Re: How do we finish our new baseboards?
How I normally do trim is to prepaint the trim (as you had done ), then install it. From there, corners get caulked and nails get spackled, lightly sanded and spackled again if needed. From there the entire run of trim gets another coat of paint to blend the caulk and spackle in. That's how I prefer to do it because this way there is little to no attention paid to details during the final paint, or touch-up process. Had you left the trim unpainted, you'd now have to mask or cut in the primer and two coats of paint, whereas by prefinishing you're only doing touch-up with a modicum of cutting in.. Prepainting is faster and easier than doing it after the fact. It sounds to me that the main problem is a poor quality install which has left bulged seams, misaligned corners, etc. There is a certain amount of adjustment that you can do to correct these problems, but obviously you didn't get what you thought you were paying for.
Another trick to finishing is when applying spackle is to over fill the void so that hydraulic pressure creates a dome of spackle over what was the void. Allow the spackle to dry then using a sharp edged putty knife, sc**** the surface over the void to remove the excess spackle. This produces a flush finish with no sanding and minimal marring of the prefinished surface.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!