Should you Paint Walls first or do the Floors First- Rhode Island?


Should you Paint Walls first or do the Floors First- Rhode Island?

Many of my customers are redoing their floors and painting, and the smart customers ask whether it’s best to do the floors first or paint first.

Many are surprised by the answer…and they are glad they asked.

So, to preface this, it somewhat depends on what type of flooring you are doing (as well as demo), what condition your walls are in and who is doing the painting.


Assuming that you are getting the work done professionally, it is usually better to do most of the painting AFTER the flooring and most of the prep work BEFORE the flooring.



Also, it’s often better to paint the ceilings first, especially given that the ladders will rest on the floors.


From there, you should rip up the floors. Note: rip up can often result in minor damage to walls and base boards. If just carpet is being removed, this can scuff of the base boards. If tile, hardwood or laminate are being removed, this can often result in base boards needing to be removed. Removing base boards from the walls will usually result in paint chipping (so it would be a shame to do this after you freshly painted the walls). Sometimes, the new height of the floor and base boards are different, and this can result in a gap on the walls where there is no paint…hence another reason to paint afterwards.

Next, you install the floors. If it’s prefinished hardwood, you just nail it in and then take care of the baseboards/quarter round around the perimeter of the room. If it’s unfinished hardwood, then you have to sand and stain the floors. This process will usually result in scuffing up the baseboards and some stain on the sides of the base boards. Hence, the base boards need to be painted afterwards. Occasionally, the sanding process will result in minor scuffing to the walls as the guys maneuver the machines.



We have also worked with some painters who prefer to paint first, and then they will come back and touch up afterwards, but I believe the above outlined process is usually the ideal as the work product is the best and it takes less time.



Now, if the homeowner is the one painting, I will usually advise them to paint first (since they are less confident in their abilities and more likely to damage the floors) and then paint the base boards after we do the floors. Also, I have seen many variations on this theme (e.g. prime and do first coat of paint, then floors, then last coat of paint and base boards).

Should you Paint Walls first or do the Floors First- Rhode Island?


This post is courtesy of my guest blogger, Debbie Gartner, affectionately known as the Flooring Girl.   Debbie can be reached at 203-231-6193 (c) or


If you are considering selling your waterfront RI Real Estate home, please give me Ginny Lacey Gorman, the North Kingstown Real Estate agent, a call at 401.529.7849 and let me guide you well through the home selling and preparation process.