Once our baseboards were cut, we had to paint them. We first made sure to number each baseboard so we knew exactly where it belonged!
We sanded each baseboard to make sure it was completely smooth. Sanding is always annoying, but was much easier with a sanding block. So easy that I will never go back to sand paper sheets again!
Once the baseboards and shoe moulding were sanded, we wiped each one down to remove the dust. Then the priming and painting began! And because we did this outside, we were able to prime and do two coats of paint in one day! Thank you, Sunshine!
Installing the baseboards was relatively easy, except that we needed the right tool. We borrowed an angle nailer from our local Tool Library and went to work.
Since our floors are fairly wavy, we had to make a decision about how to level the baseboards. We could simply install them wherever they touched the ground, or try to level them out. We opted for the latter, meaning that we sometimes had to raise or lower the baseboard ends to make it level. This left some gaps at the bottom (sometimes large ones) but these were eventually covered by the shoe moulding. The reason we chose this option is because now when we’re hanging art, everything will look level (and be level). Only the shoe moulding is wavy, which is only noticeable in some spots, and only if you look really closely.
Technically, the baseboards should be nailed into studs. But since we have plaster and lath walls, and finding studs is impossible, we just nailed where we thought there was a stud and checked to make sure it was secured in place.
Unfortunately the pressure wasn’t high enough to countersink the nails, so Alex followed me around the room and manually countersunk each nail. Countersinking is important because we later filled the holes with wood filler.
For the baseboard that was spliced, we used wood glue at the seam to help keep them tight together.
We then installed all of the shoe moulding with a brad nailer. Luckily the nails countersunk on their own!
Our interior walls are a mix of brick and concrete, so we couldn’t just nail the baseboards into the wall. Instead, we used construction adhesive and stuck them in place.
It was fairly easy to apply. We just put a bunch of it on the back of the baseboards, as well as on the wall, and stuck the wood in place.
Technically we were supposed to hold it in place for 24 hours, but that’s hard to do against a wall. I was creative and used my feet to hold it for 10 minutes and hoped for the best. Turns out it’s pretty sticky, so it held in place without any issue.
The adhesive takes about 24 hours to cure. I’m not sure how long it holds, but probably longer than we’ll live in the house. The bonus of this method is that we didn’t have to use any nails, so there are no holes to patch!
Once all the baseboards were in place, we then had to fill the nail holes with wood filler.
We then had to sand each hole. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a sanding block at our local hardware store that was the right grit, so we had to use sandpaper sheets, which was very time consuming and annoying. Next time we’re at Home Depot, I plan on buying a stack of sanding blocks so I never have to use sheets again!
Once all the sanding was done, I did a thorough clean of the baseboards. I vacuumed and wiped each one down to make sure that all of the dust was removed.
Next we had to caulk, which was pretty easy. We used a high-quality caulk. Everything we read about what kind to use said to use long-lasting, non-shrinking caulk. Basically, go to the hardware store and buy the most expensive kind you can find. For us, it was GE premium painter’s caulk in white. It was just under $7. The only restriction is that it can’t be 100% silicone. It needs to be a combination of silicone and acryllic or it’s a pain to install.
Caulking itself is very easy. I simply squeezed the right amount of caulk out along the top of the baseboard and filled the gaps.
I then dipped my finger in water and used it to smooth out the caulk. It worked brilliantly. Luckily I had a lot of experience caulking the front entryway, so there was no learning curve this time.
Here’s a great before and after shot to show how effective the caulking was:
I put down painter’s tape and a garbage bag to make sure I didn’t get any paint on the floor. It’s time consuming, but well worth the effort.
Painting was relatively easy, but I could have pre-painted with only a single coat since I ended up painting two coats over the woodfiller.
After they were caulked and painted, we then had to touch up the wall paint. I first used the angled brush and then smoothed out the paint with a small roller.
When everything was done, they looked great and the room was finally finished!