Family Room Baseboard {DIY installation and caulking tutorial}

The old baseboards in the family room were 2 inches tall and lacked the character displayed in the rest of our home. The family room was a later addition to the house. After the bamboo floor was installed, we decided to go with a taller baseboard. I chose 6 x 1 inch pine.


baseboard tutorial

I started to the left of the French doors, measured and cut my board to fit the space. I do not miter baseboards. When you see the finished job, I promise you no one is going to notice that the joints/corners are not mitered.

baseboard tutorial

I moved along, placing my next un-cut 8 foot piece into place from the corner.

baseboard tutorial

Moving along to my third piece, I butted it up against the far wall to where it meets the second un-cut piece placed and draw a line where the two boards meet. This is where I’ll cut.

baseboard tutorial

So simple. I cut all of my pieces and ‘framed’ the room. {pardon the old hunter green furniture}

baseboard tutorial

Starting with “A”, I label each board so I know the order they are to be placed around the room. I got up to “K” I think. You can mark the wall too, but just having the boards in order and knowing where you start works.

Next I hauled the boards to the basement and gave each piece of baseboard two coats of paint {Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace in a semi-gloss finish) on three sides.

painting baseboards

My Porter Cable nail gun/compressor makes installing baseboards super easy.

Porter Cable nail gun & compressor

I just a nail every 14 inches near the bottom of the boards and a staggering nail near the top in between the bottom nails.

baseboard tutorial

{bad hair day = hood for pics and if you misplace safety goggles, sunglasses are the next best thing}

Our walls are not plumb. There are gaps where the baseboards gap and don’t sit flush against the wall. But that’s okay.

DAP Dyna Flex and FrogTape

Enter: DAP DynaFlex. DynaFlex is DAP’s most advanced indoor/outdoor premium latex sealant with technology that is both waterproof and paintable. It combines outstanding durability, adhesion and flexibility with easy tooling, paintability, and low odor, while also keeping insects (SPIDERS!) from entering through small gaps and cracks. It is mold and mildew resistant, making DynaFlex ideal for a wide variety of projects such as sealing around windows, doors, siding, trim, molding and baseboards.

I usually leave caulking to Mr. DIY but this time I did it myself. We’ve been really busy with real life things, so this is a task I kept putting off thinking it would be more difficult and take more time than it did. I was wrong! Caulking is the easiest DIY job I’ve ever done. And it took only about an hour.

Seriously the hardest part was learning how to load the caulk gun. Cut the caulk tube on an angle creating a small hole. And insert the tube into the gun.

DAP Dyna Flex

Handle up means “on”. Handle down means off.

caulk gun

Turn the tip of the tube so the flat side of the angled cut will rest in the ‘crack’ where baseboard meets wall.

Turn handle up to “on” (work quickly with a full tube – it pushes itself out!) and push the metal tab to start placing a bead of caulk in where the baseboard meets the wall, move along. Push. Release. Push. to maintain a steady bead. I worked in 4 foot sections. (Tip: With a new tube, be QUICK with turning the gun off an on – it will continue to squeeze out when you aren’t looking!) Remember to turn handle to ‘off’ position when you set down the caulk. As the tube empties, it will require more gripping muscle.

I had a small dish of water, a small waste basket and lots of paper towels on hand.

Dip finger into water and smooth out the bead of caulk (paper towels or rags are necessary). If it gets onto something it shouldn’t, it’s okay. It wipes/washes right off.

It created a beautiful straight flat bead filling in the gap between the wall and baseboard.

how to caulk

At first I even lined the top of the baseboard and the wall where it meets the baseboard with Frog tape to create a straighter line.

caulk installation collage

But found that the extra step wasn’t really necessary. It might be helpful if you had a big contrast between baseboards and walls. But if I made a mess or an ‘oops’, DynaFlex was easy to wipe away/clean when wet.


baseboard tutorial

then…{better but yikes!}

DIY baseboard tutorial


DAP Dyna Flex baseboard caulking tutorial

Family room still in progress but these small details are important. DAP Dyna Flex is sandable and paintable! It’s tempting to end at this step because it looks good enough, but painting will help seal everything and give it a uniform look. Next up filling the nail holes, light sanding and paint touch up. What do you think? An easy enough project to do on my own.

DIY baseboard tutorial

Cost:  approx. $100 for wood and caulk (less than two tubes) for an approx. 200 sq. foot room.

This post is sponsored by DAP but opinion, photos and tutorial are my own. 

Kitchen French Door Trim Update

The trim around our french door was a more modern/inexpensive mitered jobby like this…
The rest of the door trim in the kitchen is original to the farmhouse…it might not be a big deal. Not really. We have mismatched trim throughout the entire house. But then Mr. DIY wanted one of these:
Ryobi Doorman Door Closer - DM85D
He HATES when the door is not shut quickly.  Ask anyone in our family his infamous naggiest lecture and they’ll holler:  “YOU’RE LETTING THE BUGS IN!”
::eye roll::
(actually…bugs = bad.  they bite. kitty destroys house getting them. take back ::eye roll::)
Since we’re remodeling the kitchen 
AND he wants an automatic door shutter-upper (also known as the Mr. DIY shutter upper! hehehehe) which needs a wider trim, we decided to change out the skinny trim for something chunky and matching the original.
You can see the skinny trim in the background of this picture: SEE IT THERE? And the bug destroyer in the foreground? I have a bent curtain – rod victim of bug destroyer’s determination.

Original trim throughout the kitchen. Wide. Pretty.

How we matched it:

We used three 3 1/2″ by 1″ boards.  Set up the vertical sides first from floor to top of door frame.  Mark to just the top of the vertical door frame and cut. I love this look and it’s so easy to frame doors and windows this way.  Mitering is a lot more complicated!
The top horizontal board sits on top of the cut vertical boards to complete the frame.  Ours overlaps each side by 1/2″. Mark 1/2″ past the vertical side and cut. 

Prime with a latex primer such as Kilz.

We then used Dutch Boy’s Trim & Cabinet paint (Ultra White).  One coat before hanging.

Place and secure with finishing nails, countersinking them.

Fill nail holes with wood filler.
Use caulk were needed (side/seams).
Lightly sand where needed.

I always use my Purdy paint brush for trim. I gave the trim a second coat of paint. We use a satin or semi-gloss finish on trim.  Much easier to wipe finger prints (this door especially is in the path from kitchen to grill and my cook never sees his black fingerprints but you can’t miss them).  


All done. Stand back and admire, be reassured that the door closes automatically and exit quickly to avoid the push and letting bugs in!  🙂
Next up – framing that window and baseboard trim!  I do love that the door trim now matches the rest of our old home’s character.