I call crown moulding and baseboards the 'highlights' because in my opinion they make or break the look of any room. I've had many customers in the past that were very value conscience and requested that we not painting the 'trim'. And of course we always oblige the customer, no questions asked. In 80% of these cases, after seeing the completed painted area the client almost always asks us to finish the crown and baseboards. Interior paint is just one of those things, that once you start, your going to notice all the imperfections of any adjacent walls or trim. But the great news is, that if you choose a contrasting shade of a pearl paint vs. eggshell which is more durable for your walls your going to get a beautiful finish every time.
Generally people don't realize that painting 'trim' is a very time consuming process which requires a lot of skill to do correctly. There are two ways to paint trim, first is by taping; second is free hand. Both methods have there challenges. Taping is very time consuming and requires and steady hand and good eye to perfect the line. And free hand requires patience and a great eye. Note: Always tape the bottom of your baseboards. The last thing you want is a bunch of paint on your hardwood, tile or carpet. When taping please always use premium painters tape, i.e. Frog Tape(Green), Painters tape(Blue). If your using any substitute type tape your going to be very disappointed and run the risk of destroying all the work you put in. Non-painter tape doesn't peel off very well, and if left for more than a very short period of time will leave unwanted residue and worst of all tear off paint surfaces. It's a recipe for disaster. If you choose too DIY on your next paint project and lack experience my advice is to use tape on top and bottom of both baseboards and crown mouldings. Use premium painters tape, and remove it quickly once you've completed the room.
One little secret: when taping bottom of baseboards come up 1cm-2cm from the bottom as to avoid painting the floor. When your standing, nobody notices 1-2cm from the floor baseboard isn't painted.
Supplies for taping crown moulding:
2.5 inch paintbrush
for most areas a 6ft ladder will suffix
Supplies for taping baseboard:
2.5 inch paintbrush
knee pads (recommended or hardwood or tile)
knife to remove any paint splash quickly