How to Quickly Update Your Door Trim and Baseboards

Updated on April 6, 2019
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie is a creative person who loves DIY on a budget and updating her farm house. She enjoys sharing creative tips, tricks, and knowledge.

Updating your home by changing the trim and doorway style is an inexpensive way to make a dramatic change to the interior of your home. The replacing of trim and baseboards is quick and easy. The steps you take to complete the new look for your home has been made easier by the use of a nail gun and pre-primed boards for trim. Everything you need to finish this task will be discussed here.

The example used here is a farmhouse. Trim for the doorways is wider than normal. Make sure you look at different styles and widths that will suit your home. You no longer need a hammer or nails that leave large holes behind for you to fill. This style makes it unnecessary to cut complicated angles, making it a lot easier to do.

Finished Doorway trim.
Finished Doorway trim.

Tools Needed to Replace Trim and Baseboards

  1. Baseboards and trim in the style you chose
  2. Saw Horses, to lay the boards on while the paint dries.
  3. Paint (semi-gloss) in the color of your choice
  4. Paintbrush and small paint roller
  5. Paint Tray
  6. Wood Filler
  7. Sand Paper
  8. Nail Gun
  9. Measuring Tape
  10. Skill Saw
  11. Paintable White Caulking (optional)

A Quick Video Showing How to Remove Trim

Remove All Old Trim and Baseboards

Click thumbnail to view full-size
BeforeAfter. Measure from the corner of the doorway down to the floor to get the exact length of the trim piece you need.
After. Measure from the corner of the doorway down to the floor to get the exact length of the trim piece you need.
After. Measure from the corner of the doorway down to the floor to get the exact length of the trim piece you need.

Steps to Remove and Replace Trim and Doorway Boards

  • Gently remove the old trim and baseboards by using the nail remover end of a hammer or a nail puller. Do this by putting the puller between the old trim and the wall. Put gentle pressure on the end or rock back and forth until the board comes loose. Repeat until all the trim is removed. (Be careful not to damage the wall.)
  • To make clean up easier, stack all the trim in a pile and remove from the home as soon as you are done.

  • Take out the measuring tape and measure the doorway from the inside corner to where the trim will meet the floor. This will be the doorway trim that goes over the wall where the old trim was. Measure the top of the doorway across to the outside edge of the other trim. You want the outside edges to all meet up when you are done.
  • Cut the boards according to the measurements you took. Plug in the nail gun and attach each piece to the doorway edges and top. I recommend using a spacing of about 12 inches apart all the way along the face of the board. Make them in a group of two nail spots close to the edge. You want the trim to be secure without making to many nail spots. Don't worry they will be filled in when you are done. When nailing the boards that have detailed grooves, nail into the groove. Doing this will make the hole easier to hide.
  • Now that that's done, let's go to the baseboards. Measure the distance from the doorway trim along the base of the wall to the next doorway or as far as that piece of trim goes. If it's too long cut with the saw as needed. Take the board and place along the wall base and against the floor edge. Now hold in place and nail as you did for the doorway trim. In the case of the trim being too short, add a piece nail in place and carry on. Make sure where they meet isn't in a high visibility spot on the wall.
  • When you get to an inner or outer corner make sure to cut an angle to hide where the join is. The inner corner needs a different angle than an outer corner. The use of a miter box will help you with these angle cuts. Line up your angles on the baseboard and nail in place.
  • It really doesn't take a long time to complete a room.
  • Now that the trim is all done now you can fill all the marks the nail gun holes. If any trim doesn't quite match up against the other, use the caulking to fill in those spots.
  • If the nail holes are close to the surface just dab with the same paint you used on the trim.

Remember to Paint All the Boards Before Installing!

Remember to paint all of your trim and doorway boards before you install them. It's easier now then it is once they are installed in the doorway and the base of your walls.

New Wall Trim and Baseboard In Place

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Line the trim up with the inner doorway and nail into place.Butt up against the doorway trim and rest against the floor where it meets the wall.
Line the trim up with the inner doorway and nail into place.
Line the trim up with the inner doorway and nail into place.
Butt up against the doorway trim and rest against the floor where it meets the wall.
Butt up against the doorway trim and rest against the floor where it meets the wall.


If you are changing out the trim and baseboards

in an old house, they might not line up perfectly.

This is when the Chaulking comes in handy.

Use it fill in the spots that don't look perfect.

For a smooth corner, use a wet finger to smooth it out.

Use Wood Filler to Fill Holes Left by the Nail Gun

Take the wood filler and use it to fill in the nail holes as shown above. When the holes are this small I use my finger and the premixed container of wood filler. Go around and fill in all the nail holes. Let it dry for 24 hrs and sand off. ( Use a fine grade sand paper.) Dab each spot with the trim paint and you are finished. If you had to use the Caulking, you will need to paint those places along the trim to finish off the new look.

The nail gun leaves a lot smaller nail hole.
The nail gun leaves a lot smaller nail hole.

Enjoy Your New Door Trim and Baseboards!

Now all the trim and base boards are replaced and painted. The first photo shows you how the finished trim looks. I live in a farmhouse so I wanted a basic trim with the detail at the top of the door ways.

The reason it was easy to install and finish is because there were no complicated angles around the doorways. All the trim butts up against the other. The inner and outer corners of the baseboards are a basic angle cut. The use of a mitre box makes the angle cuts easier to do. The only thing left to do is to paint the inside of all the doorways to match the trim. ( Use a small paint roller and a round brush to paint the rest of the doorways.)

The doorway trim and baseboards only cost $400, and there were enough boards to cover 1,000 square feet and four completed doorways. Trim paint costs $40. The paint used is recommended for trim and cupboards and is more durable in high traffic areas.

From my house to yours: be proud of the work you do on your home. The final touches make it sweet and your home is truly your own.

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn


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