Monday, October 8, 2012

Office Update: Tips & Tricks for Baseboards and Trim

Although it has taken a little longer than expected; I can finally say that we have officially replaced all of the window/door trim and baseboards in our house!  It hasn't necessarily been the most enjoyable job in the world but after 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, and office, we feel like we're pretty much professionals (although I still can't say the word "caulk" with a straight face).  I won't bore you with all the details about painting, cutting, measuring, nailing, spackling, and caulking; but would like to share a few tips and tricks that we've learned along the way.

1.  We really like the clean look of white trim but we also chose to go that route because it is much more forgiving than naturally finished wood.  The precision of my cuts has improved with each room that we've completed; but they still aren't perfect.  To cover up those little imperfections, all you need is a little bit of wood filler, sand paper, caulk, and paint.

2.  Always paint the walls before you hang the baseboards.  That way you don't have to do any edging along the baseboards.  

3.  A lot of boards come in 8 foot lengths.  For longer walls, join the wood at 45 degree angles rather than 90 degree angles.  This will give you a less noticeable joint.  Also, try to locate these joints in less visible locations, i.e. behind furniture or curtains.

4.  Always caulk the tops of your baseboards.  It might not always be visible to the eye but each wall in your house will have some waviness to it (especially if it's 60+ years old).  As a result, you will be left with some narrow gaps between your baseboards and the wall.  To take care of this, just run a small bead of caulk along the top of your baseboards and smooth it out with your finger.  This can be a messy job but trust me; it's worth it.

5.  Mark the location of your wall studs on the floor before you start nailing anything (we've learned the hard way on this one too).

6.  The little details make all the difference.  For the pieces of trim under the window sill, I prefer to have finished edges (rather than just cutting them square).  I also like to trim around the floor vents.  These things take a little extra time and most people probably won't even notice them; but I like to think that if Mike Holmes came to our house, he would notice these things and say that we did it right (hopefully). 

7.  Lastly, unrelated to trim or baseboards, but equally (if not more) important... Don't paint your outlets the same color as your wall...

The office isn't done yet but we are moving along.  Here's where we stand on our checklist: 

  • Clear out room
  • Remove baseboards, window trim, and door trim,
  • Replace power outlets
  • Fill nail holes
  • Patch ceiling
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls 
  • Hang new Baseboards
  • Hang new window / door trim
  • Fill hail holes (in the trim)
  • Paint trim
  • Caulk trim
  • Replace light fixture
  • Finish Desk (finally!)
  • Re-finish new (to us) desk chair - In Process!
  • Build shelving unit (more on that later)
  • Build closet storage (more on that too)
  • Convince Deanne to let me put a TV in this room

1 comment:

  1. Your house makes me feel like the WORST decorator. Ever. Well done!