How Do You Cut and Install Base Board Molding

The question of how do you cut and install base board molding may cause many would-be do-it-yourselfers to hang up their hammer once they realize angled cuts are involved. And it is a sure mark of an amateur to see base boards nailed together at the corner of a room with no angled cuts, just simply jammed up against one another and nailed! So what is a newbie to do? Well, there is only one thing you CAN do, and that is bite the bullet, grit your teeth, and go for broke. In other words, just go ahead and plow right in. You just might be surprised at how easy it really is to cut base boards at an angle to fit.

Experiment First

If you have the time, learning how do you cut and install base board molding to fit by practicing on some of the simpler styles of moldings can help give you confidence. Buy one or two lengths at your local lumber yard or home improvement store and spend a day or two experimenting. And then when you are ready to try your cuts on the real thing, you will have a feel not only for the tools, but also a good eye for the cuts, as well.

Inside Corners (Innies)

For the first piece of molding, choose the one that will be the most conspicuous in the room. How do you cut and install base board molding for this corner? Easy! This piece gets a simple cut; straight up and down. A circular saw will do the trick nicely. Then tack it snugly against the corner. Next, with a scrap piece of the baseboard you'll be using, draw an outline of its profile on the back of the next piece of molding you will be attaching to the wall. Using a coping saw, cut along your outline and fit that piece into the corner. Use finishing nails to attach.

Outside Corners (Outies)

How do you cut and install base board molding for outside corners? Well, that is almost just as easy! You will need a miter box or a miter power saw to most efficiently cut 45-degree angles at the corners of the molding strips. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by using a triangle and marking the angles on the pieces with a pencil, then making the cuts with any kind of saw that will do the job.

Make sure you cut the angles so that they are opposite in order to fit snugly together at the corner. Again, use finishing nails to attach to the walls. If you have stained the molding, you can add wood putty to cover up the nail heads, or if painting the molding, leave as is. The paint will hide them without additional coverage.

Now see? The answer to how do you cut and install base board molding turned out to be not nearly as intimidating as the question, right? So grab your saws, both coping and circular, your hammer, your miter box (or triangle), your finishing nails, and go for it. Even if you mess up, it is not the end of the world. And like they say, every mistake is just another learning experience.

See Also: Preparation for Trim Carpentry