If your baseboard molding is cracked, damaged or rotten it needs to be changed. However, in many cases you can remove a section of baseboard molding rather than a whole piece. The most important part of the project is to buy the correct molding which matches the molding already in place. The best ways to do this is to take a piece of your molding to your local hardware store and have an attendant find the match for you. Another important thing to remember is paint. If your baseboard molding has been painted you need to get the matching paint.
Step 1: Remove Damaged Section
When removing the damaged section of baseboard molding remember that it breaks really easy. Though you are not keeping the damaged section you do not want to damage the molding you are keeping. Take your pry bar and start at one end of your section. Gently pull the molding away from the wall. Do not push hard on the wall or you will make a hole in the dry wall. Keep working the molding from the wall all the way to the other end. Make sure not to damage the other pieces of molding still on the wall when pulling the damage section at the ends. Now that you have the molding off the wall, go back and check for nails that were left in the wall. Pull any nails left behind.
Step 2: Measurements and Cutting
Before you can put the new section of baseboard molding into place you to need to measure for the correct length. Measure the distance between the existing pieces of molding. Remember to measure twice for accuracy. This will give you the length you need to cut the new molding. Now you are ready for the cutting process. First measure the length on the new piece of molding and mark it to the correctly. The next step is the tricky part. Look at the molding that is still on the wall. The end of the molding is either cut on a 45 degree angle or a straight cut. If it has a 45 degree angle cut the new piece with a 45 degree angle that runs the opposite way. You have to do this on both ends. A miter saw makes this process easy. You can set it for any angle or a straight cut. Once you have determined how each end should be cut you can begin the cutting process.
Step 3: Installing New Molding
Now you will install the new baseboard molding into the space of the old molding. The space may be tight if you used straight cuts. If this is the case you can very gently tap the piece into place with a rubber mallet. Secure the molding in place with a hammer and finishing nails. Make sure not to hit the molding too hard as you may leave a big dent or break the molding.
Step 4: Finishing Touch
Once you have your baseboard molding in place it time for the finishing touch. First you need to silicone the gap between the wall and the molding along the top. Also silicone the gaps where the existing and new moldings meet. Next, fill in the nail holes with drywall putty. Finally, you can paint or stain the molding with the matching finish you purchased.