.

How To Sand Trim

So now you are probably thinking of making it up to your windows. Well, no worries; you can easily beautify your windows through sand window trimming, whether it’s a new house or an old house, and window trims are the best for a quick furnishing.

It gives the windows a fresh new look with more vivid colors. Moreover, they are very DIY friendly and on budget, so you can quickly learn and get on board with it.

Investing in the right materials and equipment is undoubtedly a pre-factor in this case. You got the point, right?

Things Required:

  • Sandpaper ( 150 0r more grit )
  • Sanding block
  • Pullable hand paint scraper
  • Acrylic window caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Caulking finishing tool
  • Putty knife
  • Whisk broom or brush
  • Liquid degreaser and water (dish detergent )
  • Cleaning sponges
  • OIl based acrylic primer paint
  • Latex acrylic topcoat paint
  • Hose
  • Brushes
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Glaziers point

Safety Things:

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective mask

How To Sand Window Trim- In 4 Easy Step

Step One: Preparation

Before jumping into the procedure, you must wear protective clothing and gloves properly along with safety glasses.

If you choose to use a ladder or any kind of stool, please be careful to place it on a hard and robust surface.

Paints with glossy finishing are more preferable. It gives a smooth and shiny texture for both interiors and exteriors. But the paint hugely depends on the material of the trim.

There are different kinds of useful materials available for preparing window trims. It can be made from aluminium, vinyl, wood, etc.

It’s not a one size fits all case, so you need to be very careful. If not, then the paint can wear off easily and that too very quickly.

Scraping Paint From Molding

With the help of the pullable paint scraper or the putty knife, you need to scrape out the flaked paints and the cracked areas carefully.

You need to be cautious while scraping off all the loose paint because they might make uneven edges later on. But if it’s a new unfinished trim, then this part is to be avoided.

Step Two: The Procedure

apply a thin layer of caulk using caulking gun
window caulk=>

You must replace any window caulk or glaziers point if any point gets removed while scraping. This can be done by applying a thin layer of caulk using the caulking gun.

smooth the caulk using the putty knife
putty knife=>

Next, you can smooth the area using the putty knife. While smoothing the area, you need to be careful while pushing the caulking against the frame and its glass.

It might take almost a day for the caulking to dry, so please be patient before attempting to start the painting.

Carefully observe whether any other seams need caulking or not. If it does, please follow the above steps. There should be no gap between the window trim and the wall surface.

Step Three: Sanding Window Trims

Sand Window Trim
Sanding Sponge=>

Coarse (40-100 ) and fine  (150 or more ) grit sandpapers need to be used while sanding the window trim surfaces.

This coarse grit paper helps to remove any loose paint. The fine grit maintains an overall surface throughout the window trim.

The Festool LS130 Liner Detail Sander can be a great option for sanding as it is suitable for any kind of trim and it comes with an added feature that can prevent dust from going everywhere.

Festool LS130 window trim sander
Festool LS130 Liner Detail Sander=>

Moreover, it is also a handheld device that gives you better control and saves your valuable time in the process.

If you have a trim with a lot of curves you may find it difficult to sand properly. If that is the case, you might consider using a rotary tool.

using a rotary tool
GOXAWEE Rotary Tool Kit=>

You can use a rotary tool with your hand giving you better overall control. But take necessary caution before using this as being careless can ruin the whole design of the trim.

You have to wash the sanded frames detergent and water and make sure to get rid of all the sand, dirt, and dust. We will leave them to dry and wait for a whole day. Read Also: 8 Best Sander for Trim Work & Baseboards [2021 Reviews]

Step Four: Finishing up

Now you can finally apply an oil-based or acrylic-based primer paint. Most woods do well with acrylic primers, so you are supposed to get going with it.

But you have to make sure to apply enough paint to avoid the wood grains. After 24 hours, sand the primed areas lightly again with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Apply another topcoat to have an even coating and let it dry.  Finally, sand the topcoat again and apply a second coat.

