How to Remove Baseboards

how to remove baseboardsAre you repainting your room? To achieve a more professional look, it would help if you first take off the baseboards. However, if you try to remove the baseboards of your room with a pry bar, you will definitely damage the drywall and the trim. You might want to reuse the baseboard or replace it, no matter what you decide, taking off the baseboards with care would go a long way.

Here’s how to remove baseboards. In fact, this method teaches you how to remove baseboards without damaging drywall:

  • Before launching into removing any baseboards, you need to examine them closely. Look at the edges–your starting point of baseboard removal. Also, check the type of paint on the wall and baseboards. If you try to take the baseboards off the wall before checking the paint, you can damage the wall substantially. Should you be in such a situation, you should pass a utility knife between the baseboard and wall and move it till the end of the baseboard. This will help remove the latex paint but will not damage the wall or even the baseboard.
  • Cut the entire length of a piece of baseboard where it joins up with the wall. Use a common knife for this purpose, taking off any paint and caulk that might have stuck to the baseboards. By cutting the entire length of the baseboard where the two surfaces meet, you will not tear off the paint and paper from the drywall and leave an ugly surface.
  • Drive a six-inch metal putty knife behind the baseboard and twist it while pulling it towards you so that the nails or pins that hold the trim on the wall come loose. Beginning at one end of the baseboard, keep doing this along its length until the entire length comes off the wall. However, you will need a lot of patience as this process is time-consuming. If the knife doesn’t get under the trim easily, tap its handle with a hammer so that the blade sinks in fast.
  • Once the entire baseboard comes off, pull one end of it from the wall. Do this gently so that you don’t damage whatever’s in between, like another wall or door trim.
  • If you find one end of the trim still tight, rock it upwards and downwards until it is free of the wall.
  • If you mean to reset the baseboards where they came from, it would be a good idea to number them or give them some identification to help you reinstate them correctly.
  • Continue this procedure on the next drywall length until you remove all the pieces that require removal.
  • Using side-cutter pliers, pull out the finishing nails from the trim that you’ve already removed. Clean the area.

How to remove baseboards without damaging them: Before you begin removing baseboards in your home, check that you have the necessary tools for it. For instance, do you have a trim puller? This is a very important tool to remove a baseboard.

The trim-puller’s middle wedge makes for quick and easy extraction, preventing damage to the wall and baseboard. Using this tool also saves woodworkers a lot of time, stress and money.

If the seams of your baseboards are caulky, you will need to remove it with caulk remover. However, if they are tightly sealed using normal latex paint, you can take it off with the help of a utility knife. For safety’s sake, particularly from blisters, sores and splinters, it would help to wear gloves.

You can also use side-cut pliers–you’ll find them a great help to remove any pins and nails left over in the walls once you remove all the baseboards. If you plan to use a hammer, its rear side will be just fine.

– Are your baseboards and walls sealed with latex paint? If yes, then begin by cutting along the seam of your baseboards where they meet the wall, cutting away with your utility knife. This will separate them from their sealing agent. Don’t veer away from the seam so that you don’t pull off wall colour along with the baseboard.

– Begin at one end of the baseboard. Place the trim puller facing the wall and ensure that its sharp edge runs along the seam of the baseboard.

– With the trim puller in one hand, hit the top of the tool using a hammer. This should push the sharpened edge of the tool right between the wall and the trim. Automatically, the central wedge of the trim puller will part the wall and the baseboard.

– Now, with the help of your puller tool, pull the trim towards you very gently. Continue to part the wall and the baseboard with the help of your trim puller in lots of one foot till you reach the end of the wall or baseboard.

If you find some pins or nails left over in the baseboard, it’s time to remove them now with your side-cutting pliers.

Here’s a video you can watch:


Now, you know how to remove baseboards from drywall and without damaging the baseboard itself. Why don’t you try it yourself?

Author: John Clax

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