Mold your Character; Upstairs Bathroom Remodel; Part 7

Easy way to DIY taller baseboards, using your existing trim - as little as 20 cents per foot @Remodelaholic

I don’t know if you have this same problem, but our house is full of dinky, tiny base board moldings that are hardly an inch taller than the carpet.  Do you know what I mean?   Here is a picture, complete with dust and junk.

I mean I guess it is nice that I have base moldings at all, it is just a bummer that I can’t see them from way up here!  I know I’m tall, but didn’t realize I was that tall.  I do have good eyesight… so, I should be able to see the things…

Well, the bathroom was no exception, it too had the dinky, tiny, can’t even see ’em base moldings and we just didn’t want to fork out the cash $1.50-2.00 a linear foot for new meatier moldings.  Besides, I just knew that when I got used to seeing real base moldings in there, I would want to do it everywhere, and my bank account was getting weak in the knees just thinking about that!

Enter a cheap solution!!! DING! DING! DING!  My aha moment, “What if we gave our moldings a little lift, like high heels for base moldings?”  And the best news, I am about to tell you how…

How to raise up your base moldings

1. Remove all offensively small moldings, and tell them that they need to shape up!  But remove them carefully, as you will be reusing these.  If they have been caulked to the wall and or floor, cut the caulk with a box cutter. Then get your crowbar behind the molding and slowly pry it off the wall.

2. Clean them up.  With a small chisel or 1 1/2″- putty knife, remove any caulk.  Lightly sand the moldings, and wash them off, so that they are not gunky and yucky.  Make sure they are completely dry before moving to step 3

3. This is where some tools may be required.  This can be done in two ways, I am sorry to say, but the more tools you have the cheaper this is.  I will explain the basic tools first.

Basic:
Purchase a 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ or wider MDF board in the length you need to span the room.
(it is the plain square pre-primed boards, Home Depot has them for $3.82 for an 8′ ft long board here)
a hand saw
miter box
wood glue
clamps (optional)
nails and hammer
(move to step 4.)

Advanced:
Purchase a 1/2″ x 6 ” MDF pre primed board ( in a little more than half the linear feet you need)
Table saw
Miter saw
Wood glue
Clamps (optional)
Nail gun
**the difference with the advanced is that you will rip the 6″ molding in half, so that there are 2 -3″ wide pieces.  Or, if you have a lot to do buy a 4′ x 8′ x 1/2″ sheet MDF and cut it into 3″ + strips, the if you can route a round top edge (to look like mdf below, this step can sanded down by hand)  if using a 4′ x 8′ sheet, the great part is this can be as cheap as .20 cents a linear foot.

4.  Now, once you both have your long strips of MDF and your molding, you are going to glue them together, with the little molding on top, see image below:

See how the MDf is below the old existing molding.  You can see the difference in wood grain.  When you glue these you can either hold them for a minute or two and lay on a flat surface or you can clamp them.  Keep in mind that you are going to be nailing these in place, and may have to caulk the seam.  In all actuality if it is easier you could install each piece one at a time to the wall, and just put a little glue in the seam when installing.  Caulk the crack if necessary once it is installed.
5. Once the glue is dry, I paint it.  I find it so much easier to paint moldings before installing, in the garage where I can drip to my heart’s content and not have to worry about getting paint on my new tile.  (I patch and spot paint after installed)
6. Lastly, all you need to do is miter your corners when reinstalling. If you need a full tutorial on installing them, let me know, and we will do that in the next bathroom.  Here you can see it being reinstalled. Just a few quick nails with the nail gun, or a hammer and nail.  When it is in, you need to caulk lightly the top to the wall and smooth this out, then paint the top.  I have found that if you don’t paint the caulk bead or seam, it gets really dusty and is harder to clean off.
Here is the finished product:
Is this a useful idea?  Let me know.
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62 Comments

  1. Wayyy too difficult. Removing MDF moldings (which are in a lot of homes) without breaking them is near impossible. A CHEAPER and much faster way is to get a 2×4 block and put it on top of existing baseboard. Mark a line. Repeat on far side. Snap a chalk line. Buy some ornamental or trim molding. 4.00 per 8′. Paint it the same color as the existing base molding. Fasten to wall on the chalk line with finish nails. Simply use the same paint you just used on the molding and paint the wall between the existing molding and the new molding. It will all look like one solid piece for a fraction of the time!

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