And that’s how your work is done!

How To Sand Baseboards:

Baseboards can get damaged over the years. Remodelling your room may be one step away by properly painting your baseboards. And this is when you should think about sanding your baseboards first!

Well, it can be a massive game-changer in these situations. So let us tell you a list of things you will need; we have nothing to stress about!

You do not need to wait for the weekend to come; it doesn’t take that much time. Read also: 5 best fiberglass sanding tools to sand perfectly.

Things required

  1. Sand Paper
  2. Sanding Blocks
  3. Rubber Gloves, Protective clothing
  4. Degreaser
  5. Detergent or warm soapy water
  6. Caulking
  7. Wood Putty
  8. Putty Knives
  9. Duct tape
  10. Primer
  11. Painters tape
  12. Brushes
  13. Drop cloth
  14. Rags or paper towels


There are two ways you can repaint the baseboards. Glossy white paints can make the rooms more bright so you can use them.

Now you need to use your painter’s tape and mark the walls of the floor. Make sure to cover up the floor using the drop cloth.

Now, paint the flat portion of the baseboards. Let it dry and remove the tape. You can do this, or you can make it look like a brand new baseboard.

In this case, by using an Exacto knife, you need to take off the baseboard from the wall. Using a pry bar and a hammer, you need to pry the boards from the wall.

Pull out the baseboards from underneath and pull out the nails towards yourself using pliers. Get the nails out of the baseboard. Be very careful while doing this.

Sand the baseboards using the sandpapers. This allows the baseboard to have an even surface and removes all the loose paint from it.

You can use the Festool LS130 as your sanding device because it is suitable for every kind of trim and is able to contain the airborne substances that you create while sanding.

Sand Baseboards with sheet sander
Sand Baseboards with sheet sander=>

It can also save your time as it is a hand-held device and provides excellent control while sanding

You might want to use a rotary tool for extremely detailed surfaces. You need to remove all the sand dust and dirt neatly.

Sand Baseboard with a dremel
Dremel Rotary Tool Kit=>

Carefully observe if any holes or any uneven surface are existing or not. You need to fill it with wood fillers. When it dries, sand the surface again.

holes uneven surface of baseboard fill with wood filler
baseboard fill with wood filler=>

And there you have your baseboard, ready to be painted. Paint the baseboard, let it dry and then sand it again.

Finally, you now have to apply a second coating and then leave it to dry. After 24 hours, take the baseboard and nail it back to the wall.

The baseboards are going to look fantastic as ever now!

How To Sand Trim Before Painting?

The term “painting” is pretty self-explanatory. Putting paint on anything can be considered as painting. But the color needs to stay, or else you will have to repaint your interior repeatedly.

If you want your paint to last a more extended period, you will need to sand the trim before painting. In this segment, we have broadly discussed this topic.

The most important thing to remember here is that your paint will stick depending on how well you have prepared the wall before painting.

So do not be a lazy lad and take this seriously because this little work can save a lot of work in the future.

These are the five steps of How to sand the trim before painting.

First step: Sanding

how to paint trim step 1 sand with sponge and sandpaper
Faster Hand Sanding Block=>

The first step is sanding.

Sanding is just for removing the shine of the wood. To be more precise, you need to sand to remove the smoothness and provide a surface that can hold the paint.

The sanding does not need to be too much. You need to make sure that the body is rough enough for the paint to stick.

Second step: Using caulk to fill the gaps

Use caulk in trim to fill the gaps
caulk for baseboard=>

The second step is closing the gap with the help of caulk.

A step that most professionals follow and non-professionals do not. Before that, we told you that you could do a near-professional work by yourself if you have the proper knowledge. This step will give your task a professional look.

Take some caulk and put it in between the gaps of your trims. Caulk will fill the gap giving it a smooth finish.

Third step: Cleaning away all the dust

The third step is cleaning.

