Trying to remove a poorly installed baseboard? Perhaps, the molding is already damaging your wall or your floor. Or maybe, you just want to replace it with a newer and better design. If you want to do the job without asking any professional for help, then you only have to arm yourself with the right tools and the proper knowledge.
The baseboard is that plastic or wood that covers the joint between the floor and walls. It might also include any present shoe molding. Professionals know how to remove wooden baseboards without damaging the material, thus, making it possible for you to reuse the plastic or wood. You can do so, too. What’s more is that you can avoid damaging the wall or the floor.
If you want to do the job cleanly, quickly, and easily, you only need to follow the instructions below.
What You Will Need
A putty knife is used to glaze over frames as it can easily fit around edges. In this project, you need to put it between the wall and the baseboard. Since this knife doesn’t have a sharp edge, it can’t damage your wall.
A pry bar, also known as a crowbar, is a metal bar with a curved end. It is often used for removing nails. However, it can also be used in prying the baseboard from the wall.
Some baseboards are nailed to the wall to make them more secure. You will need the hammer in removing nails from the baseboard if they are present.
Removing the baseboard when it is still stuck to the wall due to the paint could be difficult and damaging to the wall when you use the putty knife. That’s why you should be using the utility knife in this case instead.
Caulking is used to seal seams or joints in structures like the baseboard. To remove it, you need to use a caulk remover.
Since you’re going to be working with tools like the pry bar and utility knife, it’s best that you think about your safety and wear work gloves.
For extra protection, you need to wear protective goggles. You don’t want any debris getting in your eyes.
Instructions to Remove Baseboard
Once you have the tools you need, you can follow the steps below.
Step 1 - Examine The Baseboard
Before you start, check the baseboards first and try to trace the edges as you’re going to work starting there. Also, determine the type of paint used on the wall. If it is latex paint, then it has most probably created a seal between the wall and the trim. In which case, you need to pry the baseboards carefully in order not to damage the wall.
Take your utility knife and score the edge where the baseboard meets the wall. Make sure that you are not pulling any color off the wall. Just cut the latex paint cleanly. If you notice that there’s caulking on the edge, use the caulk remover before you score the seam.
Step 2 - Loosen The Nails
If there are any finishing nails or pins that hold the baseboard to the wall, you can use the putty knife to slowly wedge the nails away from the baseboard and loosen them. Usually, the nails are present on the top, bottom, and center of the baseboard. Insert the putty knife between the baseboard and the wall and slightly wedge the knife forward so that the baseboard will move. Do the same on all edges of the baseboard.
Step 3 - Loosen The Baseboard
Use the pry bar to finish your job more quickly. The best way to remove the baseboard is by strategically starting on one end and going to the other.
Just one note though. Before you use the pry bar, make sure that you use the putty knife between it and the wall. This is a preventive measure against damaging the wall. Once you’ve done so, pull the pry bar forward. This action will also pull the baseboard from the wall.
Step 4 - Remove The Nails
With the nails and baseboard loosened, your job is easier. Remove the nails completely using your hammer.
Step 5 - Remove The Baseboard
Finally, you can remove the baseboard from the wall. You can do so by using your hand with the aid of the putty knife.
Step 6 - Clean The Area
Don’t forget to clean the area. Make sure that you throw or keep the used nails properly.
Safety And Other Helpful Tips
While doing the job, make sure that you are taking care of your own safety. Follow the tips below.
- Quarter-round moldings are usually nailed into the baseboard or the floor at a 45° angle. Be careful in removing these nails.
- When the nails are too attached to the wall, you can use an oscillating tool, which comes with a cutting blade, to cut them.
- If you can remove the nails directly with the removal of the baseboard, do so. Just remember to pull the nails out with pliers instead of hammering them from the back of the baseboard. This will cause less damage to the board.
- When doing the job, never forget to put your hand gloves and goggles on. Proper caution is needed when using sharp tools like the utility knife.
- If you’re removing the baseboard from a house from or before 1978. It’s best that you leave the job to professionals. Paint during those years still contains lead, a highly hazardous material. If you are not sure, have the paint tested.
Did you find the tutorial helpful? If you have tried following it, let us know about your experience in the comment section below. What are the challenges you met during the project? Did you successfully remove the baseboard without damaging the wall and the floor? If you are having trouble with any of the steps, you can tell us, and we’ll give you more advice on how to overcome your baseboard removal problems.