Ready to begin your baseboard installing, staining or clear coating project.

The key to professionally installed baseboards, is to start with the best tools and materials you can afford.

A properly sized electric miter saw with a brand new saw blade will insure the job is done well and in as quick a manner as possible.

An air nailer would also be an excellent tool to invest in along with a good quality tape measuring device.


Prior to starting your baseboard job, be sure that the trim being used is flat, strait, and smooth. Your wood should also have minimal knots along with no dents, holes or blemishes.

Another thing to keep in mind when you buy your baseboards is to add on about 10% to 15% of extra length to the final measurement. Having a little extra baseboard on hand should make up for any miss cuts or other problems that you may not foresee when doing your baseboard installing project.

Moulding or trim, such as baseboard, comes in different lengths. Using a longer length of trim, on a long wall, will cut down on splicing (scarf joints). With that said, longer trim pieces can have their disadvantages. Talk to your local trim/ moulding retailer regarding the best length for the job at hand. Your trim retailer will also be able to set up delivery, especially for those who have no way of transporting 14 to 16 foot lengths of baseboard.

Before installing your baseboards it's probably a good idea to sand, then apply your stain and clear coat. Fill the holes once your baseboard has been attached. For those using a hammer and nails don't forget to counter sink the nails with the proper sized nail punch. You also might want to pre-drill the nail holes. Otherwise renting, buying or borrowing an air nailer is by far the fastest and easiest way to do a baseboard installing project.

If you apply baseboard before the flooring is installed the baseboard will need to be attached in a specific manner (distance from the sub floor etc). Flooring can be installed after the baseboard is attached but it is probably a good idea to talk to the floor layer before attaching your woodwork.

Most cuts are at 45 degree angles (give or take a couple degrees), except along side of door trim or built in cabinetry. Trim and cabinetry tend to require a strait or but joints. Corners that are not at a 45 degree angle may need the help of a measuring tool called a bevel.

You could also test for proper angle by pre-cutting smaller scrap pieces of trim and then trying the test scraps to insure a proper fit. Painted baseboard is caulked at the corners and not as crustal when it comes to fit. Stained and clear coated woodwork requires a much more precise cut.

With un-painted woodwork, such as oak or maple, do test pieces for each corner. At least until you get use to your measuring and sawing abilities. Adjust the saw and sand the cut until you get the best fit.

When doing outside corners remember that pencil marks go on the back side of the trim not the front side. Otherwise your angled cuts will be to short.

With softer woodwork like MDF try, whenever possible, to carefully place the nails into any groves that the trim profile may have. Placing nails onto the flat area of some types of trim piece can result in a dent or mushroomed surface. Nailing into a grove will tend to hide the nail hole after it is filled.

If you can nail into a wall stud, it will give the baseboard a more secure attachment. Using a stud finder will help you locate the wall studs. When nailing, be careful not to nail into wiring, plumbing pipe or other fixtures.

Painted baseboards will need to be caulked using paint-able caulking. This caulking page should give you a little extra how to caulking assistance.

Be sure to caulk at the corners between the top of the baseboard and where the baseboard touches the wall. With your finger, remove any excess caulking before it dries.

Counter sink any nails that are above the woods surface using a properly sized nail punch. Fill the nail holes then wipe away unneeded filler. Sand, fill and caulk again if the baseboard looks like it needs it.

Touch up with paint, all of the the filled nail holes and any marks that you may see on the baseboard. After everything is smooth and dry brush the entire baseboard with one more coat of paint. Let the baseboard paint dry then paint it again if needed.

Once your baseboard installing project is looking good, apply some blue painters tape onto the top of the baseboard,. Press the tape down firmly then paint your walls. The paint that is on your walls from painting the baseboards may need to be cut in (brushed) three or more times depending on the paint colours used.

When you're done painting your walls remove the tape and touch up your walls and baseboard as needed.

Flooring that is not covered in thick plush carpeting can end up with gaps between the baseboard and flooring itself. If you end up with such a situation, use quarter round or other bendable moulding (shoe moulding) to hide the gaps. Nail, fill, caulk and paint the quarter round in the same way you did your baseboard installing project.

Talk to your local tool rental service, hardware store or home improvement retailer regarding the tools and materials you will need along with their proper use and installation procedures.

Check out the trim installation or interior wood staining page for more how to wood trim help and baseboard application information.

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