Restoring wood baseboards and trim

Old 03-19-06, 05:44 PM
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Question Restoring wood baseboards and trim

This is our first posting to this group (and most probably won't be the last).
We are restoring the maple wood baseboards, trim and hardwood floors in our 85 y/o colonial revival home. Where would be the best place to start? The current wood work is in good condition, however a bit dull.

After doing some upgrades to our small library, we decided that this would be a good place to start out at, for doing any type of restoration, before heading into larger rooms in the house (it was also suggested in this group to do this as well). The wood baseboards are a 7 inch flat piece with a 2 inch molding above it. My first question is, how do we remove the wood trim with out damaging it. Could we just remove the 2 inch molding and refinsih the 7 inch flat piece with out removing it as we are going to refinish the floors too?

Also what products would you recomend (Minwax?) for doing all of this, any help would be great.

Thank you

Paul & Bill
Old 03-20-06, 04:50 AM
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are you sanding off the existing finish on the floors?

if so i would remove all the baseboards from the walls.

reason is that, how will you sand the floor in the area next to
the baseboards.

if you use a drum sander then an edge sander you will either
damage the base boards or leave a higher area next to the base
boards as well as finish, as you try to avoid hitting the baseboards with the edger.
the edger is far more work than the drum sander, lots of torque and
can get away from you.

as to removing the baseboards.

start at an outside corner and use a flat pry bar to
pry out one end and then work your way to the other end
of the piece. you can place material behind the pry bar to
help avoid damaging the wall.

any nails still in the baseboards/trim, pull through from the inside.

what to do with the nail holes.

either leave them and use them as a marker for where your studs are,
or fill them and mark the walls with tape for the studs.

if you leave them you will need to use longer and larger nails.

i found it was easier to buy a compressor/combo nail gun $300, as
you negate bent nails when re-attaching the baseboard/trim.
no nail punch needed either.

i stripped and refinished my baseboards/trim, filling the nail holes.
used the nail gun and then filled the small holes with painters putty
to match. you can mix the putty to get an inbetween colour.

as to what finish to apply to the floor

if you stain the floor, wait 24 hrs before applying your first coat of
finish, depending on the temp in your home.

poly for floors will take 24 hrs between coats.
you can brush it on or roll it on.
if you roll it on, only do two or three roller widths at a time,
then brush out the bubbles.
watch out for the corner.
Old 03-20-06, 07:27 AM
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The only thing I would add/change in what has already been said is to consider using trim screws when replacing the baseboard/moulding, etc.

Trim screws are slightly larger (in diameter) than finish nails and are applied with a drill/driver using a #1 square drive bit. I have used these in applications similar to your project and they work very well.
Old 09-07-08, 08:44 AM
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restaining baseboards....oak

I am a rookie and restaining the oak baseboards. It is an Expresso color.

I filled holes and sanded smooth.

The stain isn't changing the color of the filler.

Any suggestions?
Old 09-08-08, 02:51 AM
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Most fillers aren't stainable or don't stain to match the rest of the wood. I rarely use any filler prior to staining and applying the 1st coat of stain and poly/varnish. I then use a colored putty to fill the cracks and nail holes.

You might try getting some of the pigments from the bottom of the stain bucket and see if that will color the filler. Be sure to keep a damp thinner rag handy incase it's needed.

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