Our “new” home – Part 6 – Removing baseboards

Naptime Gnome Idea #37

Simple tricks to removing baseboards

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about our new floors, honestly, the topic was getting a bit flat for me (ok, that was cheap), but I really want to show you the finished product, so I need to get on with the saga! Here are a few tricks to easily and cleanly removed baseboards.

Some of the tools you’ll find helpful:IMG_0316If nothing else, you will definitely want a blade of some sort, like a carpet knife or razor blade, and something to provide a bit of leverage, like a screwdriver or putty knife. The hammer is used a bit less often, but you will likely have at least a few tenacious nails to pull.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut the caulking along the top of the baseboard adjoining the wall with a sharp blade or knife. There will just be a hairline slice, you do not need to go very deep. This prevents the paint (and texture) from being peeled off the walls when you pull up the baseboard.IMG_0314
  2. Once an entire section of baseboard has been split from the caulking, carefully slide a thin tool like a putty knife or flat-blade screwdriver. If you have one, a metal putty knife is best as it reduces the damage to the wall.IMG_0317
  3. Once the putty knife (or screwdriver) is inserted, place another tool in the crevice formed. A screwdriver is fine here as there will be a larger gap in which to place the screwdriver. This will widen the gap and give you an idea if you need to quickly cut a bit more of the caulking before prying the whole thing off. Slice any tendrils that may be hanging on (as seen between to two tools here).
  4. IMG_0318Now using gentle leverage pull the handle of the putty knife (or screwdriver) down. If you’re careful, you can pull the screwdriver down too, but be REALLY careful, it’s very easy to put the screwdriver through the wall. Which is fine if you’re looking to do a bigger baseboard, but if you are going smaller, or the same size you may have some patching to do.
  5. IMG_0319Walk your tools down the wall, prying as you go.
  6. Once the board is off, you are likely to have a few brads or small nails in the wall. Pull these with a hammer or claw.IMG_0322
  7. If any of the nails are sheared off or too deep to pull with a claw, you may want to have some pliers on hand to finish up.IMG_0324
  8. If you have bullnosed corners, like ours, you are likely to have corner baseboard pieces. Just use your claw to pry them off. Ours were on with between 3 and 6 brads per corner (talk about overkill), so you may need a firmer hand than you expect. Keep the hammer low (where the baseboard used to be) and get some contact with the metal bullnose stripping. This will help prevent the hammer/claw from going through the wall, and if it happens to dent it at all, you should be low enough where it won’t be visible once the new baseboards are in place.IMG_0325

That’s it!


-The Naptime Gnome <;’)


Read more about our flooring project:


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