We’ve all got trim in our home, right? You might have builder basics or layers upon layers of beautiful trim. Have you ever considered installing trim yourself? Maybe there is a room in your home that could benefit from some additional trim. If you’ve thought about it, this new series is for you. Over the next several weeks, I’m sharing anything and everything I know about trim. Today seems like the perfect day to tackle baseboards, because Ryan and I are actually preparing to replace all of the existing trim in our bedroom. It’s the only room we haven’t touched. We’ve become quite good at installing trim, especially baseboards. I don’t even let contractors touch it anymore, which saves us money. Here are our tips and tricks for flawless baseboards.
Removal of Existing Trim
We recommend scoring and prying trim away from the wall with a joint knife. It’s easier to slide behind the trim and provides a better grip when pulling the trim away from the wall. While looking for the joint knife link, I found a product called the trim puller. It looks like it would accomplish the task as well. Look at that, we both learned something new!
Paint Before Installing
This tip really is a matter of preference, but I find it much easier to paint the baseboards first. I like to place all of the boards across a pair of sawhorses. I then lightly sand each one before adding a couple of coats of white paint. I prefer to use a foam roller, but you could also use a quality paint brush. By painting the boards first, I only have to touch up the nail holes or any areas that need a bit more coverage after installation. I also don’t have to worry about getting paint where I don’t want it, like the wall or floor.
Filling Nail Holes
Most contractors fill nail holes with caulk. Don’t do it! Caulk is a real pain to sand. Instead, I recommend filling each hole with drywall compound. It fills the hole nicely, and you won’t see any sign of it once sanded and painted.
Caulking with Ease
Caulking is messy! I recommend keeping a bucket of water by your side and a handful of microfiber cloths. After you’ve applied a section of caulk, I recommend using the Dap Cap. This inexpensive tool is amazing and makes caulking much easier. This tool allows you to smooth the caulk along the joint to create a professional finish. It works great in corners too! Once you’ve smoothed the line, wipe any excess with a wet cloth.
If miter cuts freak you out or you just hate angles, I recommend installing inside corner blocks, like this one. I promise you, corners aren’t that hard once you get the hang of it. Ryan was nervous his first time, and now he’s a pro at joining pieces. Plus slight imperfections aren’t noticeable after caulking.
There are a variety of materials on the market in addition to wood. Depending on humidity and other factors, you may want to consider a composite, vinyl, or PVC material. Vinyl baseboards are a good choice for rooms that are subject to water and moisture. Do your research before making a trip to Home Depot.
I think that’s a wrap on baseboards. I hope you found this information helpful! Be sure to check back weekly for series updates.