Take a cloth and wash away all the dust using some spirits. If you have a dusty surface, the paint will not be long-lasting because your color will sit on the dust and not the body.

So when there is wind or something like that, the paint will fly away along with such things.

Fourth step: Adding a layer of primer

Adding a layer of primer in trim before paint

The fourth step is providing a primer coating.

A primer helps to prevent any leakage of paint and make it look more presentable.

Use a decent brush that will cover all the areas adequately and leave no blank spaces. Generally, one layer of primer is enough, but if you notice any colour leakage, add another primer layer to ensure no further spread.

Fifth step: Paint and finalize

Here’s the final one.

Take a good brush and paint the trim that you want. Paint it carefully to make sure there are no gaps. Add two or even a third layer of paint to make sure the quality.

The best way for painting is to use a spray. But a spray can be hard to work with, as you can not dictate the way it moves.

Only use it if you are confident enough in your abilities; otherwise, stick to using a painting brush.

A quicker way to sand window trim:

Previously we mentioned about the Festool LS130. Well, it is a sanding tool that many professionals use for saving time and excellent results.

But if you are using it in your home, you will need to be extremely careful about it. After all, safety comes first, right?

In the next segment, we will give you an idea about Festool LS130 and why you should use it.

quicker way to sand window baseboard Festool LS130
Festool LS130 Liner Detail Sander=>

Why use Festool LS130 for sanding?

Festool LS -130 Linear Sander can be a fantastic choice in case of selecting a sanding device. It is quick and easy to use, and you can modify it according to your needs.

You can use linear movements and have excellent flawless results. Manual sanding can sometimes be a bit of hard labor, especially when you are doing all of the work by yourself.

Festool LS – 130 Linear Sander lets you experience effortless sanding techniques in a short period. It helps you to keep up with your schedule.

Moreover, it has a wide range of sanding pads and abrasives. At the same time, it gives you an option to make your profile head by using its optional kit.

For example, if the pre-designed shapes don’t match the molding detail, you can use the interface pads and double stack them to build your customized profile.

sanding any nooks or corner window trim with liner sander

You can accomplish sanding any nooks or corner utilizing the device. It also lets you choose between various radii.

Moreover, it comes with a scraper as well. It is dust-free and, thus, environment friendly.

And if you are worried that changing the sanding pads might be too much of a hassle, let us inform you that you have nothing to worry about.

You can replace the sanding pads any time when needed without any constraints. For that, you just have to push it downwards, lift it out and unload it. The sanding pads are incredibly durable and robust. So it’s an all in one tool!

An Overview on Painting Trim:

Any painting or remodelling work feels like a huge commitment. It requires a lot of planning and implementation at the same time. Investing time and energy is one of the preconditions in this case.

Then again, if the strategies aren’t clear enough, it may create a significant mishap. For example – getting all the tools and materials is necessary.

If we do not arrange them beforehand, then we might find ourselves going back and forth to the store from time to time. This drains both money and energy.

So what might be done? What steps can be taken? We can list down our necessities at first and prioritize them based on workload.

Cleaning is the priority in this case. Before sanding, we need to make sure if there are any cracks or not any peeling surface.

Sanding the surface gives fantastic texture and an even surface. This surface is critical when we apply the paint. The paint stays on the surface due to its even surface. Therefore, it gets easier to paint, as well!


Well, that’s all we have on how to sand the trim. Remember, sanding is the prerequisite of a long-lasting decoration on your trim.

The sanding process may seem tricky, but you can quickly get a professional result with adequate knowledge.

The main differentiating factor between professional work and amateur work is the use of caulk for closing gaps. We highly recommend this step as this can make a world of difference in how the finishing looks.

We hope that you found this baseboard sanding guide was useful, understandable, and informative. If you want to ask anything, then make a comment. Good luck!

Last Updated on October 10, 2021 by Rogers Weber

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