How To: Make Your Baseboards TallER

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When we moved into our home in January 2009 - all of all baseboards were a honey oak color. We quickly got to work and painted our baseboards a bright glossy white. The bright glossy white baseboards really helped our wall colors look like there more true color. When we started to tear up the tile in our dining room and kitchen, my husband carefully removed our baseboards. Of course during the removal got dinged and I knew after we reinstalled them I would have to repaint them, which got me thinking. Even though we had nice baseboards, they are the standard 3" they looked kind of blah. One thing I love about older homes is the character and I wanted to add more character to our excising baseboards. I decided the first room to tackle would be our dining room - perfect timing since we installed new dark faux wood floors.

Here's what we did. I made a couple of trips to Home Depot and Lowes looking for the perfect piece of molding to give extra oomph to our baseboards. I came across a piece of molding at Lowes birch wood already primed that looked to be the exact depth of our current baseboards. I bought one piece and put it up against our molding and it looked perfect! I made a trip back to Lowes and picked up three more pieces of molding for our dining room.

Tools Needed

Miter Saw or Miter Saw Box
New Moldings
Nail Set
Nails - We used panel nails (you can also use liquid nails)

Step One:

Line up your new molding with your old molding, mark for your mitered cuts (corners). We used a miter saw (we got one for easy cuts for our flooring we installed). We picked up from Sears at a great price $99.00 on sale, and it even comes with a laser track to make all our cuts smooth. We also changed our blade to a finish blade so all the wood pieces we cut will be nice and smooth, this is important!

Step Two:

After all the miter cuts were made, I placed my new molding on top of the excising one and began to nail the molding into the wall. I spaced my nails about 16 inches apart. Next I used a nail set and - and sank each nail into the molding, so it’s no longer sticking out

See that top piece, thats off white? Yup that's the new molding laying on top the old molding

Me, hammering in the new new moudling

Step Three:

I caulked like crazy. I caulked the seams where the two pieces of baseboard met, and then I topped the caulk. Next I caulked all the nail holes and smoothed out the caulk using my fingers. I caulked the heck out of our mitered corners. Let that caulk dry! We have the slow drying caulk - so I had to wait two whole hours - which felt like a lifetime, so I watched a cheesy Lifetime movie.

Step Four:

After all the caulking was done, I light sanded the new and old baseboards, and wiped away any dust - the old baseboards were pretty roughed up after they were removed them, so a light sanded would make my coats of paint nice and smooth. Next I taped off the baseboards top and bottom (yes I used the cheapo painters tape, but it works!) Next up priming the baseboards - Even the top 'new' baseboards were primed and went ahead and primed them again. I waited an hour for the primer to dry and then painted the baseboards a bright glossy white.

See, they needed a light sanding and primer

Two coats of paint later much better

** Please note I also added quarter round molding to the bottom of the baseboards, since we installed faux wood floors you leave a small gap between the wall and the floor for expansion and contraction. It proved too tricky for me to use nails on the quarter round molding. So  instead I used wood glue and applied it on the baseboards, let it to dry and then caulked the heck out of it - looks perfect! **

Step Five:

Take a step back admire your work! You did an awesome job. I love how the white baseboards really contrast lovely with the flools and our wall color.

I did the entire project myself except for the mitered cover cuts – next time I’ll do those solo.  This is an easy DIY project. Next up - I'm going to make all our baseboards tallER! And of course now that we are the proud owners of a miter saw, we will be DIY Crown Molding!

Project Cost:

Top molding $ 17.46 (@ $4.44 dollars each)
Quarter Round molding $ 17.46 (@ $4.44 dollars each)
Box of Panel Nails $ 1.79
Nail Set $ 1.99
DAP Caulk - Had on Hand
Zinsser Primer - Had on Hand
Valspar Glossy White Paint - Had on Hand
Total: $ 39.30

Tall molding that add character - Priceless

Have you added height to your existing baseboards? Will this be added to your To Do list?


  1. great job. i mentioned to our contractor that i wanted to maybe replace ours with taller ones, but he talked me out of it...but love go girl!

  2. After reading your post, I promptly emailed it to my husband! We will be installing our own baseboards to our spare bedroom very soon and to be honest, I was so nervous about them. But your awesome post has given me great hopes!!

    Oh and of course you did an amazing job with the baseboards. I love the fact you combined both the old and new...very unique!

  3. Thanks Ladies, I'm gald you like.

    Dolores - once we took the baseboards out temporary, the baseboard mystery about them being hard was gone! Gald this helped

  4. Genius!! Those baseboards really make a statement now. And kudos for doing (almost) all of it yourself! Makes it even more satisfying. :)

    Looking forward to reading about your crown moulding next!

  5. SO INNOVATIVE! I never would have thought to do it- it looks fab!

  6. you know CLH I see this in a lot of the newer developments. it looks really nice.

  7. I love it!!! We have super tall baseboards in our 85 year old house, but they ripped them out of the dining room and put in 3" trim that doesn't match anything else in the house. So we're ripping that out and making our own to match the rest of the house. Hope ours turns out as awesome as yours did!!

  8. I love larger baseboards and we did something similar to beef up our puny crown molding. But maybe larger baseboards are in our future as well as yours turned out perfectly! Great job!

  9. I've seen a small half round added above on the wall with a space between the round and existing baseboard. With the shadow line you cannot tell it's the wall. Nice high baseboards plus no extensive caulking needed. Great job!

  10. hello! i just discovered you blog and im in loove!! May i ask what color your hard ware floors are? Thats exactly the color i am looking for? and what color is the walls in your dining area? Thanks!!

  11. Hi Anonymous ~ Thanks I'm gald you like my blog :) Our dining room/kitchen floors are dark walnut.

    Our wall color is Woodrow Wilson Putty by Valspar, its so a pretty color. I hope its works well in your house!

  12. Love this idea! Love your blog too. Your house is beautiful, and so is your family!

  13. I just want to say "thank you"! It's a great idea, cost effective, and I can relate to the way you explained it.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Best, Katrina

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