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I love big boards and I cannot lie! Throughout our home we have nice 4″ baseboard, but I wanted something even chunkier for the basement. I love nice tall white baseboard.
I worried the cost would be extravagant, or I would have to combine a few pieces of molding to get the look I was after. Then I spied 5 and 1/4″ primed pine baseboard at Home Depot. It was a simple, classic profile, but in the nice chunky height I desired. It was only $1.19 per foot! The baseboard for my 9 x 15 ft studio totaled about $65. I always calculate how much I need and buy 10% more to allow for cuts and mistakes.
They come in crazy 16 ft lengths. The nice Home Depot man cut them in half so I could fit them in my car. Shorter lengths just meant I may have seams on some walls where two boards meet. But I don’t mind covering a seam with a little sandingand caulking.
I have finished the baseboard install in my office and love the look! I used the 5 and 1/4″ baseboard along with 1″ quarter round. Together the two hide the expansion gaps at the edge of the cork flooring. (Please ignore the lack of window casings…still need to do those.)
I love this next picture, because it shows how chaotic it can get during a DIY project around here. I labeled all the tools and supplies used for this project and explain each a bit more below the photo.
Painted Quarter Round – I pre-painted all my molding, including baseboard and quarter round. I decided to use the same color as the walls, Martha Stewart Tailors Chalk. A different white wouldn’t have provided any contrast and would have just looked like a mistake. Using the same white gives a sophisticated look and makes for easy paint touch ups after install.
Nailing and Spackle - I nailed the baseboard into the studs with my electric nail gun and 2″ nails. I nailed the quarter round into the baseboard. I used spackle to hide all the nail holes. After it dried I sanded it smooth and touched up the paint.
Where Two Baseboards Meet – I cut 45 degree angles wherever I need to join two pieces of baseboard in the middle of the wall. Before concealing the seam, I made sure to sand over it really well with my electric sander until it was perfectly smooth. The sanding took off the paint finish in that spot, but I touched it up at the end.
Tack Cloth - The crumpled up yellow cloth is a tack cloth. They are sticky, gauzy cloths for removing dust. Before painting I used a tack cloth to wipe down the baseboard to remove any dust from sanding.
Caulk Gun and Water Cup - I used paint-able caulk at the corners and seams. I also caulked where the baseboard met the wall and the quarter round met the baseboard. The result is a nice seamless look…a must do on any painted trim installation. Once I sanded and caulked everything, I touched up the paint finish.
Painter’s Tape - When applying caulk along the one painted blue wall, I first put painters tape along the wall above the baseboard. Then I caulked. You see here all the caulk smeared against the tape after smoothing it into the seam. That mess would have been on my pretty blue wall if the tape wasn’t there.
I removed the tape immediately after, while the caulk was still wet. The tape helped me get a nice clean caulk line against the colored wall. On the bother white walls I did not other because I could just touch up the baseboard and walls with the same white paint.
Okay, this post probably makes installing baseboard look easier said than done. Although not as easy as say painting, installing baseboard is relatively easy. I really enjoyed this part of the basement project, because it is one of the finishing touches. The cork floors looked unfinished without it. The walls looked unfinished without it. Everything looks more polished once the trim is there. The immediate gratification makes installing baseboard easier to bear.
The painting, nailing, spackling, sanding, and caulking part is easy. The tricky part is the corners! Later this week I will share my tips for getting a perfect corner.