Baseboard Refresh : Easy Tutorial on How to Upgrade Your Baseboards

Baseboards are an understated accent that can go unnoticed in a home.When installed properly baseboards will give your home a facelift that cannot be beat. Our home was built in the 1980s and as a result our baseboards were tired and small at 3 1/2”. Typical homes have 4 1/2” to 5 1/2” baseboards and some of those stunning homes on Pinterest are 10”! Personally I did not understand what the big deal was but once Alex started installing new fatter baseboards the difference was obvious. After the baseboard facelift our home felt fresh, new, modern and clean and it only cost us $2k! A contractor would probably charge triple the cost of what we paid to do it ourselves. Giving your home’s baseboards a facelift is a mid priced project that can generate big rewards!

See tutorial below on how to upgrade your baseboards:

  1. Complete baseboard renovation room by room. Once you have selected a space start measure the room to determine amount of material to purchase. Give yourself a bit extra during measurements in the event  you make a mistake and need extra material. We find the first step to be the hardest as it cane difficult to perfectly measure and cut the boards to size. Don’t get discouraged it happens to the best of us!
  2. Start ripping out baseboards by taking a razor blade to top of the board where baseboard meets sheet rock. This will cut the caulking and paint and will ensure you do not tear the sheet rock. Once complete rip out baseboards and quarter round with crowbar and hammer.
  3. Purchase desired size base boards from local home renovation store. We went to Home Depot and selected 4 1/2” baseboards. When shopping for baseboards ensure the boards are not overly warped and manageable. Each board will have a slight bend or twist (this is unavoidable). Just make sure the boards do not resemble a banana curve.
  4. At Home Depot also be sure to buy quarter round, finishing nails, spackle, sanding paper and paint. We like Benjamin Moore stock white in satin finish.
  5. Paint the baseboards and quarter round, we normally use two coats of paint, then cut to size with a miter saw.
  6. Use a nail gun or nail by hand the new baseboards to drywall. Important to use a finishing nail as this will be smaller and less noticeable. We used finishing nails to nail trim to wall and quarter round to walls.
  7. Make sure to nail baseboards into a stud (a stud is an upright support in wall). To find studs in you can either buy a stud finder or use a finished nail and tap into wall. Important to find a stud for the baseboards as this will ensure a more secure install.
  8. Once baseboards and quarter round are nailed to drywall, spackle the holes where the nails are visible. This step will ensure the nail heads appear flush to the trim.
  9. Sand down the spackle till smooth and nails are no longer noticeable. Important then to take a shopvac or old paint brush to get the dust off, otherwise you will paint over the dust and will create an unfinished look. We have learned this step the hard way!!
  10. Then caulk the top of the trim and top of quarter round for any gapes that you find. Normally you find most gaps in the corners. Like here!
  11. Apply two coats of paint to the baseboards and quarter round. Two coats is essential since dust clings to caulk and you want to ensure the caulk is properly covered.

If you have an older home and that feels tired try updating the baseboards! Please let us know if you have any questions or comments! Would love to hear from you.


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