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Last Updated: , Created: Saturday, December 22nd, 2001

How do I remove baseboards?

Lorin from Toronto, Ontario, asks for help on how to get baseboards off without breaking them.

First, cut the paint line between the baseboard and the wall. This will avoid chipping the paint on the wall.

Work with two thin wedges and a 1/4 inch backer board. Force one wedge into the crack between the wall and the baseboard. As soon as you have a bite, put the backer board on the wall to protect the drywall and to give you a leverage point. Push back to the wall, against the backer board until it opens up just a little bit and then slide in the second wedge. Continue this action, pushing one wedge back, fitting the other deeper until you are almost all the way down to the floor.

Now you can pull rather than push the wedges. Don't try to totally remove one part while the rest is nailed tightly but rather work your way back and fourth on the wall bringing the whole trim piece forward slowly. This will reduce the risk of breaking the baseboard.

Once it is off the wall, use a pair of Vise-Grips unless you have a real nail puller, to pull the finish head nails right through the back side of the trim. This will make splinters on the back side, but will keep the front side clean.

Keywords: Woodworking, Trim, Techniques, Wood

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