Base Molding

Ugh! Molding. We are still, very slowly, chipping away at the final touches. Before starting on the base molding we borrowed a miter saw from a coworker. It makes cuts so much easier and more precisely than doing it by hand.
Miter saw

We wanted to try and match base molding that is in the rest of the house the best we can. It is thicker than what is available from the big box stores. We were aided in this by finding some old molding caps in the attic. I cleaned, primed and painted them and then Paul installed them over some 1×4 pine boards. Neither of us realized until we started putting the caps on the baseboards that they were all slightly different!! We looked around the house and discovered the caps are a little slightly different if you look closely, especially the ones between the old and addition. Even in our doorway to the kitchen, one side is different from the other.

After doing the longest wall like this both of us decided it just didn’t look right. The caps were small enough that they just didn’t look right on top of the 3/4″ thick 1x board. We were also having problems marrying the moldings between the rooms since the kitchen sits higher. This is where the internet has failed me. All the pros talk about how you SHOULD make the rooms all the same height. Apparently they live in a perfect world and only do brand new construction homes. Our house would never be the same height unless we added another floor on top of the existing throughout the rest of the house – completely impractical. No one will see much of the molding and as long as you trick the eye, not many people will even notice it.

We decided to rip it out and go buy some stock base molding you can get at a big box store that is similar in profile but a bit taller and thinner. We needed the trim taller to cover up some really sticky black mastic that was used to hold on plastic base trim. It just doesn’t come off without messing up the plaster. As long as it isn’t too much taller, you really won’t notice it unless you really look for it. This seems to be the best solution and easiest to accomplish. In the grand scheme of things, this is really a minor thing.

While Paul was at the store buying the new trim he decided to buy a book to help him with the trimwork. He looked a a few different ones and decided on Sunset’s You Can Build Trimwork. It was the only one to try and cover what to do when things don’t line up, a constant in our old house. Plus it covers some other projects we need to tackle, like shelves. With this book, and a coping saw Paul learned to cope inside corners.
Coped base molding

It took about three days piecemealing the work to get the new base molding in. We think it looks good. Some pictures of our progress.

Caulking behind the fridge.

We solved the problem of making the two different heights meet by returning the shorter one into the taller one, like this.
Trim of different heights meets
We still have to caulk a little bit more to make it seemless and put another coat of paint on the corner. Cutting out the small pieces needed to make this corner was a pain, but it looks really good. We’ll show you the finished product asap so you can see that it really does work. I love the extra detail while also blending it into the old.

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One Response to Base Molding

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