Installing baseboard...

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Asked By: 
Claire

how do i install baseboards. i had to pull my old rug out of a foyer and when i did this i took some of the baseboard off. i want to get new baseboard trim but it doesnt look even .. it seems that in some spaces its uneven.. it start ok but then as it goes across it gets wider.

help!

Answer: 

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Thank you for your Ask Jane question and welcome to the Be Jane community!
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New base boards are a great project to change the look of any room in no time flat. First, the way to remove old base boards is to get a crowbar and carefully insert the edge in between the wall and the board. Then pry the boards away from the wall. You may find a few nails will pull through the board and remain in the wall. Never fear, most crow bars have a hole in the middle of them that you can place the head of the nail through it grabbing the nail and allow you to pull it out without damaging the wall.
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Next you'll need to purchase enough molding to redo your room at once. What we suggest is that you draw the entire room on a piece of paper. As you measure each wall you, then write the measurement down on the paper next to that wall. Make sure you are very concise as these will be your measurements when you go to cut these pieces. Once you measured the entire room you will have to add up the total to know how much you'll need. The easiest way to do this is to add up all of the feet in each measurement, then add up all of the inches and divide it by 12. Add this number to the total and add an extra 10% for mistakes.
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Purchasing the molding will be your next step. We suggest that you buy something at least 2" tall. Most new homes have 2 &#189;" base boards which enhances the room more than 2". Also when you are purchasing the molding you may want to pick up a few that are long enough to be used on you largest walls without having to splice in larger pieces. Jane Tip: If you are looking to have white or painted baseboards, we suggest you purchase primed MDF (modified dense fiberboard) so that you won't have to prime before painting.
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We suggest that you paint the molding before you begin any cutting. One coat really won't be enough, even though it'll look great, it won't clean as well. Most people use a semi-gloss paint for this.
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Once this is completely dry it is time to cut. You will need either a miter box or a miter saw to accomplish these cuts. All that you'll need to remember is if you are working on an inside corner or an outside corner as to which direction you will need to cut the 45 degree angle. If by chance you don't have a piece that is long enough to cover a wall then you can always splice together two pieces by cutting a 45 degree angle on the attaching ends so that they fit together like puzzle pieces.
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To attach the boards we suggest you use a finishing nail gun as it will take a great deal less time to attach. If you would prefer doing it by hand you will need to purchase finishing nails and a nail counter setter to set the nails below the surface of the wood. Then you'll want to use spackle and fill in the gaps and the holes. Let this dry and slightly sand if necessary. Go ahead and touch up these spots with paint. Once this is dry you'll need to caulk the edges of the base board to fill in any gaps. This should help how the spaces get wider in some areas. Remember if you painted it any other color than white, caulk will be very obvious and may not be your best choice.
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We hope this helps. Let us know how it comes out.

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1 comment

7
Nov

Being a seamstress who lives in an old house where nothing is square, I decided to 'baste'baseboard, chair rails and ceiling trims. I installed the 'inside' sections first with the proper end cut. Then I used double stick tape to hold the outside sections in place while I exactly marked the angle to be cut. I had no waste from bad cuts.