Easy Baseboard Install - How To

I wanted to make a quick post about what I've learned from installing baseboard.  Over the past few years we've put a baseboard in a few rooms and for me it's gone from a pain to do, to something I really enjoy.   Putting new baseboard in the baby room remodel was the finishing touch that made the room look really nice.
baby room, remodel, how to, baseboard, paint

Here's a video i made of installing baseboard, from the baby room remodel.

Easy Baseboard Install - How To


Let me start by saying, having the right tools makes all the difference in the world.
dewalt miter saw, molding, baseboard

When I first installed base board years ago I had to use a hand to miter saw and hammer.   The cuts with that old miter saw weren't great and it was a slow process having to use a hammer and nails.  Also one miss with a hammer meant a dent in the baseboard which needed spackling.

Here's some previous posts i did where i talk about the tools i use:
In the past year i have now become the owner of Bostitch nail guns, an air compressor and a DeWalt miter saw.   Having a nice miter saw, which makes precise cut,s makes it so much easier to be accurate.  I can easily turn the blade of the saw to exactly 45° and in one second make a perfectly straight cut.  When it comes to attaching the boards to the wall, the nail gun takes just a few seconds and several nails are through the board.

Here's what that baby room looked like before the baseboard.  It still needed that finishing touch.  So i set up the compressor, the light weight air hose, and the 18 gauge nail gun with 1 1/4" nails.
air compressor, nail gun, bostitch, hose,

Getting ready to attach the baseboard.
tools for home improvement, baseboard, install, remodel

A month ago we decided to paint the wood door frame around our entryway.  Ever since we bought the house the entrance was unfinished wood and it never occurred to me that it would look better if it were all white.  I don't know why it took us so long to paint it.  It's one of those things that after you do it you ask yourself, why didn't I do that years ago.
easy paint, room upgrade, remodel, home, color

After painting the door frame and window frame it was time to install the baseboard.  Here's the half-inch round over baseboard which was installed already.  It didn't look really great and didn't match anything else in the hallway. 
cheap baseboard, cheapest, cost, money

Here's what the rest of the hallway looked like.  My dad and I installed this wood floor a few years ago and it still looks great. Back then I just put the same trim back on the wall.  I never really liked it but I didn't have time to put up new baseboard. 
hallway baseboard, easy upgrade

So the first step was to remove that old trim without damaging the floor. Like before when I removed the existing baseboard in the baby room
how to remove baseboard, damage, damaging, nail, pry

The tools i used were a hammer, 2 screwdrivers, and a crowbar.  It pulled off pretty easily since I wasn't too concerned about damaging the trim itself.  Here is what the wall and floor looked like after I got all of old trim removed.
easy base board, how to, cut, miter saw

I usually like to start measuring at an existing piece of vertical door frame.  That way I know I can measure to a flush surface and don't have to worry about two 45° angle cuts.  You can see from this picture below at the edge of the closet the left side is a 90° cut and the right side is 45°.
home baseboard, how to, install, nail, cut

The easiest way I've learned install baseboard is to measure and mark the inside of the angle.  By that I mean I measure the wall and the distance is where the back part of the board will line up.  For example that same corner, the face of the board will actually be longer because the board is angled out but the distance I measure the wall is the same distance at the back of the board.   Once you cut that angle at 45°, you then have to swing your saw to the other 45° angle to make the next cut.

Again like I've learned from the family room remodel and the baby room remodel,  none of the corners in our house are 90°.  You can see from the previous picture that there are some gaps in the corners.  That's where spackling comes in to fill that 1/8th inch or 16th inch gap.  Also you have to use spackle to fill in the depressions made from the nail heads.
baseboard, spackle, caulk, sealant, spackle, how to

 Then the final touch is to caulk the top seam.  Otherwise it looks crummy with that gap on the top. 
baseboard, spackle, caulk, sealant

Overall though the new white baseboard makes the hallway looked brighter and newer. Such a quick and easy upgrade makes the hallway looked totally different.

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