CAULKING THE GAPS UNDERNEATH OUR BASEBOARDS

Last week my family took a mini vacation and during that time attempted to tick some of our home projects off the checklist. Long story short, caulking a small section of our baseboards was the only thing we did.

Here’s a little backstory as to why our baseboards have been neglected. When we hired someone to install tile in our kitchen, my husband and I installed laminate floors in our living room as a temporary flooring until we could install hardwood. This is a fairly easy job once you get the hang of it. About six months later we had a bit of a flooding situation in our kitchen that carried out into our dining room and about a third of the living room.
6-27-16 Installing Laminate Floors and TileWe ripped the brand new laminate out once we realized the water wasn’t going to evaporate. It was a smelly job, to say the least. Our options were to either go the cheap route again and put in more laminate or bite the bullet and get hardwood. We chose the latter.

The floating floors went in just as easy as the laminate, but when it came time to installing the baseboards, we just slapped them up there. It was exhausting enough having to install floor that you’d just installed six months before. Did someone say deja vu? We were mentally and physically done with this project and after nailing in the baseboards, we stopped.

Nearly a year later, it dawned on me I never caulked and repainted the baseboards (oops!) so I got to work on it. But then I ran out of caulk and energy and told myself I’d do the small section “later.” More months went by and during vacation, I finally tackled this project.

So now that THAT sad backstory is over, let’s start this basic tutorial!

6-27-16 Before Caulking

Here’s a shot of the unfinished baseboards. Not so bad from afar, right? This is the section of the living room to the left of our fireplace. It’s literally a U shape that’s maybe twenty to twenty-five linear feet.

6-27-16 Fireplace trim gap

And bam, there it is! You can see up close how bad our gaps are, especially around the brick. Also, we have a scratch on our floors. Sad day.

6-27-16 Corner Baseboard Cracks

6-27-16 Baseboard Floor Gap

The baseboards under the window had a significant gap. Not everyone caulks the bottom of the baseboards, but our house in near a field (read, critters).

6-27-16 Painters Tape

First, lay down painter’s tape to keep clean up easy peasy.

6-27-16 Caulking

Load up your caulk gun. Mine has a cutter built into it, which came in handy when I made my closet’s builtins and I was caulking like crazy. I went through about four tubes! Also, I cut too much of the tip off, so it was coming out thick. Try to clip only the very tip.

6-27-16 Smooth the Caulk

This is the messy part. Take your finger and skim the caulk into the crack. I was able to smear the excess down into the gaps between bricks pretty easily.

6-27-16 Messy Caulking

Here it is all smoothed out.

6-27-16 Wiping Excess Caulk

Now take a damp rag and carefully wipe your trim clean. Have a bucket of warm water on hand to rinse out the rag.

6-27-16 Caulking Done

Now that all of the caulk is done and cleaned up, carefully pull up the painters tape while the caulk is still wet.

6-27-16 Peeling Up the Painters Tape

Ahh, look how nice and smooth the edge is! There were a couple spots where the caulk bled through, but I was able to reshape it with my thumbnail without any trouble.

THE RESULT:

6-27-16 Finished Caulking 3

Here it is completely finished! Now you just need to let it dry for however long the bottle says (usually a few hours will do).

6-27-16 Finished Caulking 2

6-27-16 Finished Caulking

Pretty simple! The whole project took me about an hour. Now all that’s left is to repaint the trim and edge up the wall paint. Maybe I’ll get to that in another six months…

6-27-16 The Lazy Method - Caulking Baseboards

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