Preparing Trim for Bedroom

If you never plan on salvaging or saving trim from an older home, please skip this post. I thought I would give a little insight on how we salvaged all of baseboard and door trim in our Master Bedroom. I will make this as painless as possible.

As we move through this house, I find myself asking, “What in the world?” This was one of those instances. Why were 4” nails used, every foot to secure baseboards to the wall?

That we will never know.



However, the front finish of the baseboards had no exposed nail heads. Score! (Nathan and I couldn’t even figure that out.)

We wanted to remove the nails, without sacrificing the nice finish on the front on the trim pieces. We could have sawed (is that a word? Or is sawn?) the nails off on the back, but because the wood was soft enough, we opted to pull them all the way through, out the back.

To accomplish this, I used a pair of vise grips.



I clamped down on the base of the nail at a slight angle, because the length of the nail wouldn’t fit in the opening of the vise grips.



Once you have a hold of the nail, push down on the handle towards the board.



You will be rolling the rounded edge of the vise grip clamp on the wood to gain some leverage to pull the nail out. This is so you don’t have to he-man the nail straight out.



You may want to do this with an open hand. I learned this the hard way, after busting my knuckles on the wood when I popped the nail out. (Hence, the band-aid on my finger.) If you’re a man, however, I’ve heard you would never do that.



Once you feel the nail surfacing, let up on the force a little so you don’t crash your knuckles into the board, if you chose to grip instead of using an open hand.



Easy peasy, right? Quite empowering.



This is what you are left with after all the nails have been pulled. I had to sand the front surfaces to be painted, so I just gave the back a quick sand too, to eliminate the splitting and chance for splinters.



Because our master bedroom had just been dry walled there was a gap between the sheet of drywall and the floor. In this gap, we could see the studs, so we marked where the studs were on our unfinished floor. That way when we placed the baseboard against the wall, we knew exactly where to nail to hit a stud, a fool proof method. After attaching the baseboards (only to the studs in the wall with finishing nails) we gave them a fresh coat of paint and voila!



We have come so far with this room and I can’t wait to share the progress. I. Have. Been. A. Slacker. I am absolutely in love with this room and cannot wait to finish it off and move in!


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