Do You Have to Paint Primed Baseboards? Is It Okay to Leave a Primed Baseboard Without Painting?

Painted baseboards look clean, and the fact of priming them arises from the risk of damage it has while staying near the floor. There will be times when you will prime the baseboard for a better painting afterward, and want to leave it as it is.

Whether or not you should paint the prime baseboard depends. Let’s talk about the fact considering- do you have to paint primed baseboards?

Is Priming a Baseboard Compulsory?

Primers create a base for paint that result in enhancing adherence to painting. Priming won’t be mandatory if the surface of the wood is in good condition. However, you can always benefit from the primer.

Moreover, the paint texture and color will be near your expectation if it’s primed. Mix the primer over the baseboard thoroughly for getting the utmost result.

Odds of Not Priming the Baseboard

Aside from the fact, that you might not get the utmost result, you might also end up needing more layers of paint. The extra layers of paint might save your baseboard from damage. That will be the case for wood baseboards.

However, the case will be different in the case of the MDF baseboard as they are pre-primed.

Is Painting a Primed Baseboard Mandatory?

Painting a primed baseboard isn’t a thumb rule. There will be times as well when you won’t want to paint. Again, some baseboards came in primed and people like to buy them with the intention of not painting them. MDF baseboards are a good example.

If that’s your case, you can leave them. But the question is, why is it even a fact that the primed baseboards need to be painted? What are the odds?

What is the Purpose of Baseboards?

You might have witnessed the gap between the wall and floor when they meet. That’s when the baseboard came useful. The gap is covered using those baseboards.

So, in a word, baseboards are kept nearer to the floor as a moisture attack is a fact. Even if you are using baseboards for aesthetic reasons, protection is a must. So, whether you are installing the baseboard on the wall or the floor, the painting will do good for you.

So, what are the goods paint can do to your baseboard?

The Ascendancy of Painting Primed Baseboard

Resistant to Scuffing of Baseboard

When your baseboards are prone to scuffing and kicking, paint coating can save you. Although the quality of the paint matters a lot in this case. So, even if your baseboard is primed, paint does a lot more than this.

Resistant to Damage Prone Baseboard

Pristine Shape baseboard ate the most common but not all MDF comes with this shape. And they are prone to damage as well. Another reason is moisture attack. Paint creates a barrier between the wood and the water level. That’s why people like to paint their primed baseboards.


When it comes to appearance, nothing beats the paint. Let alone primer. Primer fills the pore of the wood and creates adherence to the painting. But does nothing for the look. Painting over a primed baseboard gives a flat finish. It can give sheens and gloss as well.

Any professional look is also possible with paints. Painting over a primed baseboard is better than painting directly to the raw baseboard. You can even run a sample test to see, how the paint differs when it’s done without being primed.

Adherence to Paint

Primer can create adherence to paint and break the monotony of primer’s color. Moreover, the paint gets more absorbed due to primer, giving a vibrant appearance.


Case No. 1: Your baseboard is already painted and you want to repaint it.

Solution: Consider providing a new layer of primer first. This will help to get the exact color of the paint.

Case No. 2: You are putting latex over oil paint.

Solution: As latex is water-based, you need to provide a bonding primer over the oil paint that is for watercolor. Or else, latex won’t stick to the oil paint layer.

Case No. 3: Painting over an existing paint that is already in bad shape.

Solution: Scrape away the flaky paint. You can even sand the paint down if it’s too stubborn. Fill the wood holes using wood filler and give proper sanding. Then follow the rest of the work with priming and painting of the board.


Now you have got the answer to the question- do you have to paint primed baseboards? Priming the unprimed surface before painting never harms the process. More or less, it always adds a point to the advantage.

If you are not going to use the baseboard for the floor or wall, where they will be more prone to damage, you can leave the boards unpainted as well.

FAQs Section

Is Baseboard Paint Mandatory?

The uninstalled baseboard should always be painted. The aftermath is always beneficial. While installing the baseboard, small damages can occur. All you need to do is a final touch-up after installation.

Is Replacing Baseboard Better Than Painting It?

Painting can save you from wear and tear of the trim, but it’s time-consuming. If the baseboard is damaged from moisture and warped, replacing will be a better option than painting it.

How Many Layers of Primer does a Raw Baseboard Need?

Many end up with a single layer of primer and that’s good enough. However, two to three layers are standard and you should provide this much primer layer to your raw wooden surface. Don’t forget to dry the former layer entirely before you jump on the next layer.

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