In Search of: Brand New Base Boards for the House

When I moved into my house my base boards looked like hell. Well, not the entire house. The main living areas were great. But the bedrooms? The bedrooms were quite scary. I would mention this to people, and they thought this was an odd thing to be concerned with. Until they saw them. And then they totally agreed. The person that owned my house prior put floating wood floors in the bedrooms. Nice touch. Except the part where he didn’t properly remove the original base boards prior to putting the floor in, which caused a lovely mess. Not to mention a few areas with water damage. I thought I could live with the funky base boards for a while. But dam. They started to bug me like no other, and I knew I had to get rid of them on the quick!

Enter Dad. Another project for us! Woohoo! Except neither of us really knew much about base boards. Nonetheless, we figured we could do it. And no matter what, we knew whatever we did couldn’t possibly look worse than what was done prior.

Enter uncle. My uncle is a carpenter, and I knew he would likely have some of the tools we needed to do the base boards, so we went over to my aunt and uncle’s house to pick things up. While there, my uncle mentioned, “I don’t do base boards. I don’t paint. And I don’t do plumbing.” Hmm. I chided him about whether this was a coincidence, seeing as how those were precisely the three things that needed the most work in my house. Then I started asking base board questions, and it was likely when I asked how exactly to use the power saw I’d just borrowed that he probably decided he’d do base boards…but just this once.

So my super-awesome-now-favorite uncle came over to instruct us on base board installation. Instruction turned into actually doing the base boards. My aunt and dad became the apprentices. I watched. I occasionally made a sandwich or got someone a drink. I think I had the better job.

My base boards are now installed. Yipeee! Woohoo!!!! Yay!!! (I’d say this is the perfect time for a tiny party.)

Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what those original base boards looked like (the first gives you a good idea of what most of the boards looked like; the second is a particularly bad spot with water damage):

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So my dad and I went to work pulling base boards. (And when I say, “my dad and I,” I really mean, “My dad did most of it, and I helped.”) You would think tearing the old boards out would be easy. You would also be wrong. Yet again, because of how the floor was installed, taking out those original boards was a bit of a nightmare. No. A lot of a nightmare.

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After pulling all the boards, we set a few pieces on the floor to see how the new setup would look:

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The new look was approved, and we got to work:

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And here’s a peak at the “finished” product:

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I put “finished” in quotes because it’s not actually done. Now that everyone’s done with the installation, my job is to do the finishing (cover nail holes, fill corners and seal those suckers to the wall). But after a week of demo and installation, I couldn’t bear to work on base boards any longer. Also, I needed my house to be clean before I had a nervous breakdown. So I focused on cleaning and a bit of decorating first. Once I do the finishing, I’ll be sure to post updated pictures. But I’ve got to tell you, I love my new base boards so much, it doesn’t even bother me that they’re not finished yet! (Oh, and if you want to know the trick to installing new base boards, here it is: get someone else to do it.)

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