Since finishing the floors, we’ve been tackling jobs that will help us get back to a “normal” state of living around here. Unfortunately, these “finishing touches” take a LONG time. But, with Christmas coming up QUICK, we have no choice but to keep going. Thanks for sticking with us as posts have been fewer and far between lately. Life is crazy this time of year, and I’m sure you all get that, too.
The first big “finishing touch” job was to re-install the baseboards. It seems like a small priority, but makes a huge difference.
We had to remove them to install the floor because they existing trim was hung too high on the wall for our new flooring. It would have left a gap if we left it as it was. We also could have removed the trim and moved it down, but that also posed some problems.
First, we had already removed this trim a few years ago (when I painted it all white) and the more you remove and reattach this stuff, the more damaged it gets. Plus, it wasn’t in great shape when we painted it. After 20 years (I’m sure it was original to the house), the soft pine wood gets pretty dented and scratched.
Plus, we had caulked the line where the trim meets the walls when we painted it two years ago to give the trim a more finished, clean look. So, if we moved the trim down, not only would we have to scrape and remove all the caulk, we’d also have to repaint the walls because there would have been a small strip that had previously been unpainted behind the higher trim.
So, we ended up removing the old trim and deciding to replace the trim with a slightly larger version to just cover up the old trim’s mess that was left behind.
Not only did this save us time with fixing the walls, it also gives the walls and floor a slightly classier look with the bigger trim. It’s not noticeable really but I think it just looks more modern and fancy. But don’t worry, I won’t mind if you don’t notice the difference.
In fact, I’m hopeful you won’t notice too much since the trim inside all the bedrooms and bathrooms is still the smaller size. We’ll slowly work on replacing those as needed down the road.
This was a slight splurge because buying all new trim in a larger size isn’t free. But luckily, it’s also not a project that is likely to break the bank. We bought our trim from Home Depot. This added to our wood pile in the kitchen where the table is supposed to be.
Before we got started, we decided to work on fixing some drafts coming in around the fireplace with this spray foam.
It expands to fill the cracks.
Measuring and cutting trim to size is a pretty simple process. The worst part is mitering corners and cutting the profiles of corner pieces to have a perfect fit. Luckily, I have a handy husband who handles all that for me.
He measured and marked the trim and made a mitered cut for where it would overlap the next piece of trim.
They always say measure twice, cut once. But Wyatt like to cut it a little bit long, and then trim the board to exact fit.
After the length is cut, he clamped the board down and prepped to cut the profile for the corner. It needs to be securely attached to get a good cut. And for safety, of course.
After transferring the profile, I began cutting the profile by undercutting the line. This helps the boards fit snug and line up better.
This is what it looks like after undercutting. I got the undercutting closer to the front edge by sanding with a sanding block.
This is the final product. Kind of hard to see but it makes a nice, flush corner.
Once all the pieces were cut to fit, it was my job to get them all painted white with two coats of our trim paint. Since Wyatt was working in the garage and creating saw dust (which won’t work for painting), I set up a little painting area in the basement. It’s crazy we have all that space down there and don’t use it….but sometimes it comes in pretty handy.
Then, we used the nail gun to tack each piece in place. This is the fastest part of the whole process.
After that, it was time to fill all the nail holes and seams with wood putty.
After that dried, we had to sand all that smooth. Have I mentioned how much I hate sanding?
Then, we swept up that mess, wiped down the boards to get rid of the dust, and caulked the line where the trim meets the wall for a perfect transition. Then, I painted over all the wood putty areas for a smooth finish. Make sure you also paint the caulk to avoid it turning yellow as it fades.
I’ve found the secret for painting a smooth line without tape is to just use a thin roll of paint on a small tapered brush.
It was a lot of extra effort to have to replace all the trim (imagine how nice if it had been the perfect height for the new floor and we wouldn’t have had to change anything!), but remodeling doesn’t ever work out as planned, and as setbacks go, this one was pretty rewarding.
I think the new trim is super classy and even though I complained, I think it was worth the effort.
I’m a huge fan of white painted woodwork and I think it really pops with the new floors. I just want to sit and stare at how wonderful it all looks, but who has time for that?
What projects have surprised you while remodeling? Ever have to replace all your trim? Are you a white woodwork fan, too, or do you prefer the natural wood luck?