How Not to Remove Baseboards

The last time we bought a couch was in 2001. I’m not exaggerating – 17 years ago. So when I say it was long past time to move on from the army green, faded, stretched out, 2×4 supported, stained sectional you understand the separation anxiety our family had when it was gone.

Since the room was empty a couple nights I decided to replace the builders grade oak skinny little baseboards that flanked our family room. Should have been an easy, cheap project.

Offspring #1 was home and I asked Mr. Incredible if I could have our son remove the old baseboards. He didn’t think we should without some direction so he didn’t pop through the sheetrock. I agreed. Good thought. He’s so smart, that Mr. Incredible.

I got home, grabbed an industrial-strength pry bar, and went to town. Three nails in I did this.

Since my MO is to swear profusely, I got promptly to swearing up a storm because 1) I now have to patch and 2) Mr. Incredible’s gonna find out what I did. Also to note is my spectacular edging job and painting skills! I rock! Truth be told this part was behind the old couch so no one – except now you – saw it ever.

This step in the baseboard project can accurately be called, “Put the entire project on hold waiting for pink-to-turn-white patch job.”

Remember? This is a blog to help you to NOT do what I do. Read this blog before commencing any project because my projects always go like this.

My tips for you when removing your baseboards is to:

  1. Locate studs. If a professional installed those baseboards they are nailed into wall studs. Inserting your pry bar at the studs gives more strength to the sheetrock (less ‘give’ of the sheetrock) so you don’t pop through.
  2. Pry gently but not all the way out. Get several feet loosened and then go back to remove entire nail. The harder you pull on the pry bar the more likely you are to pop through. This puts less tension on each piece of wood, too.
  3. Don’t be afraid to swear and don’t be afraid of this project. Builders grade oak baseboards are so 1987.
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