Finish Carpenter Price c. $9.00/lf + $10.00/Corner or Return
A Doric baseboard straight from Andrea Palladio’s First Book of Architecture.
You can use this powerful baseboard to serve as the foundation of your traditional style home’s architectural treatments.
Best of all it’s really easy to install. I’ll show you how!
[This is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]
This is less an inspired-by design than an accurate reproduction of a Greek Revival or Georgian style baseboard.
If you’re looking for some American historic precedent for installing it in your home, you need look no further than Thomas Jefferson’s, Monticello; though the scale of his baseboards seems exaggerated to my eye.
How to Determine Baseboard Dimensions
Your baseboard thickness and height are dependent on how thick and tall your door casing/plinth blocks are, so it’s best to design them together.
Ideally, you don’t want your baseboards to be flush with the surface of your door casing or plinth blocks.
That’s because door openings are notorious for being out of square and plumb, making it hard to predict if baseboard moldings will end up flush or proud of your door moldings.
To be safe, leave yourself some reveal space.
I needed this baseboard to be just shy of the 1-1/16″ thick plinth blocks I installed in our kitchen; stacking two 1/2″ thick mdf boards gave me the exact thickness I needed.
Materials Needed to Make this Baseboard
For more detail about each molding see my DIY Molding Inventory page.
Note: I did not calculate the cost of nailers into this price because you will probably use some other material, or if you’re like me, you just ended up using scrap material that would have otherwise been thrown away.
Orientation This is one of those rare instances where you can turn this molding profile upside down when you install it.
Projection This molding projects 15/16″ from the wall, and so my baseboard thickness had to accommodate that thickness and leave me a small reveal.
I used this mdf board for both the main portion of the baseboard and for the nailers. But you can use any material you want for the nailers so you can get the exact thickness needed.
I ripped the mdf board down to 5-3/4″ wide strips.
How to Install BASEBOARD-110 Step by Step
[This installation sequence is part of Our Molding Makeover series.]
There are three basic steps to installing this baseboard:
- Remove the old baseboard
- Install the nailers
- Install the mdf flat-stock
- Install the baseboard cap
When you are finished with those three steps you can prep for paint:
- Fill nail holes with spackling and then sand them flush
- Vacuum the dust off the baseboards and then wipe down with slightly damp rag
- Prime and then sand
- Vacuum the sanded primer dust and then wipe down with slightly damp rag
- Caulk all gaps
- Apply two finish coats of paint
Step 1 Remove the Old Baseboard
It’s hardly worth mentioning, but remove the old baseboard. Our baseboard — like apparently all baseboards in Arizona — were grouted into the tile, grrrr!
Step 2 Install the Nailers
Glue and nail the nailer strips to the wall.
Step 3 Install the MDF Flat-Stock
I like to sand the very top of the baseboard before I install it. That way I don’t have to sand the tiny reveal at the top after the base cap is installed, a much harder way to go about it.
Since this is a small outside corner, I glued and nailed the miters and let them dry before gluing and nailing the flat-stock to the nailers as one piece.
How do I feel about rounded corners in houses?
I hate them.
A molding’s profile is best expressed on an outside corner, and breaking the corner into a series of 22.5 degree miters weakens the profile so much that I just can’t bring myself to using them.
It’s not wrong if you do, but I won’t.
Step 4 Install the Base Cap Molding
Prepare the Baseboard for Paint
Spackle all the nail holes and then fill the larger gaps, the ones that need to be sculpted, with spackling. Small gaps can be caulked after you prime and sand the baseboard.
Sand it all down when the spackling is dry.
Below Walls are almost always bowed between doors and corners.
A gap as large as the one below should be spackled rather than caulked because the caulk will dry with a cup at the top but the spackling will hold it’s shape after you sculpt it.
This matters because it’s much easier to paint a straight line to the sculpted spackling than it is to the cupped caulk.
Below Make sure you putty knife has square corners so you get nice edges against the wall.
Note: If your walls are textured like ours, then you have to take the extra step of wiping the spackling (or caulk) out of the pits in the texture.
If you don’t the wall will be oddly smooth just above the baseboard when you are finished painting everything.
Below The baseboard sanded and ready to prime.
Go to my Consumables page to read more details about the primer I used.
Below I always run my finger tips over every inch of sanded moldings to feel for imperfections that are not visible to the eye and yet would show up under the finish coat of paint.
Below I use regular old painter’s caulk on my moldings. Premium caulks with lots of silicone shrink too much for use on moldings.
If you want more information about painting moldings, I have more detailed instructions on my How to Paint Moldings page.
This post includes step by step instructions showing you how I installed this baseboard on the dining room wainscoting.
And don’t forget to subscribe to The Joy of Moldings so you can see the moldings and paint colors I use in each of the rooms in Our Molding Makeover.
Good luck installing your own large baseboards!