Home Improvement--General/Installing baseboards


Steve, At best I am a novice when it comes to home repairs. I do my own basic electrical work and a little bit of drywall patching. I recently removed wallpaper and paneling from a room that we'll be painting. I had to also remove the baseboards to get the paneling off. My hope is to reuse the same baseboards, for both economic and practical reasons - I wouldn't be able to cut new ones. I have removed the nails and will repaint them. I realize I don't really know what to do next. I've heard I need to use a nail gun and finish nails and nail only into studs. I'm not even sure I can locate the studs. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Help. Thanks for your time.

HI Ed,
You should be able to just fit the old baseboards right back into place where you took them off.   Most of the time you don't need to worry about nailing into a stud because you can nail into the sole plate.  If you want to nail into the studs, you can locate them several ways.  You can purchase a "stud finder" from Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon (or some other source).  It is inexpensive and is a very handy tool that you will get a lot of use out of for picture hanging, new outlets, and many other uses.  Or you can use a measurement technique.  Most studs are placed at 16" on center.  If you measure 16" from the corner you should hit a stud.  Use a very thin nail and tap it into the wall to make sure you are on a stud.  The next stud should be 16" and so on.

I would recommend using a brad finish nail gun.  You can buy them relatively inexpensively or you can rent one.  If you can afford it, a nailer like this is a good investment  because it can be used for many jobs.  Here is a good one:


Of course if you don't want to use a nailer you can always do it the old fashioned way - with a hammer and a nail punch.  People have been using this method for many years before nailers were around.

Good luck Ed and let me know if you have any other questions.


Hi Ed,
I wanted to add a little information on my comments about brad nailer.

1. It may seem expensive at first pass but I have found over the years that buying the best or a top quality tool the first time pays many benefits over trying to save money by purchasing a cheaper one.

2.  There are two types of ways to drive nailers - battery and compressed air.  The ones that use air are generally less expensive.  However, if you don't have a compressor there is also the expense of buying a compressor.  Also, I have found the convenience of using a battery operated tool is more than worth the added cost.  Not having to lug around a compressor, dealing with the air hoses and electrical cords, is a pain that is totally eliminated with a battery tool.  

Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.  

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Steve Young


I will answer questions dealing with home improvement. My specific areas of expertise are flooring (except carpeting), all types of carpentry, water treatment, and minor electrical. I have also built several treehouses and am currently considering expanding my business to concentrate on children's play areas. I love working with all kinds of wood. My favorite types of home repair/remodeling are water treatment, hardwood flooring, cabinetry, bathroom remodeling, and kitchen remodeling. I also have knowledge in residential water treatment, including filters, softeners, reverse osmosis systems and various other types of treatment systems.


I have been working in various forms of construction both personally and professionally for the past 20 years. I am currently the Owner/Contractor of a home repair/remodeling company.

I have a BS in Environmental Engineering and have done Masters work in Management Development. I have also attended various community college and fine arts classes in the Piedmont Triad area and EPA water quality certification classes.

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