Baseboard How-To

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I started installing the baseboard in the foyer this week and realized I should have done this before the crown moulding because it is way easier to do. The fact that the baseboard sits flat against the wall makes both cutting and installation much easier. I actually used door & window casing as my baseboard because I liked the look of it more than the floor baseboard options. And I chose a moulding that was already primed because I wanted to paint it white.

Supplies
Baseboard
miter box & saw
measuring tape
1 1/2″ finish nails
hammer
nail punch set
wood filler
paint & paint brush for finish

When I did my crown moulding, I painted the boards before I cut and installed them and I ended up having to repaint them to cover the wood filler, marks from the hammer, etc. So this time, I decided to wait to paint until after installation was complete.

Some rules to follow for cutting and installation:
1. Pick a starting point and move clockwise around the room
2. If possible, try to use one continuous piece of moulding per section so there are no seams in the middle of the wall.
3. Determine what type of cut you need on the left side (flat, inside corner, outside corner) and make that cut first. Then measure the section you are working on, keeping the measuring tape flat against the wall. Remember: measure twice, cut once. Using that measurement, mark the back side of the moulding.
4. Using the miter box, place your moulding flat against the side of the miter box with your cut line lined up with the proper angle cut.
Take a look at the photos below for some visual aids.

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My first section needed to be flat on the left side (to go up against the door casing) with an inside corner cut on the right side. My cut line is on the back side of the moulding and is lined up with saw guide for the 45° angle cut on the right side. Use the pegs to hold your moulding in place while you cut.

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Check your work by placing the cut moulding in it’s designated spot to make sure you have a snug fit. I also don’t nail down the moulding until I’ve cut a few sections and made sure it all fits together. The next piece needed an inside corner to fit  with the first piece and an outside corner on the right side.

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The final piece of moulding for this section needed an outside cut on the left side and a flat cut on the right side to meet the closet door casing. Once all three pieces were cut and fit together nicely, I used the 1 1/2″ finish nails to secure the moulding in place, counter sunk the nails with the nail punch set and then filled the nail holes with wood filler. I also used wood filler on the corner seams to give the moulding a smooth and seamless look.

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I had removed the old baseboard in order to lay the new flooring and the new moulding I installed was shorter than the original so I used plaster to smooth out the wall surface so I could paint over it with the wall color. Then I used my Valspar Semi-Gloss interior paint in white to finish the trim with a nice glossy look.

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