Baseboard Trim – How to Remove and How to Install

 

I’m back to work on the bonus room makeover, and I couldn’t be happier with the results of the project.

I had to prep the back wall for a little something special. And it required removing the baseboards. I saved them to re-install afterwards.

Materials:

  • Utility knife
  • Thin pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Coping saw
  • Universal hand saw
  • Hammer (or finish nailer)
  • Finish nails
  • Pliers
  • Scrap of wood

Instructions to Remove the Baseboards Cleanly:

Start by running the utility knife along the top edge of the baseboards to score the caulk.

Slip the pry bar behind the baseboard (this thin pry bar is invaluable for so many tasks! If you don’t own one, buy one immediately.)

Once the baseboard nails are out of the wall, gently pull up the baseboards from the corners.

To easily remember which baseboard goes where, label the wall and the back of the baseboard. I like to start with “A” and continue down the alphabet as I move clockwise around the room.

Removing the nails from baseboards:

Grab the pliers (these Irwin Vise Grip Pliers are my go to pliers) and a scrap of wood.

Grab the nail from the pointed end. Rest the pliers on the block of wood (placed close to the nail) and rock the pliers back using the scrap wood for leverage.

And remarkably, when you remove nails from the back of the baseboards, it leaves no marks on the front side!

Fitting Baseboard Trim into Corners:

The best way to fit baseboard trim to a wall with many angles is to cut the exterior bevel first.

Then measure the amount of excess that is sticking out. In my case, I knew that I had bumped my wall out the width of this scrap of wood. So, I knew how much to trim from the interior corner.

Now, this is the trick to get super tight fitting interior corners. Grab the universal handsaw and coping saw for this step.

Turn the baseboard upside down and cut at approximately a 30-45 degree angle from the corner. Stop right before you cut through the top profiled edge (the curvy section.) Use your coping saw to cut from the top of the baseboard into the curve, making a “C” shape.

Your moulding should look similar to this:

Check the fit in the corner. The baseboard trim on the right side was cut with straight 90 degree angles that meet the wall. Slip the beveled cut baseboard up against the straight cut trim and you should have a nice tight joint.

If the other corner looks good, secure your baseboard with finish nails or use a finish nailer.

Caulk all the seams and nail holes. Paint your trim and that’s it.

Hey, did you peek? Did you see a little section of my wall project? Sheesh, well here’s another teaser:

Come back on Friday and I’ll give you the details on the back wall. I’m in love with the results!

 

Comments

  1. Great info! and great to be able to DIY. -connie

  2. This is exactly what I need – thanks!

  3. ColinZ'sMomma says:

    my oh my you make things look easy – ! you give me confidence, and I thank you for it!

  4. Ah, just what I needed! We’re thinking about changing out the flooring in our family room, and I’ll need this info. Can’t wait to see that wall in it entirety! It looks amazing!

  5. Cheryl Thornton says:

    in the midst of a reno here and I just pulled my baseboards off…or should I say – the hubby did!

    can’t wait to see that back wall…love it so far!

  6. Your tutorials/photos are the best! We are in the middle of doing baseboards and I love your idea of labeling them A to A, etc. It’s the little things we don’t think about as we are ripping everything out and just trying to get it done! Thanks for the great post, Brittany.
    Christa

  7. Sending this to my boytoy RIGHT NOW…..can we say weekend project?

    We are in DIRE need of baseboards, thanks for the info!

  8. Oh my goodness….you make it look so effortless!!! Great job on the sneak peek…..can’t wait to see the rest of it.

  9. These are all great tips, Brittany. I’m forwarding it to my hubby who always struggles with making those pesky corner cuts!

  10. What you post is fantastic! I am so inspired by you!

    xo Sam
    DIYhuntress.com

  11. I am with Suzy….showing my hubby…I want chair rail in my powder room!…I know, I know…you are going to say that I could do it…you just showed me how…but I think I want to keep my fingers intact!…Great tutorial Brittany!

  12. Hi – great site. Do you caulk between the baseboard and the floor in the bathroom? Thanks!

    • Jill, yes, I’d absolutely do that. Any water seals you can add to your bathroom is a good thing. FYI, I also add a bead around where the toilet meets the floor, but I have little boys with poor aim ;-).

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Before you begin, make sure to remove your baseboard trim. [...]

  2. […] pressure from the screw driver and give us something to leverage the screw driver against. I found Brittany’s post at Pretty Handy Girl to be very […]

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