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The Basics to Installing Baseboards Yourself in Irvine, CA

Essential Guide to Installing Baseboards Yourself

By , 9:00 am on

If you have just purchased a home for sale in Irvine, CA, and want to enhance the way it looks, installing new baseboards can add the finishing touch the interior truly deserves. Getting started requires making the decision to completely transform a living space by means of removing existing baseboards, priming the walls, applying fresh coats of paint, and installing the new trim. Here are the key steps you should follow.

Removing Old Trim

Start by using a box cutter or a sharp blade to cut the top of the trim where paint and caulking tend to accumulate. To separate the old baseboards, you can either use a wedge or a pry bar, but you must be careful since it is easy to damage drywall surfaces. The old material will probably come out with nails still attached. The idea is to try to keep it from breaking. Use a paint scraper and sandpaper to clean up the surface.

Taking Measurements

Take your time, measure carefully, and do it at least twice for each wall. Round up your measurements and add the height of your chosen baseboard or at least three inches to give yourself room for cutting. Keep in mind outside corners require adding some extra space to your measurements. Before going to the store or placing an online order, add seven percent to your length.


Under ideal conditions, you should be able to find painted or at least primed baseboard material that you can buy and leave in your house for a few days so it gets used to the indoor climate. Take this time to paint the walls and allow them to dry completely. If your baseboards are not painted, you can prime them and apply one coat before installation.


Hopefully your floor is level, but this is not always the case, particularly with natural hardwood. You can use a laser or traditional bubble level to find the lowest point, measure the height of the baseboard against the wall, and draw a horizontal line to the left and right of this point. Use the level again to establish a straight line across. This is where the top of the baseboard should rest when you are ready to install it.

Cutting the Baseboards

Scarf joints are needed for marrying two long pieces. It is better to allow store clerks to determine if you need these joints based on your measurements since they can do them with miter saws. The same goes for the inside corner joints since they need bevel cuts.

Fitting the Baseboards

Test all the joints and make sure the pieces marry correctly before you apply glue to the back of the baseboard. Long pieces should be glued at the joint before they are glued to the wall. Allow a few minutes for adherence and start hammering the boards in place with finish nails. Your baseboards will have holes and gaps that you can cover with wood filler before sanding slightly and applying the final coat of paint.

Whether you’ve bought a single-family home in Rancho San Joaquin or are looking at University Town Center condos for sale, putting in new baseboards is an easy way to make your space look fresh and new. However, first you need to work with a reliable real estate agent who can help you find the home you’re looking for. Call OC Residential today at 714-454-6304 to see the hottest properties currently on the market.

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